Twitter marketing tool of the future?
New Zealand businesses need to consider the online marketing potential of micro-blogging site Twitter seriously now Google and rival Bing are incorporating its content into search results.
That is the view of Auckland-based online marketing agency First Rate, which has published lists of the most-followed local Twitter accounts on its blog. "[Companies and brands] in New Zealand seem to be more engaged in social media - Twitter in particular - than their Australian counterparts," says Grant Osborne, First Rate's director of search and performance. "As a smaller country we get behind our brands, such as [Air New Zealand's] Grab-a-Seat and Vodafone. We have a few voices, such as [communications manager] Paul Brislen at Vodafone who are really driving social media." Osborne says businesses are using Twitter in a variety of ways as a marketing and brand-building tool.
Some companies are simply "pushing" offers and special deals to customers who follow their tweets while others are taking a "more conversational" approach - engaging their followers in a Twitter "community" based around their business and answering followers' questions about their products and services. Samuel Stadler, First Rate's chief operating officer, says that in the past month both Google and Microsoft's Bing search engine have signed deals with Twitter to receive live feeds of what users are tweeting.
Google has also launched a new tool, Google Social Search, to capture comments made on Twitter and other social network platforms. "Tweets are now indexed by Google and, secondly, as part of Social Search, when one of your followers turns up in a search from Google the search results will favour content that you have tweeted over standard search result listings," says Stadler. "This means [businesses] cannot afford to not measure Twitter activity. [Through their realtime feeds] Google and Microsoft have placed it as a pivotal part of their information-gathering strategies."
Source - EMA Northern via NZ Herald