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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 16, 2009

Why brands should monitor Twitter - now

When it comes to social networks, Twitter is the current 'in' place. But many brands, businesses and marketers are still avoiding the micro-blogging hotspot. Why? Because they don't understand the concept of micro-blogging or why it is important. The problem? Whether brands are there or not, consumers are - and they are talking about you.

by Kristina Knight

According to a recent report from Penn State, about 20% of posts to Twitter are brand related. Consumers are asking for product information, weighing in on a recent purchase or actually trying to connect with a favorite brand. But in addition to these 'kind' tweets, there is the potential for unkind tweets: unhappy consumers. These unhappy consumers are the reason brands and marketers need to be Twittering - to monitor these potentially harmful posts and to be able to respond.

Forrester Research recently found that social networks are becoming more popular than instant messaging platforms and online radio, with more than 55 million US consumers logging on to social networks at least monthly.

Just how important are consumers finding tweets?

Jim Jansen, associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State said, "People are using tweets to express their reaction, both positive and negative, as they engage with these products and services...Businesses use micro-communication for brand awareness, brand knowledge and customer relationship. [Tweeting] may be right up there with e-mail in terms of its communication impact."

Currently there are six million Twitter users, but experts forcast as many as 20 million consumers could have Twitter accounts by year's end, a clear indicator that marketers need to be there, too.

Tags: brand awareness, brand marketing, Forrester Research, Penn State, social marketing, social networks, Twitter

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