I went to the OpenCoffee meetup in Cambridge the other day. They all recognized the importance of Twitter, but don’t understand how to make money from it. We are exactly where we were in 1996 with the World Wide Web when I helped start Andover.net. Great point in the cycle.
So here is my quick 5 point pitch on how clients can benefit from integrating Twitter into business and marketing models. But first keep in mind that you don’t make money “from Twitter”, you make money “with Twitter”. Meaning that Twitter is a lever for improving your other efforts, but you don’t get cash handed to you directly by Twitter users on Twitter. Anyway, here’s my list:
1. Putting keyword targeted tweets on pages in the right way is great for SEO. Google loves tweets. This will increase the page’s search rank, getting a lot more first time visitors.
2. Datamining of tweets lets you find the right people to follow in Twitter for your market. This can be used very effectively to build a big follower list. This list becomes profitable when you tweet messages with URLs you want people to click on. Think of it as free Adwords.
3. Follower lists are also essential if you want to make people do something in the real world, like contribute money, or go to an event. Twitter will be huge in 2012 election.
4. If you have a database of tweets, you can datamine it for sales leads. You can give sales people the Twitter accounts and home page URLs of people who tweet a lot about the products the salesperson is selling. The best part is that the salesperson can see exactly what prospects say about their products and competitors before contacting them.
5. You can also datamine a tweet database for sentiment trends. This is valuable for PR and customer service. It gives you a real-time read on how effective the rest of your communication program is.