1. Twitter is knocking out the competition.
While Twitter is still more than a bit confounding to those not tweeting, its exponential growth is knocking out the competition in the world of messaging. What was previously viewed as a fad for the techie fringe, is now the darling to daytime talk shows, sports figures, newscasters, and nearly anyone hoping to have their message heard.
More importantly, moms and dads are tweeting, teachers are tweeting, and a whole lot of other mainstream people are in the process of signing up to enter the conversation.
The question of "What are you are you having for lunch?" has been replaced by, "Where are you going for lunch?" "What specials are they offering the Twitterverse?" Ditto for computers, shoes, vacations, and much, much more.
2. Twitter creates the opportunity for brands to find and connect with new customers.
A great example of this is United Airline's (@United) current Twitter campaign offering special incentives to the first 10,000 twitterers who follow their account. @TrendTracker was one twitterer who took the bait. The result? To participate in the special offer, one had to have or open a frequent flyer account with United....And @TrendTracker did just that then. So Twitter can not only provide a forum for creating new connections to potential new customers, but it can even create the buzz to make it happen.
Want another example? Visit one of the many Dell computer Twitter accounts, such as @DellHomeOffers, to discover how they sold $1 million of additional wares thanks to their Twitter presence.
3. Twitter creates a critical listening post and damage-response base that brands ignore at their own peril.
You live and learn. Without belaboring it, one of the most glaring examples of the dangers of ignoring the Twitterverse was the failure of Domino's Pizza to quickly pick up on and respond to the buzz in the Twitterverse of a terrible brand attack by a couple despicable, now former, employees. Domino's ultimately succeeded in putting out the firestorm, but it would have had a better response if it had been listening to the social media buzz and sharing a home within the social media community. It is now doing both and doing both well. (Visit @dpzinfo)
4. Twitter is a community that shares.
Twitter is a community that shares -- just about everything and at lightening speeds. This can be good or bad: good if you're listening, have established credibility, and earned a tribe; bad if you are ignorning what is being said, have no presence and no tribe that will share your message when you need it most.
Brands that understand Twitter, get to be treated like an equal member of the community: they'll get important tips, they'll get to share their own message (yes, even when it's commercial in nature!), and they'll develop relationships that someone, somewhere will be able to quantify as an important return on the investment of listening and sharing in this incredible forum.
And if they listen and share in somewhat equal portions, there is no doubt that they will discover that their brand has gotten just a little bit better than the one they brought to the conversation....
For more thoughts on Social Media, follow @TrendTracker on Twitter.