There’s no party like a Twitter party
It's no secret that Twitter is a game-changer when it comes to making connections with customers on the web.
This chirpy micro-blogging site has plenty of obvious benefits – you can learn more about your target market, promote your content and foster better communication between staff members and customers, all with posts of 140 characters or less.
In fact, Twitter founder Biz Stone claimed that last weekend's record Super Bowl ratings were boosted by the social networking site.
How so? According to Stone, who appeared in an onstage interview at FM's Signal LA event this week, Twitter helps to create a shared experience among users. The shared experience of watching the big game with a host of other Twitter users is like going to a Super Bowl party – even if you didn't actually attend one.
This feeling of community can be generated in the business world as well. You might want to use Twitter to keep your subscribers – including colleagues, suppliers and potential and current customers – informed of your latest company news or point them in the direction of original content, such as blogs.
Or you might want to follow the example of Microsoft's Bing search engine, which recently offered snowboards as prizes to the top five respondents to tweets about its Sundance Film Festival coverage.
Incentives are another great way to do this. Amazon MP3 is just one company that offers free gifts, discounted products and voucher codes to its 1.5 million Twitter followers.
However, it is important that your social media marketing strategy is right for your target audience – this includes choosing the most effective platforms and the best mix of content for your organisation.