Just how hot is Twitter?
Social media is increasing at an enormous rate. Over the past four years, the percentage of people who use social media has grown from 8 percent to 46 percent, and the expectations for 2010 are even greater.
Twitter, for example, is experiencing “very, very, very rapid growth,” according to Cynthia Barstow, president of Seed to Shelf, a social-media marketing consulting firm for sustainable companies.
In the Social Media Savvy for Seafood seminar at the International Boston Seafood Show on Tuesday, Barstow and Daniele Mathras, both of Seed to Shelf, and one of their clients, Cynthia Fisher of Bar Harbor Seafoods, provided insights on how companies can maximize Twitter.
The most successful tweets include links to blogs, Facebook pages and news articles. The people who are followed the most are the one who post the most interesting information and provide links to other outlets, said Barstow. And while consumers are on Facebook in bigger numbers, companies are using Twitter more often.
“My opinion on this is because consumers have accepted Twitter as a means of engaging with their brands. There is more of an acceptance of companies on Twitter versus Facebook. We have not found a very significant ROI for sales, because the truth is that the very best means for social media is to change relationships with consumers and enhance your brand,” said Barstow.
“We have seen that setting specific measurable objectives is the key to a successful Twitter campaign,” she added. “Then you know what it is you are trying to accomplish. You can analyze whether or not you’ve met those objectives, and you can either redirect your content or start another objective. To just start tweeting or posting, you can be very random about it and then you won’t know what you’ve actually accomplished.”
It is also just as important to figure out who in your industry you need to be following. Following the right people in your industry can build credibility and relationships, said Mathras.
“You need to know who is re-tweeting you, then go back to their pages and find out who’s following them,” added Fisher. “Make sure the movers and shakers are aware of you. You’re 6 degrees away from not just the food universe, but the entire universe. You need to make sure the business minded people as well as the foodies are aware of you.”