Twitter: The New Vox Pop

Once upon a time, businesses and brands relied on experts for content and credibility. Professional movie critics were hired to give reviews and quotes for a commercial, sports analysis was limited to journalists and ex-players, and cars were rated by reputable magazines and associations. But a fundamental shift is occurring in the way major brands think about promoting their brand: they now have more access to the vox populi and they’re taking advantage. Have a look at these three videos:

All of these videos rely on tweets to promote their brand, or drive their conversation. Why?

There are plenty of reasons why a major brand would want to use the tweets of the people in their marketing/programming, but let’s have  a look at a few:

  1. It’s easy to access quickly, extremely inexpensive (virtually free), and updates in real-time
  2. People trust people more than they trust advertising, or even paid professionals
  3. Planting the idea in viewers’ heads that you’re listening (and better yet, publicizing your fans’ comments) encourages more engagement, which increases brand awareness and continues the ripple effect for longer than your average 30-second commercial.

This shift is great news for you as a small business owner because you can do this too. You may not have access to professional reviews or a big-name rating company, but if you leverage your social listening in the right way, you can leverage Twitter and the voice of your customers to help promote your business for next to nothing, while fostering more engagement and providing yourself with more content for the future. So what if you don’t have a TV commercial? Hang a tweet in your store window and credit the users’ Twitter handle. Take out an ad in your local paper and flood it with positive tweets about you. I guarantee it will draw someone’s eye and work more effectively than your traditional ad. You can even hang a small TV in your location and have it scroll tweets that people are writing!

The bottom line: Big brands are using Twitter in major advertising campaigns because they understand the power of the voice of the people. As a small business owner, this is great news for you, because you can follow suit. Always be listening and thinking of new and creative ways to leverage what people are saying about you online in a number of different capacities.

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