Twitter is all the rage now. In the past week alone I’ve seen it emerge as the cover story of business magazines, mention during news broadcasts and continual mention by colleagues. It doesn’t take long before you have hundreds if not thousands of “followers”. How you use Twitter, or any other social network, will determine whether the time you invest in social marketing will be meaningful to you and your business.
So can there be a real-world value and ROI to social networking and your integrated marketing plan?
I have personally have engaged in discussion with businesses throughout US and Canada, resulting in strategic partnership and new business for my search engine & internet marketing firm.
…all of which were initiated via Twitter!
But there is more to Twitter mania, especially if geographic marketing plays any role in how you proactively market your business.
Just as we did in traditional marketing before the internet (yup, I’m that old), geographic targeting can be extremely valuable in determining whether a medium will reach target audiences. Twitter Map solutions, in theory, could be used much in the same way to build and deploy an effective social marketing strategy.
Although very early in development, I anticipate the integration of social media, mapping and marketing will become far more sophisticated and meaningful to the marketing mix – soon!
There are currently a variety of applications and websites that allow you to find, map and track your Tweeps for a more meaningful dialogue.
Here are just a few current Twitter mapping applications to check out for viability from a marketing, networking and sales perspective:
Map your tweets! This application lets you tell Twitter followers where you are, where you’ve travelled, places to go and things to do, even share news around you – as it’s happening.
This application could be useful for event promotions, travel and hospitaility marketing, blogging, professional clubs and associations, chambers of commerce, the list goes on. If you’re on the move and want people to know…this could be a great way to leverage that Twitter account.
offers a similar solution that integrates Google Maps with Twitter profiles and recent tweets. You can type in a location and view Tweeters by city, state, zip code, even street name. It doesn’t appear to refresh in real time, however if you are interested in learning where the Twitter population is in any given geographic location, Twittermap could be an interesting tool.
This is basically what it sounds like…a visual display of Tweets by displaying them from their geographic location. This website offers a cool worldwide perspective of Twitter and doesn’t offer much control, but is interesting to see, so I’ve included it.
Offers a similar experience to Twittervision with scrolling Tweets. It does offer a filter by Twitter profile, location, etc, which is a little clunky, but interesting. This would become much more interesting for business, marketing and networking if it offered you the ability to integrate your Followers without having to follow your Tweeps, one at a time. (which you can do on Twitter much more easily)…we’ll see where this one goes.
Twitter Grader is a ranking site that “grades” Tweeters within any geogrphical profile you enter. You can view entire Twitterdom, by country, state, or city. By entering the Twitter user name you get the score, profile, view the “tweet cloud” (keywords reflecting tweet topics), and other interesting data. By entering city, you can view the top Twitter users in any area, identifying potential strategic partners as influencers, people to follow, or as competition to overcome.
The best way to use social marketing mapping tools to support business goals is to first build a social marketing strategy and use the data to support those efforts.
Another way to leverage Twitter and mapping is to add a Twitter Google Map Mashup on your website. This is an entirely different discussion for a future entry!
How will you use Twitter Maps for marketing, networking and business development?
Mention in these solutions is not an endorsement of these solutions. I encourage you to check them out to determine whether they might be of value to you.