November 22, 2007

Twitter for business

Twitter is at the same time a communication channel and a social network.

After using Twitter several months now and watching the discussion on Twitter in the blogosphere, on forums, within Linkedin Questions and Answers, I would like to present my 2 cents how the two purposes of Twitter can be used in a business context.

Distinction has to be made between the usage of Twitter by a company and the usage of Twitter by a professional, an individual in a professional context.

Opportunities for companies to consider Twitter

  • publish links to interesting information published by the company: e.g. company info, but also news feeds, weather feeds
  • use Twitter as a backchannel to collect feedback e.g. on products and services of the company or on presentations during an event
  • promote services or products
  • announce deals & opportunities
  • improve ranking of company websites in search results of search engines

Opportunities for indivuals working for companies to consider Twitter
  • publish links to information you've published elsewhere, e.g. on your blog
  • expand your network
  • listen to what other professionals in your domain are twittering
  • increase your market value by showing your knowledge, experience, vision, ... on specific work-related subjects
  • improve your ranking in search results of search engines

November 7, 2007


Twitterposter's purpose is to visually represent the degree of influence that Twitter users have, where influence is measured as the number of followers.

There was initially only a global picture, afterwards several localized versions per country were launched : United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Taiwan, China, Netherlands, Mexico, Philippines, Argentina, Singapore.

Twitterposter - only launched very recently, the URL was registered on October 29, 2007 - got in a very short time a lot of attention in the blogosphere : 264 saves in - the first one only on November 1, 457 blog reactions according to Technorati, traffic rank 20,631 according to Alexa.

The reactions on Twitterposter are mixed. Some find it very interesting, other however are less positive.

Mashable : TwitterPoster: Useless But Cool : It is an interesting way to spend a few minutes, and survey who the heavy hitters are in the Twittersphere

TechCrunch : Twitter Poster Is Pretty, But Probably Not Much Else : It’s a pretty mashup, but the usefulness of it isn’t clear. I’ve already seen folks on Twitter talking about why some people have bigger profile pictures than others, and how they can change this, so it might have the potential of becoming a Technorati-style top list for Twitter users, but aside from this its just nice eye candy.

I have to agree, the pictures are pretty and their usefulness seems rather limited.

I see one major problem. The pictures are based on incomplete data, especially the pictures for the individuals countries. The least popular Twitter account on the Twitterposter picture for the Netherlands - containing 304 Dutch Twitter users - has four followers. In the state of the Dutch twitosphere published on this blog on August 22 I already reported that there were over 2000 Twitter accounts in the Netherlands. The 304th Twitter user in the Twitterfacts list compiled in August 2007 had already 30 followers ...

November 5, 2007

Twitter Trends

I just had a look at the information Google Trends presents for search argument "Twitter".

There is a sharp increase for search volume around March/April 2007, followed by a stabilization from June 2007. For news items there is also a sharp increase around March/April 2007. The volume of news shows however a declining trend.

Google Trends also presents interesting additional information.

Region : Japan and Taiwan on top, USA only in fourth place
Cities : top 4 locations in Japan, followed by Taipei, Taiwan, first US location is San Francisco
Languages : Japanese is by far the most frequently used language.

Does this indicate that Twitter is a big hit in Japan and Taiwan, and less successful in the USA ?

Compared to two rivals - Pownce and Jaiku (recently bought by Google) - Twitter is getting a higher search volume. Furthermore Google Trends does not report news items for Jaiku and Pownce. These observations from Google Trends indicate that Twitter could be far more popular than Pownce and Jaiku.