The early bird catches the news: Nine things you should know about micro-blogging
Micro-blogs (e.g., Twitter, Jaiku, Plurk, Tumblr) are starting to become an established category within the general group of social media. Yet, while they rapidly gain interest among consumers and companies alike, there is no evidence to explain why anybody should be interested in an application that is limited to the exchange of short, 140-character text messages. To this end, our article intends to provide some insight. First, we demonstrate that the success of micro-blogs is due to the specific set of characteristics they possess: the creation of ambient awareness; a unique form of push-push-pull communication; and the ability to serve as a platform for virtual exhibitionism and voyeurism. We then discuss how applications such as Twitter can generate value for companies along all three stages of the marketing process: pre-purchase (i.e., marketing research); purchase (i.e., marketing communications); and post-purchase (i.e., customer services). Finally, we present a set of rules—The Three Rs of Micro-Blogging: Relevance; Respect; Return—which companies should consider when relying on this type of application.
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