News is coming out of Kyrgyzstan today of a revolt. This is the first successful revolt that used Twitter. Apparently the Kyrgyzstan opposition leader’s Twitter account has been reporting the news to her followers as well as international press (hence a couple English tweets). An NPR reporter has created a Twitter list of people in Kyrgyzstan (translated) who are also talking about the events.
Although Twitter has been used in previous civil unrest- from the Iranian protests to dissent in Georgia (which, rumors say, lead to Russians attempting to shut down Twitter’s service)- this is Twitters first successful revolution.
It will probably not be the last. As Twitter grows in popularity, especially in non-Western countries, we can expect more. This is because Twitter offers:
- Efficient communication- If you can’t say it in 140 characters, is it worth saying? 140 characters can communicate a lot: just look at the Kyrgyzstan opposition leader’s tweets (translated)
- Mobile communication- You don’t have to be sitting at your computer to receive a tweet: you can get Twitter over your cell phone through your data plan or SMS.
- Nearly instant communication- With all the ways to connect to Twitter, you can receive these messages fairly quickly
- First hand communication- You can get information from people who are there, right now.
- Unfiltered communication- You choose who you follow so you get information from sources you trust.
These are the same things that make Twitter valuable for marketing.
- Efficient communication- People aren’t interested in reading your long explanation on why your product is superior. If you can’t say it in 140 characters, you’ve already lost your customer.
- Mobile communication- Why limit your marketing reach to people who are sitting at a computer? Social media is becoming the new Search Engine: people ask their networks about where they should eat, what movie they should see, or what doctor they recommend.
- Nearly instant communication- Sometimes I just want a quick answer to a question, and social networks can provide that from people I trust.
- First hand communication- Rather than a static web page telling me about a business or product, I can learn about it from someone who has used it themselves.
- Unfiltered communication- Rather than getting information from whatever website Google determines is giving me the right answer to my question, social networks help me get information from people I trust.
This is why if you are marketing anything, you need a presence on a social network like Twitter.
What do you think? Will we see more revolutions or civil unrest organized over Twitter? What does this say about the value of Twitter? Does Twitter have value outside of revolutions?
Leave your comments, below.