UPDATED 16:50 EDT / APRIL 21 2009

How Can Oprah Joining Twitter Help Me?

imageLast week, I talked a little bit about the effect of the “big O comin’ atcha on Twitter,” and since then Heather Hopkins has quantified the increase in traffic to Twitter since her visit to the site.

The Hitwise charts show a marked increase in traffic starting Friday of almost 25%, and also noted that the search term “oprah twitter” was the 35th highest term containing “Twitter” and the 7th highest containing “Oprah.”

This tells us just about everything most of us pundits expected out of the Oprah bump. So far Oprah hasn’t really begun fully utilizing the service, and if she remains interested in it, she’s likely still getting acclimated to what it can do for her.

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What can Oprah’s presence do for those of us that were familiar with the service already? Depends on who you are.  The biggest beneficiaries are going to be product and service brands that understand how Twitter can work for them. Those that are content producers also likely to see some significant advantages from this new influx of users.

Product and Service Brands
One thing we’ve learned not just from Oprah, but from Ashton, Demi, Britney and Obama’s usage of Twitter is that if you’ve got a significant following elsewhere, that will translate well to Twitter and amplify your efforts.  In a business sense, if people already have some brand familiarity with you, you can amplify that by connecting to them with Twitter.

If you’re relatively unknown, I think the lesson here is that Twitter is a great tool to cement what connections you do have and expect that your efforts to reach out to new users on Twitter will pay off in new leads and new customers.

Content Producers
The truth is that content itself does better than transactions on Twitter for the very simple reason that people in general (not to mention people on Twitter) are much more willing to spend their attention than their dollars.

It’s obviously not a great idea to completely overhaul your entire content production focus, but it’s also important to remember that you’re being exposed to a whole new potential audience now.  If you want to pull those new users into the fold, then your aim should be to introduce a regimen of viral and somewhat remedial content.

What do I mean by that?  How to style posts work well.  List / Resource posts are quite viral, particularly on Twitter. Gearing the type of content you typically produce but written for the audience of the uninitiated and curious will work best.


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