Last week Huffington Post rolled out its Twitter edition. Media, Politics, Business and Technology now have their own individual Twitter pages, each featuring a list of “notable tweeters.” Politics offers you national reporters and pundits. Media serves up personalities and media watchers. Business presents readers with insiders and analysts. The lists, aggregated by Huff Post, make it easy for you discover and follow a person, or grab an entire list.
For me there are a couple things worth noting. One, Twitter is rapidly becoming a serious business tool. It’s the new means of spreading and sharing content not only for individuals, but businesses and media channels. Two, Huffington Post’s beta experiment is a perfect model for any marketer or brand to emulate.
Consider that none of us can buy share of voice anymore (the Internet is infinite); that consumers and communities prefer to connect with real people rather than logos (think Zappos, Martha Stewart or even Gary Vaynerchuk); and that everyone wants to create and participate (that includes many of your employees); and it seems this is an ideal opportunity for any company.
Last November this Razorfish study concluded that while most people fan or follow a brand in hopes of receiving an offer, nearly 23 percent do so in anticipation of relevant content and information. Think about that. On the web, in social media, your product is not only the content you create, but the content you share.
Sure you can blog, carefully tag your bookmarks and make them available, but why not do a version of what Huffington Post did? Curate or aggregate relevant streams of Twitter content – from employees, customers, or suppliers – and make them easily accessible to your community.
You can categorize them. Organize them by subject. Even track how many people follow the lists, giving you a sense of whether or not you’re offering useful, RT-able content.
Think about how you use Twitter yourself – as the ideal filtering system to find content and links that make you smarter, save you time, and connect you to new people worth knowing. Doing the same for your community and customers could be a valuable service worth offering. As Clay Shirky once said, the problem isn’t that we have too much information, it’s that we need better filtering systems. Why not create one?