Like many of you who regularly visit this blog (over 6,000 now—thank you!) I have spent countless hours reading about, researching, and experimenting with Twitter over the last few months. My goal is to answer one simple question: “Can this technology be used to make a positive impact, financial or otherwise, on a small company?” This post will act as Part II in a series of posts focusing on real, results-driven business uses for Twitter. In the first part of this series I outlined Twitter’s benefits related to growing your company’s internal database. Here in Part II, I will continue with a road map for using Twitter to smooth out your web site’s inconsistent traffic patterns.
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Real-World Twitter Benefit #2: It Can Smooth Out Your Website Traffic
Anyone who runs a traffic dependent website designed around lead generation or a shopping cart lives and dies daily with the ups and downs of their website traffic. I still remember the inconsistency of my first three months like it was yesterday: 2 visitors on Monday, 31 on Tuesday, zero on Wednesday and Thursday, 15 on Friday, and so on. For me, this irregularity was mostly an inconvenience. But if I were running a lead generation or e-commerce site, the emotional and financial stress would have been much more painful.
By offering an easy, immediate and inexpensive (read: FREE) way to drive people to a website, Twitter can help level out your traffic during off-peak periods. If you are running a legitimate small business whose goal is to generate sales inquiries or drive people to a shopping cart, averaging three to four attention-grabbing Tweets per week is plenty. Why not send them during otherwise off-peak times? For example, if your website generates 80% of its overall traffic Friday thru Monday, why not lean on your loyal Twitter followers to pick up the slack during the otherwise slow middle of the week?
Although attractive perks in their own right, Twitter’s ability to level out web traffic lies not with ease of use or cost, but with the unique ability it gives companies to control the timing of marketing messages. Using free services like Tweet Later, companies of any size can literally decide down to the second when they want marketing messages delivered to customers—which, in turn, gives companies control over WHEN their customers visit the site. Is this Internet thing cool or what?
The fact is, healthy websites don’t have dry spells or bad weeks—and they don’t take 50% of their monthly traffic in a single afternoon. Healthy websites have consistent traffic patterns which allow their owners to do things like trend analysis, revenue prediction and market research. Although Twitter won’t smooth out all of your website’s traffic bumps, many companies large and small are learning it can definitely help.
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