TwitHawk ‘Developers Doin’ it Right?’ Maybe…

Twitter, the popular microblogging social media site, has undoubtedly become a successful marketing tool for many individuals and businesses out there.  It allows resource sharing, promotion of timely services/products/information, branding, networking and much more.  So what’s up with TwitHalk?

Well, it’s Twitter’s relatively new targeted marketing engine developed by Chris Duell.  In the article, “Developers Doin’ it Right: Chris Duell of TwitHawk,” by Jason on oneforty.com, Duell said his intention was to “…create something that would put the tweet right in front of the people you want to see it, and have a simple and time saving way to find new leads.”  He wanted a more specific way of finding an audience on Twitter, so that’s just what he did.  TwitHawk is a paid ($.05 per tweet) targeted marketing engine that allows you to find an audience based on topic and location.  And after already reaching 250,000 tweets, Duell must have done something right!

This video, shared in the blog, “Twitter Pay-Per-Click? My Review Of TwitHawk,” by Jon Ochs, shows how to navigate TwitHawk as well as some very positive aspects of the marketing tool.

As Ochs demonstrated in the video, you have the option to manually send the message rather than having Twitter automatically deliver it.  Though he recommended auto send, I don’t.

I like the example that Guy Kawasaki used in his blog, “TwitterHalk: No Guts, No Story,” to show how automatically sending a message based on keywords could be problematic.  Basically, he said that if you are an Audi dealership trying to acquire new business from people tweeting about an Audi, you wouldn’t want your tweet ending up with someone who posted a message saying how many problems their Audi gave them and how happy they are to have gotten rid of it.  This shows how easy it is to completely miss the target audience if you’re not careful.

Another blogger, Len Gutman, experienced a negative side of TwitHawk when he received a political message via this new engine.  Gutman said in his blog, “From the ‘know your audience’ files…” that he felt “a little violated by TwitHalk.”  He said that just because he was in the particular politician’s district at the time certainly does not mean he lives there.  Plus, how does that politician know he agrees?  As previously mentioned, this annoyance could be caused by automatically sending out messages without reviewing them.

I can see how TwitHawk could be used in a many beneficial way by individuals and companies alike, but I do think you should use it with caution.  Once you annoy an audience, the likelihood of being listened to is slim.

What do you think about this, and/or how do you think it could be improved?

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5 Responses to TwitHawk ‘Developers Doin’ it Right?’ Maybe…

  1. bajohn10 says:

    Thanks for the great information about TwitHawk. I was unaware of this new technology, but it seems like it has already garnered substantial popularity. The video link you posted was helpful in understanding how this service works.

    I think this article serves as a testament for how well Twitter is used as a marketing tool. TwitHawk is a method of improving upon and developing Twitter’s reach and impact, which I would assume will only help Twitter grow as a company.

    I think TwitHawk has great potential because it is looking into more direct messaging. Right now, Twitter is only effective if people are taking the time to read, and acknowledge the messages that apply to them. This way, people can receive offers and notifications that apply to their specific needs and interests.

  2. pperryve says:

    I definitely see the thin line that needs to be walked with this. TwitHawk could easily be disregarded as spam. This would completely undermine its existence, because isn’t the point to target an audience as opposed to the “see what sticks” method? It sounds like an interesting tool, but you’re right, it’s still important to avoid putting it on autopilot and review the audience first.

  3. lrstarr says:

    It’s unfortunate that yet another social media outlet has been overtaken by marketers. What Twitter failes to realize is that tools of this nature, that over-extend their message somewhat blindly, will only force users to look elsewhere for their social media fix. To the user, it lessens the appeal of the site as a whole. As pperryve said, there is an extremely fine line between the informative and spam in the Internet realm. Users are now more educated, experienced and spam-conscious — they’ll see right through the ploy.

  4. jmjohn27 says:

    I think this is a very useful tool from many different standpoints. PR professionals can use this in crisis management plans to inform a more specific audience; people who are more likely to be interested/concerned with the issue at hand. From a marketing perspective, this opens the world of Twitter in a way that was unobtainable before. Now, businesses can send Tweets to specifically targeted audiences without the people having to go look for it themselves. This is amazing! I am going to introduce this and find a way to make this work for my internship!

  5. clangefe says:

    TwitHawk is definitely a great tool for PR if it is used the right way.

    It’s convenient that it can seek out a target audience for you, however, I think it is necessary to use the automatic function. There’s too much room for error and sending the message to the wrong people wouldn’t be useful anyway. I think someone could just as easily use the information given to them by TwitHawk and make sure the message is in fact getting to their target audience, not just anyone mentioning the name of the company.

    It’s definitely exciting to see new ways social media can be used in the professional world and it really proving that social media is here to stay and is in fact a great way to reach an audience.

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