The learning curve with Twitter is much quicker than other online marketing methods. (Is that a mixed metaphor?) In addition marketers (especially SMB marketers) have more direct control over it than other tools (e.g., display, search marketing). Twitter reports that lots of small businesses are using it for online marketing purposes, without any direct encouragement from the company. That’s no surprise.
There have been a number of celebrated SMB marketing cases that are repeatedly discussed. For example, the Korean taco truck in LA and Naked Pizza in New Orleans. But there are many other examples. This past weekend I ran across another one (from last November): CoffeeGroundz, a local coffee house in Houston, TX:
Note: 6,082 followers. While many of those may be outside the cafe’s service area the community, brand building and customer loyalty dimensions of this cannot be denied or dismissed.
We’re also starting to see third parties (on behalf of SMBs) tap into Twitter; for example the UK’s Scoot directory.
Here’s a related article from the NY Times about online-centric SMBs and social networking.