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How can real-time business strategy work in the Twitter age?

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Social media networks including Twitter and Facebook can be used as a valuable tool for businesses to connect with customers, but in the same breath, it can also be used to destroy a firm's reputation with immediate effect.

However, with the rapid access to information that the Internet now offers, can businesses use this to their advantage? This kind of so-called "real-time" marketing not only has to keep up with the social landscape, but produce quality content if it is going to be effective.

If a valuable message reaches the right consumers, then this in turn may engage them enough to prompt sharing or discussion. This can then spread virally, which will reach more potential customers than a standard press release -- and may end up in the laps of the consumer market you're aiming for.

Social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, allow this to happen. But how? The Washington Post writes that creating original content, including articles and videos, often yield high results -- if you think about how viral T-Mobile's Royal Wedding became, this seems to ring true. In addition, creating newsfeeds that include brand-representative, up-to-date information can be effective.

If you are going to try and develop an audience in real-time, you must also have the tools behind it, including analytics and a strong staff base that are on-hand to monitor the web and be available for customer queries.

This kind of social environment is a new phenomenon, and businesses are still feeling their way around how best to participate and control it. However, remaining professional is of course key -- unless you want to end up like these firms.

Via: Washington Post

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— By on March 22, 2013, 2:22 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure