Whilst still trying to learn what I need to leverage my use of Twitter I am amazed at its now epidemic like growth. I am sure it is well beyond the Tipping Point and may well be providing enough material for a new book by Malcolm Gladwell.
It seems to me that there are two key factors in this rate of growth
1. The adoption of Twitter as a medium for Celebrities as a medium to communicate directly with fans. Lance Armstrong is one of many examples. Cycling affecianados have followed his return to Cycling via his regular Twitter updates.
When he came to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under he added thousands to his fan base including SA Premier Mike Rann and Tourism Minister Jane Lomax Smith. His tweeting about the delights of his time in South Australia now has the Premier and Minister using Twitter.
There are now more than 200,000 following him (he follows only 43 thought) most of whom he has introduced to Twitter I suspect.
When his Time Trail bike was stolen recently his first action was putting out an APB to the Twitterati see below…
The list of celebrities using Twitter to stay in touch is growing rapidly across a diverse range of ages and now includes – Britney Spears, Stephen Fry, Shaquille O’Neill, Al Gore, John Cleese, MC Hammer, William Shatner – all have more than 100,000 followers.
2. The use of Twitter by companies large, medium and small to connect and rapidly respond to consumers needs/issues/recommendations and toi promote special offers etc .
Some of the big brands to embrace Twitter include
Whole Foods Market asks what their clients like to read and watch, recommends new food podcasts and invites them to the company upcoming events.
HRBlock runs ask-and-answer sessions with their customers.
Starbucks posts new offers and also participates in threaded discussions of these offers with their Twitter-followers.
So why has Twitter grown so rapidly? It has been introduced to millions by brands/people they trust and has provided them with value.
So once again its a trusted brand combined with value adding to build consumer demand and support.