Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices

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Running head: A Case Study of Best Public Relations and Marketing Practices on Twitter

Twitter: A Case Study of Best Practices Sergio Castaneda Communication 498 University Of Illinois at Chicago Spring 2010

Introduction

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices Twitter has become an undeniably important facet of communication in the current digital age. Since its inception many people have used Twitter as a means to communicate with friends, people and companies from across the world. Interestingly, Twitter lends itself to multiple forms of communication. Besides the aforementioned forms of interpersonal communication, Twitter also serves as a platform for mass communication. Celebrities, companies and other public entities have seen Twitter’s potential as a form of disseminating information to a mass audience simultaneously. Because of its ease of use and growing level of popularity, Twitter has become an important outlet for public relations practitioners as a way of reaching and connecting with their publics. It is estimated that one in five internet users are now

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on Twitter (Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2009). Along the same vein of newspapers, radio and television, Twitter has now become an avenue for sharing information on a mass level for many people. The purpose of this case study is to explore ways in which this is happening. There are two main underlying motivations for this case study. From a personal standpoint, I want to further explore the way that public relations and marketing operate in a digital media landscape. As a potential career path, I want to be able to study the practical aspects of this field as it is happening today. This in turn will help me further advance my understanding of public relations as a career. At the same time, this would allow me to present my case study as a way of showing a working understanding of this practice to potential employers. Furthermore, this case study contributes to the scholarly literature about public relations in the 21st century. This topic is applicable to the communication research because Twitter is a form of new media and thus has an ongoing importance in our field. An important starting point for creating discussion about the Twitter phenomenon is by examining Twitter’s impact today. A report by The Hubspot organization entitled “State of the Twittersphere”, (2010) specifically analyzes Twitter’s users and how they utilize the service. As

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of January 2010 Twitter had approximately 5 million users. The report states that while Twitter’s growth has slowed in the recent months, the users that remain are more dedicated and avid users of the service. This slowing rate of growth would indicate that Twitter’s diffusion as a technology is approaching the “Late-Majority—Laggards” phase, according to Everett Rogers theory of how new technology spreads. This point would seem to be corroborated by the report’s assertion that many of Twitter’s 5 million users have now become more engaged and involved with the service. Additionally a report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project (2009) found that the median age of Twitter users is 31. This gives interesting insight into the potential of Twitter. Most Twitter users are adults who are at a point where they have a stable job and high amounts of disposable income. Twitter provides an underlying and untapped market audience for companies who can reach this purchasing power in a new way. Other entities have noticed Twitter’s potential. Late last year, Google announced that they would begin to index tweets into their search engine results. (Google Blog, 2009). This resurgence of attention on Twitter proves its importance as a communication tool on the internet. Users who search for corporations’ names and related keywords on Google will now be exposed to their tweets. This creates a potential new audience for these companies. Their impact of their tweets is now more significant than ever and the way that they attempt to connect with their audiences on Twitter merits further examination.

Literature Review As a rather recent emergence in the field of communication research, there is not a great deal of previous study on Twitter. The few studies and research that have previously examined Twitter are somewhat limited in their results because there are few other studies to compare them

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices to. The uses and effects of Twitter are still not completely figured out and adapted by the

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population at large. This project aims to be a more practical examination of the ways that Twitter is being used today. This required focusing the background research for this project on a more practical examination of the way that Twitter is used as opposed to a more an academic focus. In order to better examine and understand the effects of Twitter, I decided to expand my background research to broader advertising, marketing and social media literature that has been previously studied and well-established. In addition to this I also looked at some other literature by media scholars regarding the Twitter phenomenon. Overarching Categorizations of Twitter Users A study by Java et al entitled “Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities” (2007) offered another introspective look at Twitter users. Similarly to the Hubspot report, their project provided a number of characteristics and trends about Twitter users. Their study focused mainly on the everyday Twitter user (as opposed to corporations and entities). However, their findings on user intentions and user categorizations (pp. 7-8) are related to this case study. The findings of Java et al suggest that Twitter users’ utilize the service with four main intentions in mind: daily chatter, conversations, sharing information or URLs and reporting news. These users can be further categorized by their use of the service. The four main user categories of Twitter users are: information source, friends and information seekers (pp. 78). With the exception of information seeker (a category marked by rare updates), it is likely that most companies fall within one of those categories. Information seeker is unlikely given the fact that many companies intentionally use Twitter to communicate with their audiences. If companies want to connect with their publics they do so by building an online presence. An inactive Twitter feed is unappealing for most people and shows disconnect between the user and the medium. The other categories and user intentions will most likely be seen in the Twitter users

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices I will examine. All of them represent the cornerstones of what Twitter is about. Thus companies

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that understand their audience and adapt their Twitter account to connect with that audience will most likely encompass one of these broad categories. New Forms of Marketing in the Web 2.0 Era At the start of the last decade, many communication scholars realized that the internet would create a groundbreaking change in the way that we live. Many books were written that promised to change the way that marketing itself would take place. In 2001, Seth Godin, a marketing scholar wrote a book titled Unleashing The Ideavirus. Despite being written a few years before the emergence of Twitter, this book presented compelling marketing ideas that can be applied to way that companies use Twitter today. In essence he discusses how ideas, which can come in the form of products, songs are the currency of the future (pp. 24). It is important to recognize this because “Today there are more early adopters than ever before” (pp. 42). In other words people want products that are appealing and important to them. Today there is too much noise and crowding in the marketplace of ideas. This means that when something truly revolutionary emerges, more people are more likely to adopt it. “The time that it takes for an idea to circulate is approaching zero” (pp. 24). It is important to note that the emergence of Twitter is not an isolated occurrence. Twitter combines the ideas of blogs and status updates from social networking sites and packages these two concepts within a 140 character limit post. Thus referring to older literature on online networking and applying the same concepts to Twitter shows how these phenomena build upon each other. With instant and mobile communication tools like Facebook and Twitter gaining extensive notoriety proves that Godin’s predictions were in fact extremely accurate.

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices Beyond that, there are special considerations that have to be applied as marketers and advertisers adapt to the changes that technology is bringing to their field. More and more we are

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seeing a trend where traditional advertising it losing its effectiveness. As Godin states in another of his books, Free Prize Inside (2004), “Just because you have money doesn’t mean you can trade it for attention by buying advertising. Consumers have learned how to ignore (traditional advertising)”. (pp. 6). Once again, Twitter provides a viable alternative to overcome this hurdle. Because users of Twitter seek out the sources that are of special interest to them, it means that advertisers already have some of their attention through this avenue. Finding and obtaining the best practices to connect with consumers becomes the question as we continue to expand our presence in this online field. Specifically figuring out how to adapt the notion of the free prize and adapting that with a marketing and public relations strategy which will make consumers happy, while at the same time making a company profitable. Seth Godin’s books provide a practical understanding of how to use marketing combined with newly emerging forms of social media. Given that many companies have large followings on Twitter, using this form of communication effectively makes Twitter a mass communication outlet. Moving on from Seth Godin’s broad discussion of marketing in this new age, we come to Kaye Sweetser who has published more recent literature about regarding to harness the power of Twitter to reach audiences. In her blog, So This Is Mass Communication, she details ingenious concepts of how use Twitter and other forms of social media. Combining her conclusions with Godin’s ideas create a starting point for creating a practical understanding for the best uses of Twitter. Twitter-specific Best Practices and Suggestions

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices There are some scholars who have started to figure out the best ways in which entities should use Twitter for creating optimal relationships between companies and their publics. In a post titled “Twitter Best Practices” (posted September 1, 2009) Kaye Sweetser discusses practical guidelines for companies to keep in mind when they are posting on Twitter. In essence her guidelines boil down to simple tips that companies should keep in mind for ease of use and identification, simplicity, recognition and approachability. When companies use Twitter as a form of public relations they should keep in mind the characteristics that make Twitter so appealing for users in the first place. Since users are able to choose whether they want to get exposed to the companies’ messages they can just as easily choose to ignore them or un-follow them. Therefore, maintaining a human and approachable quality to Tweets is quite possibly the most important advice to keep in mind. Doing so will get customers to pay attention and even trust the companies as they post tweets. Although, customers are tuning out traditional forms of advertisements, using Twitter as a way of providing them with information applicable to their needs companies can ensure that customers keep them in mind when it they need a service. Some other important reminders that she states are simple but effective. For example using the company’s logo as a default picture. Having a user name that is reflective of the company, which in turn would make their posts more likely to be re-tweeted and linked. Twitter should become a medium for fostering direct interaction between companies and their publics. Therefore when companies go on Twitter, they should make an effort to respond to comments,

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post continually and keep their Tweets relevant to their companies and their consumers. Another important consideration to keep in mind is to use Twitter for posting links. This helps the company’s website gain search optimization. As an added incentive, links that get tweeted automatically get turned into bit.ly links, which allows the sender to keep track of how those links spread throughout the internet.

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices This is some of the literature that is available for analyzing Twitter as a marketing and public relations tool. By connecting the broad ideas from Seth Godin with the practical and contemporary tips of Kaye Sweetser, a broader understanding for the Twitter phenomenon is

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possible. Twitter is a multi-faceted social networking site. Although marketing is not its primary component, Twitter has proved to be a beneficial avenue to pursue when people are trying to reach consumers. The focus of this paper now turns to examining how five different companies use Twitter and whether and how they adapt to the previously discussed ideas and literature. Methods For a period of two weeks I followed five popular entities on Twitter: CNN, Microsoft, Flat Top Grill, Barack Obama and Zappos. I picked these five specific corporations and entities in order to gather a diverse sample of Twitter uses based on size, type of service and interpersonal interactions. Three of these entities are in the list of Top 200 Twitter users, (according to Twitterholic.com). Microsoft and Flat Top Grill have smaller but dedicated fan bases. I followed them before this case study thus their use of Twitter seemed interesting enough to further study and analyze. Their Twitter follower bases are varied but relatively large (ranging from 56,000 to 3 million followers). During this two-week time period I examined the content of their tweets and what other information they contained. This included but was not limited to: links (to their own website or another), hashtags, company information (trivia, or news release), sales pitches or answers to customers’ questions or concerns, or other direct customer interaction. These observations were tracked on a spreadsheet (a total of five, one per account, see Appendix). Results & Discussion

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices All five Tweeter feeds were tracked for of two-week period, spanning late January through mid February 2010. During that time, six observation categories were the main tracking

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points for compiling data. These categories were all applicable to Twitter and other social media outlets, with a couple that were Twitter-specific. These included: • A link in the message (tweet), and whether this link directed the user to the entity’s website or another. • • • • • A hashtag included in the tweet. Information related to the entity (in the form of trivia or a news release) Tweet was an advertisement or solicitation for a sale. Tweet was a re-tweet, or did it include any other @ mentions Direct forms of interactions with their publics (re-tweets, answering questions, or any other mentions). I will now discuss each individual Twitterer and the trends and patters observed regarding their use of Twitter.

CNN (@CNN) Significant findings: • • • • • Links to their own website: 96% of tweets. Links to external websites: 3% of tweets. Re-tweets (other CNN sources on Twitter): 21% User Intent Category: Sharing information/URLs and reporting news User Category: information source

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CNN has a fairly active Twitter feed. The vast majority of their tweets were headlines of important or noteworthy news stories. Along with a small blurb of the topic of the story, 96% of tweets included a link that re-directs the viewer to their website to read the full story. Some of their Tweets also linked to their blogs (again found on CNN.com). The few re-tweets that this feed had (21% of all tweets from sample) were usually from another one of CNN’s accounts, or from their correspondents. Not surprisingly CNN wants to stick with their own vast network and array of news outlets. This small-scale synergy is manifested on their Twitter feeds and it is a clear attempt by CNN to drive traffic to their website. The way that CNN is using Twitter goes directly with the same advice that Kaye Sweetser discussed. By keeping their Tweets short and simple CNN ensures that their content is easily spread and shared throughout Twitter. This means that some of their followers (almost one million) will be compelled to click on their links and visit their website. Beyond this, it is possible that the many more users who will see the retweets and @ mentions also become potential site visitors. Based on my observations it seems that CNN uses their Twitter outlets as a gateway for their website. In many ways the manner in which they use their headlines on Twitter is akin to headlines on a newspaper. They are meant to draw people in and entice them to read the entire article. Given that CNN’s main outlet is their cable channel, it would seem like their use of Twitter should be part of a strategy to maintain or increase their viewership. An area of concern with this feed is their constant updates. I counted up to ten Tweets in one day. This is somewhat concerning in terms of how many people are actually paying attention to the constant Tweets and how many people are ignoring their status updates because there is simply too many of them. It could be possible that CNN is hoping to attract the right viewer at the right time with the right news story. However CNN does not seem to make an effort to use Twitter as an interpersonal communication platform. Instead they rely on it more as a portal. Given their large follower base,

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every time they post a news item it becomes a potential way to start conversations. CNN has not yet adopted Twitter for this purpose. Used right, this practice could allow CNN to interact with their audience directly. Based on their popularity and reputation interacting with people one on one when it comes to the news could be an innovative avenue of interaction that CNN could pursue. Twitter users to continue that conversation and spread their content for many more users to see their content seems to be effective. Despite of this, CNN’s dual approach of driving traffic to their website by communicating the day’s stories allows CNN to continue to be an important news source for people in this Web 2.0 platform. Microsoft (@Microsoft) Significant findings: • • • • • • Links to own website: 63% of tweets Links to external websites: 36% of tweets News releases: 27% of tweets Trivia about company: 12% of tweets User Intent Category: Sharing information/URLs and some reporting news User Category: Information Source Microsoft also has a highly active Twitter feed. Their Tweets are a mix of trivia, practical information for Windows users and occasional news releases (36% based on sample). Like CNN, their Tweets were mostly headlines with an added link to a full article or blog posting. The vast majority of links (63%) were to a Microsoft-related blog (blogs varied from a broad company blog, to a specialized blog linked to their search engine Bing). Twitter served as a form of gatekeeping, Microsoft uses Twitter to drive people to their website to show them certain information. In addition, they also posted to other content not created by Microsoft. Most of this

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices content usually was usually related to other companies and organizations complementing Microsoft and their products. Another unexpected but positive find from their feed was that Microsoft would sometimes post information to free software upgrades (this was recorded as “news releases” for tracking: 27% of tweets). This harks back to Godin’s notion of the “free

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prize inside”, Microsoft is looking to provide additional value for their users by giving them free things. This value is not limited to the free things that they give away but in the way that they do so. Users who do not have PowerPoint will see upgrades like this and thus see an intrinsic value. This link not only provided a download, but also showed some examples of the ways that people could use their new backgrounds in PowerPoint. It would seem as though Microsoft’s strategy is to garner and maintain users by giving them an occasional free upgrade. By providing them with practical examples on how to use their freebie, it is likely that their efforts are focused on creating and keeping customer loyalty. Thus they will continue to buy their software as opposed to switching to other alternatives. Microsoft’s Twitter feed main goal is to show Windows users why their operating system is the best and what they can do with it. It seems that an area that this feed lacks in is attracting potential new customers. For example, a good thing for them to do would be to link to Microsoft fan blogs and foster a discussion of why Windows is a better operating system than their competitors. If they were to take an initiative to link to other content besides their own, it would make their Twitter presence much more human and approachable. This approach could be a potential way to spark conversations about Microsoft and keep their name continually appearing in Twitter. Instead of shying away from debate and taking a stab at their competitors, Microsoft should take a more proactive step in joining the debate of Windows versus Apple. Beyond this, their interpersonal customer interactions on Twitter were surprisingly lacking, none of their tweets were interpersonal interactions. They strayed away from connecting with their consumers

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on a direct basis. Unlike the Twitter feeds of other corporations, which engage and connect with people directly, Microsoft uses their feed mainly to showcase content. Increasing interactions like these would help Microsoft’s presence on Twitter, and it would allow them to be perceived as a more amicable and engaging Twitter user. Flat Top Grill (@flattopgrill) Significant findings: • • • • • Interpersonal interactions: 86% of tweets Links to own site: 7% of tweets News Releases: 14% of tweets User Intent Category: Conversations and some sharing information/URLs User Category: Friends Unlike Microsoft, the Twitter feed of Flat Top Grill is highly active in terms of direct engagement with customers. Almost all of their tweets were direct interactions with customers or their conversations about Flat Top on Twitter. A contributing factor of this might be that their Twitter follower base is the smallest out of the five samples for this case study. One notable tweet from my observations was their response to a customer’s question regarding whether they offered coupons. Their response was an explanation about their birthday club, which provides a free meal on the customers’ birthday and a link for them to sign up for it. This is a perfect example of Twitter’s dual functions as a communication tool. It not only serves as a method of interpersonal communication between companies and their publics individually, but also as a form of mass communication. They engage their customers by giving the original user an answer to their question and their entire follower base by showing why their company provides them a

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good value. By re-tweeting questions from their customers they not only answer their questions, but they answer the same questions that many other customers may have had. Beyond this their Twitter feed was mostly directed to interaction with their customers. They asked some broad participatory questions (“What are your favorite sauces?”). They also had plenty of re-tweeting tweets that had praises on their restaurants and food. A couple of their tweets were also answering a few customers’ questions as well as giving birthday wishes to customers. Overall, Flat Top is making great strides in enabling their use of Twitter as a way for furthering conversations. Their Twitter feed acts as a catalyst for this; their constant re-tweeting of praises and interaction with their followers make them seem less like a business and instead as more personable and direct. They use Twitter as a way of spreading word-of-mouth advertising. Their public relations strategy relies on having their own customers do the marketing for them and their use of Twitter is an excellent avenue for them to do so. By publishing praises and good feedback from the average user Flat Top’s quality is verified by regular users and not through advertisements. This in turns makes a better and more effective form of advertisement. Barack Obama (@BarackObama) Significant findings: • • • • • Links to own website: 70% of tweets Use of hashtags: 50% of tweets Addressing users with a call to action: 10% of tweets User Intent Category: Sharing information/URLs, some reporting news User Category: Information Source

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices As an excellent catalyst for spreading word-of-mouth advertising, Twitter has certain tools that enable their users to categorize and group popular topics based on common interests. These tools make the spread and reach of certain topics to be more thorough. This is the case with trending topics, which are topics on Twitter that are highly visible, popular and easily searchable. An entity that commonly uses trending topics and hashtags on Twitter is the

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President’s Twitter feed. Obama’s reach and influence are of course enormous and widespread. His Twitter feed (with over 3 million followers) has to publish content that is applicable to a mass audience. The time span of my observations ranged from the tail end of the State of the Union discussion and into health care reform and a Democrat party convention. These topics were identified with a hashtag that was already part of the conversations that going on at Twitter during that time. The State of the Union was labeled as #SOTU, healthcare as #HCR, and #HDNC10 for the Democrats’ convention. Overall, half of the tweets recorded included hashtags. By using hashtags this very popular feed ensured that the ensuing re-tweets would help these hashtags gain popularity or even trending topic status. At the same time the President’s tweets also entered the repository of tweets related to the same topic. This compiled with a strong follower base ensured that the President’s tweets resonated and fostered public discussion on these issues throughout the Twittersphere. Re-tweets and @ mentions were relatively scarce. The one @ mention recorded was a retweet of a high ranking military official who supported the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy”. For the most part, Obama’s Twitter feed was a mobilization and engagement tool between Obama and his followers. 70% of tweets contained links back to the President’s website or to the White House website. Some tweets (10%) asked the user to do something (volunteer work hours for healthcare reform, call state representatives). It is interesting to note that the imagined viewer of these Tweets is assumed to be an Obama fan and thus they will do what is

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asked of them to help further Obama’s agenda. Tweets contained keywords (we, our, future, act) that emphasized the fact that it should be a joint effort. While the President fights hard in Washington, representing his constituents, they should join in the fight and do their part to foster change at home. From a personal observation, these efforts seem to pay off. Obama’s supporters usually respond in great numbers when their help is requested. It is not uncommon to see the goals set by Obama’s campaign being surpassed beyond expectations. Zappos (@Zappos) Significant findings: • • • • • No direct customer engagement No sales pitches Zero links to own website User Intent Category: Daily chatter, some reporting news User Category: Friends, possibly information seeker The Twitter feed of Zappos truly demonstrates an understanding and adaptation of the mantra that customers are tired of traditional forms of advertisements. Although Zappos hosts a collection of Twitter feeds from their employees, I focused on their main one. It is interesting to see such a large follower base, (over one million users) that follows the CEO of the company. With a host of rather sporadic updates (17 over a two week period) and no direct sales pitches, Zappos’s marketing and PR strategy on Twitter is puzzling to say the least. The closes Tweet that could resemble a marketing ploy would be one where they mentioned that the website had been recently redesigned. However, instead of linking to the new website, they included a Twitpic that showed a humorous funeral for the old website. Beyond this, there is not much else in terms of specific or explicit marketing. The tweets usually consist of quotes, personal updates

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices from the CEO (some with related Twitpics) and other general observations. There was not a single mention of shoes, specials or anything related to generating sales. As the CEO of a company it would be a fair guess to say that Tony Hsich is personally

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invested in ensuring that Zappos remains profitable. His Twitter works to foster this, to an extent. The Twitter page includes plenty of contact information (telephone numbers, contact e-mails, and links). This Twitter feed ascribes to Sweetser’s tip of using a recognizable profile picture and user name. This is re-shown with every tweet that goes out.Thus when a pleasant quote gets published it is likely that the user associates that positive feeling with Zappos. Going back to the previous example of the tweet announcing the newly redesigned website, but a lack of related link, might show that they assume that their user is smart enough to figure out how to get to Zappo’s homepage. The lack of a link to Zappos.com was not a mistake, as evidenced by the inclusion of the Twitpic link. Although Zappo’s users seem to be actively communicating with this feed on Twitter, their overall customer interaction is bare. This is something that could be improved on, as a way of energizing and connecting with their customers. Receiving a direct interaction from a major company helps to foster a connection between customers and that company. Even if a person sees this happening with other people Twitter allows them to see that direct connection. This in turn would help the customer keep Zappos on their mind when it comes time to shopping for a new pair of shoes. Conclusion All of the Twitter accounts that I examined fell in the Information Source user category. This is not surprising giving their large number of followers, which represent a broad audience. Overall, the breadth and diversity of the Twitter accounts that I examined were beneficial for ensuring a thorough review of their PR and marketing practices on Twitter. By examining the

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices way that they connect with their customers and connecting that to previously established

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marketing techniques I was able to see how major entities thrive on Twitter. Twitter is a perfect example of interacting with people online who are now part of a groundswell. The groundswell is the new movement that shows that “people on the internet are in charge” (Li and Bernoff, 2008). People coming together online “…moving together on the Internet for a moment in time (create) an irresistible, ineradicable groundswell” (pp. 6). This means increased impact in demanding what they want and allowing them to express their opinions freely. This in turn enables a democracy where they majority rules and entities are held accountable by their publics. Twitter is a perfect avenue for this process. Moving forward these observations will serve as a model for proposing public relations and marketing strategies to potential employers and as a way to craft my approach once I begin working in this field. This framework will allow me to further understand other companies and corporations that I follow on Twitter on a personal basis, as a way of analyzing and observing how they work with their Twitter feed. From a scholarly perspective it is interesting to see the way that entities online continue to understand and communicate with their publics. This platform increases the way that mass communication can take place. Communication scholars should continue to study this as a way to understand and synthesize the uses of Twitter. The benefits of creating and completing this case study will benefit me beyond this project. This would make me a better candidate as I go out into the workforce and search for Social Media and public relations jobs. At the same time allowing me to recognize how corporations reach their consumers in the Web 2.0 era.

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Works Cited Bernoff, Josh, and Charlene Li. "Why the Groundswell-and Why Now?." Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. New York: Harvard Business School Press, 2008. 24. Print. "CNN (CNN) on Twitter." Twitter. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. <http://twitter.com/cnn>. "Flat Top Grill (flattopgrill) on Twitter." Twitter. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. <http://twitter.com/flattopgrill>. Fox, Susannah. "Twitter and Status Updating, Fall 2009 | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project." Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. 21 Oct. 2009. Web. 1 Mar. 2010. <http://www.pewinternet.org/Experts/~/link.aspx? _id=6C747837133C4A54A4D0351E2683478B&_z=z>. Gladwell, Malcolm, and Seth Godin. Unleashing the Idea Virus. New York: Simon & Schuster Audio, 2001. Print. Godin, Seth. Free Prize Inside: How to Make a Purple Cow. New York: Portfolio Trade, 2007. Print. Hsieh, Tony . "Zappos.com CEO -Tony (zappos) on Twitter." Twitter. Web. 31 Jan. 2010.

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<http://twitter.com/zappos>. Hubspot. State Of The Twittersphere. January 2010 ed. Cambridge, MA: Hubspot, 2010. Print. Java, Akshay, Tim Finin, Xiaodan Song, and Belle Tseng. "Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities." (2007): 7-8. Web. 3 Mar 2010. <http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/paper/html/id/367/Why-We-Twitter-UnderstandingMicroblogging-Usage-and-Communities>. "Microsoft (Microsoft) on Twitter." Twitter. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. <http://twitter.com/microsoft>. Obama, Barack . "Barack Obama (BarackObama) on Twitter." Twitter. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. <http://twitter.com/barackobama>. Official Google Blog. "Official Google Blog: RT @google: Tweets and updates and search, oh my!." Official Google Blog. N.p., 21 Oct. 2009. Web. 25 Feb. 2010. <http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/rt-google-tweets-and-updates-andsearch.html>. Pew Internet and American Life Project. "One in five internet users are now on Twitter or another status update service | Pew Internet & American Life Project." Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2010. <http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/17-Twitter-and-Status-Updating-Fall2009.aspx?r=1>. Sweetser, Kaye. "So This Is Mass Communication." Twitter Best Practices. N.p., 1 Sept. 2009. Web. 27 Jan. 2010. <www.kayesweetser.com/>.

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Appendix

Twitter: A Case Study Of Best Practices Observation # Date Links (Own website/External website) Hashtags? Company info? (Trvia/News Release) Sales Pitch? @ mentions

22 Interpersonal
interactions (Q

and A’s, Reponse, Re-tweet, Other)

.

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