Some experts say you can't measure the success of a Twitter marketing campaign by the number of followers because not all followers are active users who receive brands' messages. At the same time, marketers should consider that not all people who receive a company's Twitter messages are necessarily followers.
Twitter has announced a new tool called Fast Follow that lets mobile subscribers get tweets from relevant thought leaders sent to their phones – even if they don't have Twitter accounts.
Fast Follow is designed to give people "information they care about in real-time," whether or not they use Twitter. Mobile device owners simply text "follow [Twitter username]" to 40404 to receive text messages of the latest updates from the brands of their choice. They can use this service even if they don't want to appear in a user's followers list or create a Twitter account. Twitter encourages users to look for Twitter @usernames advertised by their favorite businesses when opting in to this service.
The new tool makes it possible for brands on Twitter to reach countless on-the-go consumers. While a recent comScore report indicates that 11.9 percent of U.S. consumers use Twitter, Fast Follow may appeal to a broader demographic of mobile users looking for quick facts. ComScore's Mobile Subscriber Market Share report shows that 49.1 million Americans own smartphones. Plus, the Twitter service makes it easy for feature phone users to receive Twitter updates as well.
The penetration into feature phone markets may help brands on Twitter engage a very desirable consumer base – teens. Teens' spending is predicted to reach $208.7 billion in 2011, so brands may want to establish themselves as thought leaders among this profitable, Twitter-friendly demographic. A recent eMarketer report shows that the majority of teens still use feature phones, so Fast Follow's text updates are ideal for these young users.