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There Will Never be Another Twitter

March 21, 2013

The US patent office awarded a very broad patent to Twitter this week, securing the social media leader's long term future and continued success. Twitter is now, more than ever, a safe place to invest time and money building an audience for you brand.
 
The patent entitled “Device independent message distribution platform” was filed almost 5 years ago, but was only awarded this week. A redacted excerpt of the patent reads:
 
A method for device-independent point to multipoint communication, the method comprising: [...] the first computing device, a request to follow a second user [...] the first user to reference update messages broadcasted by the second user
 
So I guess that sounds pretty close to a description of Twitter; but if we had asked a lawyer to describe the platform using jargon! In laymen's terms, Twitter has essentially received a patent for “following”. Therefore there can never be another “Twitter” that works the same way. Legally speaking they could challenge Facebook's “like” button for fan pages, or Google's circles. But even though this patent has the potential for huge repercussions on other social networks given its broad nature, Twitter has stated that the patent is for defensive purposes only.
 
All this really means for the average business owner is that Twitter is technically the only place where you can broadcast status updates to your followers. The lesson to take away from this is simply that Twitter is a safe place to put your marketing efforts since it will definitely be around for the foreseeable future.
 
 
7 Quick Tips to Gain More Followers
 
Coincidentally, it is also Twitter's 7th birthday! In honour of that fact and the bright future that lies ahead, here are 7 tips that will help your brand build more followers.
 
  1. Seek people to follow
    Use twitter search and just simply follow people you want to connect with! You will be amazed at how many people follow you back and want to interact.
     
  2. Guest blog
    Doing a guest post on another site can be a good way to get cross exposure from another person's Twitter account (since they will certainly tweet the article, and you can add to the conversation).
     
  3. Be a guest on a podcast
    In the same vein as the guest post, you could be a guest on a podcast. There are podcasts on just about every niche on iTunes. You can of course use twitter itself to approach the podcaster and land the slot.
     
  4. Run a contest
    Twitter loves contests, especially if they are Twitter exclusive. Require that people tweet your branded #hashtag to enter.
     
  5. Advertise
    Twitter has always been a well-financed private company with a focus on growth over profits. But with an IPO looming, it is looking for more ways to monetize its user base. As with most web start-ups, that means advertising. Twitter is no exception and just this year it opened up an API to all companies (something that was exclusive to larger companies in the past).
     
  6. Be a power user
    Hashtags, mentions and conversations. Use the tools twitter has to offer and be active. The more you interact, the more you get noticed, and if your account is interesting, people will follow because you are an influencer.
     
  7. Post your twitter handle everywhere
    Post it on your signature, business cards and any other promotional material. Be sure to include a strong call to action with a good value proposition.
     
Need help ganing more followers? Call Adeo to learn about our social media services (or follow @adeomarketing on Twitter for tips and tricks)