How to use your status updates profitably?

Status updates are here for good. Love them or Hate them but if you are on social networking site, then you can’t ignore them. Status updates work by asking user the question – “what are you doing?” The user’s reply is the update that will appear in his or her profile.

There has been an ongoing debate on whether status updates should be qualified as form of micro blogging. Twitter, one the first micro blogging facility providing company, realized early on that people would want to write micro blog posts. Hence micro blogging allowed the user to answer that question in 140 characters. The appeal of status updates as important aspect of social media spread so quickly, that major social media companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google in Gtalk are offering it as a feature.  In fact Facebook even offered to buy out Twitter for that feature.

It’s surely a very non intrusive way of knowing what your friends and family have been upto over the past few days. While some of the status updates are funny others can be down right annoying – like ‘Am at work’. Nobody wants to know that you are at work.

I found our several creative, positive and financially rewarding ways to use status updates. A lot of it will also depend on how many friends you have.

User participation – This feature is important to better engage with your consumer. For e.g. “Who will be the winner of the reality show called ‘Big Boss’” Don’t be surprised with the amount of answers you can get for this one.

Brand Promotion – A very important tool for word of mouth promotion. It’s very common to read updates where movies, books, music being recommended by users. Also to promote websites and blogs which one can’t advertise in a classical sense.  Updates are used effectively by event managers to promote their shows “ XYZ singer or magician is performing in city ABC – come and book your ticket @”

Announcement – Several of my friends in the media use it to announce their new shows and events launched by their news channels. All companies use it to announce their new product launch or new feature upgrades available.

News updates – Micro blogging was use aggressively during the Mumbai terror attacks to give out minute by minute update. Election updates or economic ups and downs – all find their ways as updates

Recruitment – I read this in one of the linkedin discussion where in all the employees of one organization wrote “Wanted a qualified website designer to work out of Mumbai”. Apparently they got 12 people submitting their resume over one day and they recruited one amongst them. This helped the firm save commission that they would have paid to the recruitment agent.

Or like Jeff mentioned on his status update “If anyone knows Latin, please contact me” and within 20 minutes 3 people contacted him and he got his work done.

Surveying – A random check of status updates will give out the most current and debated topics prevalent on people’s mind. It’s very apparent to map out what is holding people’s attention at that point in time.

Donation – You can donate your status as evident in the campaign that Facebook carried out to urge Americans to come out and vote. This created a huge movement and record number of voting ever in US history.

Saving your life – This one is the most bizarre tale but I had to include it here. Buck, a journalism grad student who was travelling in Egypt was apprehended by the local police authorities. But before he was arrested, he was able to tweet (i.e. update to his twitter profile) one word “Arrested”. His friend read that tweet and contacted the US Embassy and his school University of California at Berkeley, which sent a lawyer to get him out of jail. Phew!!

If Facebook came out with Fan page for status updates, I would be one of them. Write in the funniest, weirdest or the best use of status update that you have seen.

Read the post on how Facebook can be used to promote brands


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19 Responses to “How to use your status updates profitably?”

  1. Great post
    I find Twitter is good for creating brand awareness and general visibility for an online business.


  2. Windchimes says:

    Thanks for visiting.

    You are correct about Twitter. It has the potential to generate good business – provided it is used effectively


  3. Chris Morin says:

    I have learned so many things in the short time I’ve tweeted. The links I’ve followed from the SEO/Blog biggies in that industry are proving to be invaluable and another tangible way I’ve used twitter was to check on the road status as my college student was coming home during a snow storm, and twiterers along the path were able to put my mind at rest by sharing NO accidents and up to the minute road conditions along the way. 🙂


  4. Daksh says:

    Excellent post Nimesh ! Buck’s story is very unique, perhaps the most whackiest examples of micro-blogging/status updates in use 🙂

    Nimesh, I remember reading it some-where about the benefits of focused usage of status updates.

    The problem that I see in some-cases is over-messages. Sometimes you hear people saying drinking, i am eating, i am sleeping which doesn’t provide any value.

    You could be more precise about what you’re doing and more so about constructive activities.
    For e.g. You might want to talk about a conference which you’re attending, may be an educational video that you’ve seen or just about which has got some sense of meaning.

    The idea is to show your level of maturity 🙂

    Btw – I will be in Mumbai from (25-28 Dec) lets catch up if you’re available ? Drop me a note with your number and I’ll be buzz you !



  5. Windchimes says:

    @Chris – I too have found good links that people have tweeted and learnt a lot thru that

    @Daksh – Thanks. There can be some really annoying updates too as you have rightly mentioned. Let’s meet up for sure. I have emailed you my contact details.



  6. […] 12/19/08 5:36 PM Leveraging social media status updates Posted by Sherbeam under . | Tags: brand, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Mashable, Nimesh Shah, small business, Twitter, Windchimes social media |   There is an interesting article about leveraging social media status updates for the purpose of driving profitability, from the Windchimes social media agency.  Post – ”How to use your status updates profitably“ […]

  7. Another one on news updates: Last week, I got panicked email from a friend in Lund, Sweden saying that she’d just felt her building shake, but she didn’t hear any bombs going off or cars crashing into it and couldn’t decide whether to call the cops or what.

    Having just been through watching Mumbai updates on twitter, I thought of doing a twitter search for Lund and was able to tell her that it was an earthquake well before any major news organizations were reporting it and, about 20 minutes later, I had the official reports of location and magnitude from USGS and the analogous EU organization.


  8. Windchimes says:

    Thanks Sherbeam for writing about my post on your blog.

    @Dave – That really sounds like a story out of a thriller!! It really amazes me to learn the endless possibilities of Twitter!!



  9. […] dramatically, that oxford and Webster will be forced to accept it as normal parlance. The role that micro blogging is has fairly evident from the Mumbai terror […]

  10. RG says:

    I agree with Daksh stating that “The idea is to show your level of maturity 🙂 “. A desirable trait each one of us wants to achieve and exhibit it.

    The internet-service users are wide-spectrum age-group and cultural background; hence, this trait will remain in evolution stage for a long time to come. Hence, over-messaging is the nuisance we will learn to live with it and search relevance messages in the received heap.

    Nimesh has convincingly elucidated the gainful possibilities.


  11. Windchimes says:

    @RG – Thanks. There are levels in using Twitter. As one uses it frequently, one automatically figures out the right way to use it. Do yes, it does start with people putting up frivolous stuff as updates but it eventually, they learn more about it and mature!!


  12. […] blogging. And they have got it right. It is one of the most used feature already. Its fun reading status updates of friends and then commenting on them. This feature should be used creatively to talk about your […]

  13. […] Your Social Presence: Lastly share it with your online social network. Status updates are a great way to put your video out […]

  14. Matt LeBlanc says:

    Good post – enjoyed it!


  15. Windchimes says:

    Thanks Matt. You indeed started a very interesting post on status updates. Saw the flurry of replies on it!!


  16. Lydia Owen says:

    microblogging is really useful when you want to broadcast short updates. i am still leaning towards traditional blogging..-*


    Nimesh Shah Reply:

    Hi Lydia,

    Both have their advantages – the trick is to use them both efficiently and maybe promote one with the other!


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