Opinion: Time for channel to chase fame in Twitter limelight


Opinion: Time for channel to chase fame in Twitter limelight

Simon Quicke
When Twitter went down for an afternoon - or what felt like eons to those used to permanently switched on communications - Bill Gates was at one point singled out as a probable cause.
The decision by the Microsoft founder to start tweeting led to him instantly gaining so many followers that he became one of the most popular figures on the social media platform. His popularity also shows just how hungry people are for guidance on IT matters.

Gates has written best-selling books, attended conferences and gained acres of newsprint with his predictions of the digital future, and he continues to enjoy a reputation that few others in the IT world can boast of having.

His decision to get involved with Twitter should send a signal to those who have doubted the importance of the platform. But it also adds to the growing questions about just where information comes from.
Last year, Twitter was used to break news stories of Michael Jackson's death, put pressure on the Iranian authorities, and share crucial details in disasters such as the recent Haitian earthquake.

Plenty of Gates' followers will be expecting him to use Twitter to expound his theories and reaction to the changing face of the PC industry, the state of the global economy and perhaps take the occasional swipe at the competition. All of the above will, of course, have the potential to make waves.

Promotional possibilities

Bringing that closer to home, the savvy reseller should realise that using the platform not only makes sense as a promotional tool, but there are also opportunities to reach a much wider audience and to get a voice and brand heard in a global debate.

Major vendors such as Cisco are leaning on the channel to start using Twitter as a marketing tool. The arrival of someone like Gates adds a twist to the classic approach of shouting about your own promotions and activities. A quip, question or tweet of support to Gates has the potential to help raise the profile of the reseller that made it.

It might not be the sort of co-marketing vendors would previously have thought of, but this new world also presents an opportunity to use these large names to promote and praise their best partners.

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