Even in 2011, there are many people who are hesitant or skeptical regarding the use and benefits of Twitter. I shake my head and “sigh” at these folks. Twitter, although simple to begin using (such as tweeting, retweeting, hashtags, etc), is not so simple to finesse and engage with. It takes time and effort to get the art and science balance ofTwitter and its benefits. But when used correctly, brands (whether personal or companies) can truly increase their marketing efforts. Thus, it is not an app that is going to go away anytime soon…face it folks, Twitter is still here and you should take the time to embrace it. And here’s why…
1. Customer Service: Like the idea of instant customer service in real-time? Who doesn’t? Well Twitter is the answer. You can tweet to a company who uses Twitter for their customer service and their community manager should respond within minutes to whatever question, grievance, or comment you may have. For example, I made a comment to Zipcar once via Twitter, and within seconds I had a response. Who wants to pick up the phone and sit on hold when you can Tweet it?
2. Targeted element: Rather than reaching out to the mass media and just Tweeting to no-man’s-land…Twitter helps people target who they’re talking to. For example you can make Twitter lists of people who are current customer, potential customers, etc. Then when you see them Tweet, you can respond with a targeted tweet whether it be a special promotion for first time customers or a discount for being a loyal consumer.Twitter allows your brand to show your consumers you care about each one, and are listening and catering to their needs. For example, Petco does promotional tweets, which allow you get discounts and/or win contests for freebies if you answer a trivia question. Great way to promote the brand and create conversation too. One note of caution though — be careful not to spam. You may scare away potential or current consumers. Think before you Tweet!
3. Open vs. closed: Certain platforms are good for some things and others are better for other things. But the way Twitter is set up, it’s very easy for businesses to have a conversation with customers but still drive traffic to their site and take the conversation and activity elsewhere. Whereas Facebook pages it’s like everything is locked up inFacebook (or so it seems). Thus, you’re taking it past Twitter and putting it where and when customers want it. For example, brands such as Johnny Cupcakes utilize Twitterto talk about new T-shirts that are being released, and allow consumers to click right then and there on a link to the page with the new item. Convenient and “tweet worthy!”
4. Building Relationships: Unlike those who just Tweet stuff about themselves,Twitter can be a great vehicle to build relationships with both potential and current consumers. For example, when brands tweet back to people, respond to questions, and/or JUST to comment back with a laugh and appreciative banter…that’s where relationships form. The building blocks to successful relationships of course include time and effort, but it can start with a Tweet, which allows for that consumer (potential or loyal) to feel special and connected to a brand, especially when it’s a large one. Just take a look at Domino’s Twitter feed below…even a simple thanks can go a long way, whether it’s a consumer buying their pizza and/or sharing the customer experience with friends and so on and so forth.
5. All the cool kids are doing it: When a social media tool goes beyond brands and trendy people using it, that’s when it causes a real stir. For example, when it comes to national crisis events, Twitter has been used to get the word out faster and allow people to know what’s going on whether it’s regarding a national disaster or something else. In short, Twitter is a great — no, exceptional — vehicle for getting the word out, quickly, efficiently, and to the people you want to hear it when and where they want to listen to it.
So what are you waiting for? Hop on the bandwagon before it leaves you behind! Tweet it up!
Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot.