A Simple Explanation of Twitter Use for Businesses

TwitterIn today’s social media world, more and more companies are using Twitter to increase profitability and exposure of their businesses. But there are still many, many individuals out there who see no link between Twitter and business value, and wonder how they can use it to increase their visibility or profitability.

Today I decided to take a few minutes to explain Twitter’s value to those who may not understand how it can be utilized for business use.

The answer to the question, “How can I use Twitter for my business?” is one that many don’t want to hear. “It depends.” And it’s true. It depends on who your company is and what it does for its customers. Those that offer marketing services often tweet marketing statistics or facts that link to their own sites or blogs, in hopes that visitors will hire them for related marketing services. Others use Twitter as a customer service or coupon distribution medium.

How It Works

The actual process for how businesses use Twitter is simple. For the most part, a company begins “tweeting” relevant content, whether it be coupon codes or marketing tips, twitter users begin interacting with your account, and ultimately visit your site because they’re interested in your content. It’s that simple.  Twitter should be treated as a medium, much like television or the internet. How it is used is a strategic decision that must be made by the company.

How Others Use Twitter

1. Customer Service:

Jet Blue does a superior job of using Twitter as a communication medium. Its Twitter page mostly consists of responses to other Twitter users, often addressing customer service issues. They also share travel tips to get people to their site. Visit them @jetblue.

Comcast also does an excellent job of addressing customer concerns via their Twitter profile. Its username even expresses the company’s desire to help customers with any concerns they may have: @Comcastcares.

2. Sale Announcements and Discount Codes:

Both Paypal (@paypalshopping) and Snapfish (@snapfishbyhp) often announce sales, deals or discounts on their twitter page. Coupon codes sometimes also appear here.

3. Industry Tips and Information:

Ignite Social Media (@ignitesma), A social media agency, is a great example of a company that shares industry tips and information in order to gain exposure and visits to their site. They often link to informative posts on their blogs.

Another approach would be to just simply post tips relevant to your industry. For example, if you sell sporting goods, you could post random safety tips when kayaking. This would be a good way to get sporting enthusiasts to follow you, which may lead to a visit to your site, and eventually a purchase.

4. Comments that tie in with products.

Overstock.com (@overstock) not only uses twitter to communicate with customers and deliver customer service, but they do a great job of making relevant comments that tie in with products. With this tweet, they remind you that its getting cold outside, and maybe you need something to keep your hands warm.

Companies can use relevant comments to tie in product promotion

See other approaches big companies are taking to Twitter in this 2008 post.

How You Can Get Started

  1. Decide on an approach. Will you mainly distribute discount codes or coupons? Do you intend to give tips? Also consider what voice you will speak in. Will you be speaking as “the company” or as a person employed by the company? etc.
  2. Create an account. Remember to choose an appropriate username.
  3. Build a profile that will highlight your company and encourage consumer interaction. Make sure your profile will be effective.
  4. Begin posting relevant content appropriate with the approach you decided upon.

TwiTip has a great post on Jump-Starting Your Company’s Twitter Account that’ll help walk you through these steps.

Twitter can be a very effective communication medium for a business, so long as it’s used in a manner appropriate for the company, and you invite your target audience to interact with you. After all, Twitter is a social media site. So be social.

Contact Erica DeWolfDo you need assistance getting started with Twitter? Contact me and I would be more than happy to get you started and give you some detailed guidance on how Twitter can be used to increase your profitability.

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3 thoughts on “A Simple Explanation of Twitter Use for Businesses

  1. I hope you don’t mind me pitching my book, (Taking on Twitter: Strategic Tweeting for Small Business) but I believe it answers a lot of the decisions you talk about. So many people set up an account, start tweeting, and then wonder why miracles don’t happen. Stategy takes planning and intentional tweeting. Your advice is dead on!

    Okay, so here is the link to my book (it just became available and will also be on Amazon shortly) http://kathibrowne.com where I provide a table of contents for preview. I could tell you amazing stories of how social media has been key in getting my book together and out so quickly.

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