Monday, July 26, 2010

Putting Twitter to Work for Your Business!

Image by hellvetica
It is not readily apparent to many businesspeople how to use Twitter to influence consumers, build brands, gather customer feedback, or do much of anything beyond following the daily shopping habits of a supermodel or movie star. However, since this microblogging platform has over 190 million users, with a likely 50 million users by yearend, Twitter's popularity alone makes it worth investigating as a social media marketing tool.

From small companies to mega-corporations, businesses are finding innovative ways to use Twitter to inexpensively and precisely target consumers, informing them of new products and services, and even providing product support. Take for example Microsoft's Twitter-based customer support for Windows 7, which offers real-time responses to consumer questions about Windows 7.

On the other end of the spectrum is the comparatively diminutive Web site BBGeeks, which used Twitter to "further its brand, get traffic and gain backlinks," as documented in a highly informative and detailed case study. Regardless of the size of the company, consumers must be willing to "follow" them on Twitter. The resources below present a variety of ways to accomplish this goal, as well as many other ideas for using Twitter to promote your business:

16 comments:

  1. I think this is a great tool for some bussiness to use i mean being able to use a social site like facebook or twitter for being able to spread the word about your bussiness. I have seen some places offering secert sales to their "facebook friends" or who follow them on twitter. I think also that being in a small town small bussiness uses any possible way they can to reach people and that helps them as well as also being able to reach anyone on the web.i think the catch is though is to get people to follow your bussiness so you have make it worth there while. i would think the owner of the business needs to know how to use these social sites and be willing to devote time and effort into making it work for them
    Nathan E Benson

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  2. Twitter is an excellent tool for promoting your business or getting your name out there and heard.
    I have a friend that is trying to market himself as a electronic music dj. He uses a website where he is able to upload all his newest tracks on, and then uses twitter and facebook to let people know about this new music. He started doing this just about 2 months ago and already has close to 100 followers. He started with just family friends while he built his profile and then started gaining new followers through friends of his friends as well as strangers who share common interests with him. Because of twitter and a couple other social networking/marketing sites he is well on his way to getting signed onto a major label and jump starting his career.

    Mary Gillies

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  3. Nathan and Mary,

    Glad you found this information helpful. Most people don't see the value of Twitter as business tool, until they see how businesses are profiting from it.

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  4. I feel that twitter and or facebook is a good way to get yourself know and out there. Plus the fact that you can give out coupons,specials and stuff to thous that do follow you.
    A good way to get more people on board is to try to get so many people and when you reach that goal all those people get something half of or something. Its a great way to get more people in the door.

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  5. I think that Twitter and other social networking Web sites are an amazingly simple tool to use for any size business. The ability to communicate on a widespread personal level with your customers, colleagues, friends, family, or fans, has a value and return that exceeds that of any other marketing tool. And the ability to monitor the effectiveness of such sites and resources proves that they are in fact highly effective if monitored and given the openness to evolve, projecting a positive outlook.

    I prefer to use facebook, but I am learning to sync many applications to my phone to combine resources and build a bigger social network, follow mentors and to keep up with important relationship in both business and my personal life.

    Jon Meyers

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  6. I think Twitter or any Social Media is really about conversation. It allows us the opportunity to share experiences and ideas and create/build/maintain relationships. Whether you are using it for personal or professional reasons, it could be a great tool to fulfill your purpose. If used wisely, these social communities can be a great source of web traffic with visitors whether they directly come to your site or by referral. Spontaneously being exposed to a massive group of people definitely draws the attention and traffic you are seeking. Best of all, this is done without costing you an arm and a leg so it’s a great low-cost advertising tool. I also think it is a wonderful resource that everyone should be exposed to at least once to see what it’s about and to experience it...you won't know until you've tried.

    Tiara Martinez

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  7. I am going to give it a try; that is to get some followers. I think that it could really give me an extra boost in the right direction. After clicking on the links I found some great information on how to get followers, like don't be boring snoring. Lol. And also be first offering important news 80% social 20% business. And last but not all, deals, specials, coupons, every body wants them. These are just the tip of the ice berg I feel this could help spread the word of the products and services that I have available and might just give me the feed back to expand those products and services.

    Thanks for the links.
    Damian Butler

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  8. Damian--good for you! Best of luck with attracting followers.

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  9. Its amazing how far technology has come these days. Being a former facebook user I did not once think about signing up for a twitter account until reading all the benifits and possiblities of twitter. I will be shortly creatining one after posting this to see how I like it.

    My favorite part about twitter is that you can update form pretty much anywhere. From your home, work and even your cell phone. That way you can always keep everyone updated at any times notice. Also its a good source of communicating with a wide variety of people.

    Great articles and very useful information!

    ~Nick Burton~

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  10. I think that using twitter is a great way for a company to get the new and old products out there. The only thing is that the market they are in has to be for the younger generation as the older on just does not use computers like we do. I also think that the person in charge of marketing in twitter needs to make sure that what they post and how it looks is appealing. Otherwise they will not get the attention of people and with so many different companys using this form of marketing they have to me appealing and memorable.

    Darcy L. Eigenbrood

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  11. I have never looked into twitter, although I hear about it all the time, a lot of the radio stations and businesses(clothing departments, cell phone networks and much more) advertise themselves on these social networks(twitter, facebook, etc.). It is truly amazing to see how many individuals will use all these different types of social networks to post comments/opinions about products or services they have used, both good and bad experiences.

    I see only about a quarter of these due to my limited choice of social networking(which happens to be facebook) but for a busniess who might use these networks as a way of marketing and advertising it could benefit not only the consumer by being able to see new products and a lot of times be offered special deals but also benefit the business by seeing the feedback on the products.

    Torey Chase

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  12. I think that with the way technology affects our daily lives, and how many people use and enjoy sites like Twitter, it would be a shame NOT to put Twitter or similar social networking sites to good use. If I were to start my own business right now, I would make sure to use these marketing tools to my and my businesses' advantage.

    It's a pretty simple concept really... short updates telling others what you're up to or what you've got planned for today- it's not a complex concept. But social networking in general has really taken off! More and more people are signing up for their own accounts, so that they can "tweet", as well as "follow" others. So as this type of entertainment/social networking/potential marketing tool is getting increasingly popular, there would be no reason not to cash in on the potential benefits of gaining a few "followers" of your own (:

    Mackenzie R.

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  13. It makes sense to get involved and engaged with potential customers through social networks because like you said people are too tired to drive and it allows them to be in their comfort zone and really digest the information your talking about. If your not looking for new ways to advertise, optimize and grow your business then you probably shouldn't be in business. With social media and Twitter specifically it seems like a great idea to actively get customers engaged and involved in your business.
    The part I like the most is being able to get feedback in real time from customers or potential customers on your products that you are communicating or attempting to advertise and sell. It also allows people to get to know you and your points of view which then can lead to referrals from existing customers to their friends and family. With the growing popularity and the obvious benefits of Twitter I think I may need to get involved if I want to stay competitive in a growing social media market.

    ~Damien Ramirez

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  14. In the right hands twitter can be a very powerful marketing avenue. I have seen numerous brands capitalize on the power of twitter. My brother just won tickets to a Canucks game by following the Beat radio station on twitter they asked some question and whoever answered correctly first won tickets. How cool is that? Now I know of many other people who now follow the beat on twitter so they too can win tickets to events.
    I follow a few people and companies on twitter and my favorite are the ones that give away free stuff and If you think about it, what a great move by the companies. They are creating a following where people check them out periodically for the chance to win prizes but they also use it to get the word out on their new products.
    Tyson Daggett

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  15. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are really popular websites in some countries such as the U.S. and Spain, and these websites are really good and inexpensive places to promote and advertise business. It gets popular for people to promote themselves or their companies through these websites, and it becomes one of the most popular marketing tools for business. In addition, it can be one of the most effective ways to promote a business through these three websites if the company is able to attract people to closely follow its every movement. By doing this, the popularity of a business could be promoted, in turn, the sales or profit may be promoted as well.

    However, this recently popular marketing tool has boundedness. For example, Chinese are not able to use these three websites in China, so we don’t know these websites and all the companies that advertise there won’t have any influence on Chinese market and consumers. Since not everyone in the world is able to access to these three websites and they are not as popular in some areas/countries, a multinational company will need to promote the business by means other than using this marketing tool if it wants to promote itself or its product worldwide.

    Dongyan Zhang

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  16. Nick, Darcy, Torey, Mackenzie, Damien, Tyson, and Dongyan – Thank you all for sharing your ideas and commenting!

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