One of the fastest growing social networking services on the Internet must have some use for business!
Thus, declared a seasoned businessman. So why would an Internet “newbie” who is one of a growing number of entrepreneurs and business executives looking for ways to take advantage of these Internet networking services want to use it?
Twitter, made up of a large number of self-organized networks of communities and friends, is a free microblogging service that allows members to send and read other people’s updates called “tweets.” Tweets are text-based posts up to 140 characters in length that are sent to a member’s “followers.” These can be received by going to the Twitter site, as well as affiliated websites, via the cell phone’s SMS service and also some external applications such as tweetdeck and twhirl.
I personally use tweet deck right now.
The concept of the service is easy enough to understand, but the implications of how it can be used for business can be surprising. Here are some of the ways it can be used: My top 5 ways to Twitter, for business.
1. Twitter can help direct people’s attention to your company, product or service
It can work as a free and personalized ad service and it works better the bigger your following is. The key here is to get people to follow you. You can do something like add your Twitter feeds to other social media profiles and take advantage of these groups to reach a larger audience. Don’t just promote your schedules and be consistently courteous, professional and interesting as well.
Starbucks, for example, posts new deals to its Twitter followers. The same is true of Dell, and many others in the growing bandwagon of companies taking advantage of the service. Dell is rumored to generate over $1 million dollars in sales from his tweets!
2. Twitter works well as an opinion poll
Want feedback on a new idea, product, or service? Do you want to know what people think about a competitor’s product in the market? This will be a good source of free and quick feedback from your potential market.
This works well for Popeyes Chicken, a quick-service restaurant that uses its Twitter account not only to update followers on current sales and discounts, but also to respond to customer feedback. They do it in such a courteous and customer friendly way that their followers don’t care and really like to be heard.
3. Twitter can be used to improve customer service
Why not? It may make it easier for you to reach your customers, while also providing a friendlier (less formal) and easier avenue for them to contact you.
Comcast, a leading provider of digital broadband cable services, uses an easy-to-use Twitter support that goes as far as displaying a photo instead of the company logo to make customers feel like they’re talking to a real person.
4. Twitter works great for posting company updates, industry news, and hosting meetings
News headlines and updates posted on a company’s website may be broadcast to the company’s Twitter followers. Ford’s Twitter account, which currently has more than 6,000 followers worldwide, is doing just that.
Twitter also doubles as a handy group sending tool for spreading meeting announcements. Just make sure you send it to the correct group; otherwise, they could also appear undesirable. One way to do this is through hashtags.
5. Twitter can connect you with mentors and business partners
If you find and follow the right people, it can become a rich learning environment and a source of ideas that you could use.
This will allow you to network with like-minded people with whom you can collaborate, or at least observe to gather information and ideas. You can follow a consultant, for example, who tweets regular updates on the progress of tasks performed, as well as problems found on a particular project.
Simple tool, free service, great idea!
Twitter applications as a communication tool are as many as your imagination can imagine. Just keep in mind that with the absence of regulation, you are also subject to abuse. Therefore, using it for classified company or business information is incorrect. Still, it’s clear that there are ways to use it beneficially, just to “listen” at the very least.