“Twitter Works for ANY Business – Seven Reasons Why” from Plugging into the Social Web
August 22, 2009 19 Comments
For all of those businesses that ask why Twitter is relevant to them. This is a great post by Grant Criddle at the Plugging into the Social Web blog.
I’ll keep my comments short: read, learn and digest.
Posted by: Grant Criddle on: August 20, 2009
Twitter is an incredibly helpful business tool if you do the right things with it. People are reading so much about Twitter and how essential it is for business that they sign up without even understanding why or how to use it. These “experiments” usually don’t last long.
With new things people often jump in, and then they jump right back out when it “doesn’t work” for them. All that’s really needed to get the most out of a business tool is an understanding of why it makes sense.
Here then, are 7 reasons that Twitter is a must have for any business.
1. BUILD AND EXPAND YOUR NETWORK – FORM RELATIONSHIPS
Everyone agrees that business cannot exist without people. We all maintain a personal network that consists of friends, family, work colleagues, professional contacts, customers or clients, etc, and our network grows when we meet new people and form some sort of relationship with them. Twitter makes it possible for you to seek out people with similar business or personal interests, add them to your network, and form relationships with them. The lifeblood of every business can be found in the people who make the business run, and in those who buy from the business. It’s always about people and their networks.
2. TOP OF MIND AWARENESS WITH CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS
If you are willing to put a little of your personal side into your tweets, be interesting and funny while still being informative, you may not have to work too hard at staying top of mind with your customer or prospect base. Next time they need the service you offer, they may think of you and your company just because they remember you from Twitter. They feel like they “know” you, and that you’re part of their personal network. People prefer to do business with people they know.
3. TO LEARN – ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING
The Twitter community is a diverse one that talks about anything and everything. When you’re in business, you often have questions about your particular market or industry. Twitter is very unique in that you can follow conversations that revolve around specific subjects (www.search.twitter.com), giving you a unique window into how any market development, situation or trend is being perceived. The conversations will also quite often include links to further information or commentary. I love this capability and search for conversations about interactive marketing often. The only thing I have to be careful about is managing my time – there’s so much stuff! I could spend hours going through it all.
4. LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT YOU
Twitter provides a terrific opportunity to monitor the reputation of your company or your brand. Companies may not always like what they hear, but they must at least know what’s being discussed. Let’s face it, people talk. You’re certainly not going to spy on your customers or prospects or bug their phones to see what they might be saying about your company (at least I hope not), but with Twitter you can sort of eavesdrop! You are able to search by keyword to monitor conversations about you or your company, and its products or services. Knowledge is power as the old axiom says. Twitter makes it easy.
5. LEARN ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Can you afford to not know what your competition is doing on Twitter? What is everyone is saying about them? What kind of reviews are they getting, good or bad? How about who they are following and who is following them? You might even want to follow some of the same folks and read their tweets. When has competitive research ever been easier?
6. TRANSFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS INTO RAVING FANS
Every company needs customers to stay in business, but the most successful companies transform lots of their customers into fans. You can probably think of someone right now who “swears by” a particular brand or company, Harley-Davidson for instance. If you are doing a great job for your customers and providing a good product and/or service, then you’ve probably got some fans. If you invest a little time to really take care of those fans, they’ll take care of you. They’ll not only tell the people in their network about you, they’ll recommend you. They’ll rave about how amazing you are. Twitter provides you with a platform to connect with your customers, thank them, offer specials to them and just plain let them know that you appreciate them. It’s instant. It’s easy and it’s effective – if you’re sincere.
7. LIGHTNING FAST CUSTOMER SERVICE
The main goal of customer service is to help someone resolve their issue. The key to great customer service is the speed and quality of your response – people simply don’t like to wait. Twitter is a lightning-fast platform that can help sift through and solve problems quickly. If it’s a small issue, a single tweet may be enough. For a more complex problem, you can initiate a deeper conversation with the customer. The speed of the first response is what makes people feel like they’re being taken care of. Have you ever been put on hold when you call a customer service line? How does that make you feel? Great customer service gets talked about, and this can lead to more sales and more attention. Twitter is one of the most viral platforms around, which can make one happy customer into a big story.
Is it a must that every business be on Twitter? No, not every business but I would say most. A business shouldn’t use Twitter if not a single one of their customers, potential customers or competitors is using Twitter. So if you run a business on an isolated tropical island and you sell to customers who don’t have electricity, you might not need Twitter. However, that doesn’t apply to most of you. Get started and remember to:
- Make customers aware of your presence
- Be engaged in the conversations
- Track the conversation around your company, brand and market
- Respond quickly and transparently to questions or mentions
- Be authentic