I have long held the belief that Twitter is the most important thing to happen to the Internet since Google saved us all from the Times Square-style advertising and spammy search results returned by search engines of yore.
As marketers, most of us are already sold on Twitter – but sadly, very few of us really understand or have fully gotten to grips with its true potential.
Twitter is more than a just a social media engagement and distribution tool. If used correctly, it is a complete suite of business tools and a significant driver of business.
Seven Uses for Twitter
1. Twitter as a Broadcast Tool: If you’ve got something to tell the world about, use Twitter. It’s great for promoting blog posts, news stories, press releases, images, videos, etc. If you are directing people to your website, don’t forget to optimize your landing pages for conversion (either a sale or the capture of information such as an email address or a social media follow).
2. Twitter as an Amplifier of Conversations: Twitter is a great place to hold conversations, but it is so much more than a venue for one-to-one chats. The public environment of Twitter means your insight can be shared far beyond the person you are engaging. This can potentially help your thought leadership be shared virally across the social web, via a network of virtual ambassadors.
3. Twitter as a Customer Services Tool: If a client has a problem, there is a good chance it will be publicly aired on Twitter. By engaging with clients and prospects on Twitter, you can demonstrate your commitment to customer support and your agility in solving problems, so proving to the wider community that you are a great person/organization to work with.
4. Twitter as a Listening Tool: Twitter provides a great environment to understand customer sentiment towards both your brand and your competitors’ brands. Keeping a close eye on your competition via Twitter can help you take advantage of opportunities that arise from their actions.
5. Twitter as a Community Endorsement Tool: Use Twitter to endorse the products, services and insight of your colleagues, partners and customers. Sometimes (especially in big business), marketers are cloistered away in ivory towers. Something as simple as a retweet can help break down the barriers between yourself and your customer and give your organization a more friendly face.
6. Twitter as a Lead Generating Tool: Every day, people on Twitter ask their networks for recommendations for all sorts of products and services. There is no reason why you cannot harness the power of Twitter to turn these requests for information into hot business leads. It is possible to generate leads using the advanced search facility on Twitter, and the Vocus Marketing Suite offers a more robust solution for organizations seeking a more reliable flow of leads.
7. Twitter as a Promoter of People: People do business with people they like. The most successful organizations put people (not company logos) at the forefront of their Twitter activity. Raising the profile of your employees not only shows the world that you employ smart people, but also helps retain staff who appreciate being more than a faceless cog in a large machine.
Best of all, Twitter is largely free. How many services can claim to do all of the above at zero cost? How are you using Twitter to build your reputation and drive business?