By now, you’ve probably heard countless mentions of Twitter. CNN uses it to connect with viewers, Zappos uses it to build its popular brand, and even President Obama used it to help win an election. Despite these examples, you may still be wondering whether or not Twitter is actually useful for your business.
Let me assure you – Twitter does more than just update people on your life. It can be a vital piece of your advertising, marketing, customer service, and branding initiatives. Companies have used it to reach new heights. But if you’re still unconvinced that Twitter has business utility, here are some of the best reasons to use Twitter for business:
1. 11% of online adults use Twitter, and the number is growing: Why do companies advertise their brands on Facebook? It’s not because it’s a great tool for sharing, but because 175 million people use the service. Although Twitter is not as big as Facebook, it has already carved out a large audience. According to Pew, 11% of online adults in America use Twitter, and that number is growing. Twitter grew by 752% in the last year and is on course to break that number in 2009. Getting in early and becoming part of such a large community is a must for nearly any business, local or worldwide.
2. Twitter is an effective promotional tool: With a couple of keystrokes, Mashable is able to promote its articles to over 150,000 people instantly. This kind of promotional power can dramatically increase visits to your website, purchase orders, or awareness of your brand. Companies such as Whole Foods use the service to promote their products and initiatives. You don’t even need to have all of those followers to be effective on Twitter – it takes just one Twitter status update (a “tweet”) being spread around (“retweeted”) by Twitter’s users to make Twitter worthwhile.
3. Twitter is an effective customer service tool: Just ask ComcastCares, a Twitter account managed by Comcast’s Frank Eliason. Whenever a complaint about Comcast is aired over Twitter, ComcastCares responds to the user, offering to help solve his or her frustrating problem. This kind of customer service has brought Comcast a lot of good press and happy customers. It’s definitely cheaper than phone support and can put a good public face on your customer service.
4. Twitter can quickly gauge customer reaction and input: Twitter is, without a doubt, one of the best question and polling platforms around. Want to know whether or not customers like a new feature you launched? Ask them over Twitter. You’ll get responses in seconds, not days.
5. Twitter helps with branding: Twitter can add a personal face to your brand. Have your team update the account and talk to customers about your product. It will quickly become apparent to anyone following your account how much everyone cares about your product. You can tweet tips about using your product, deals to spur purchases, or just talk with a satisfied customer and build up brand equity.
6. Twitter is great for networking: Twitter allows you to have a conversation with people you might otherwise not know about or have access to. Twitter allows a person to have a conversation with Shaquille O’Neal or even find a tech-savvy employee to bring on board. The network possibilities are limitless.
Twitter has a lot of other great uses for business, but it’s up to you to discover and harness them. Twitter is a simple but powerful platform, one that can be customized to your needs. Getting the upper hand on one of the most popular platforms around can elevate your business from mediocrity to a commanding position of strength and growth.
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