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Twitter for Business
By Sharon Housley
Businesses can use Twitter as a marketing
tool in a variety of ways. Many business owners struggle
with social media as a marketing medium. At the heart
of the most effective social media marketing campaigns
is personal communication. Many businesses that try
to manage social media may attempt to shout their message,
rather than simply engaging with potential customers.
Potential customers who are active in social networks
will not be receptive to marketing in this fashion.
The trick with social media like Twitter is to interact
and engage, rather than shouting your message.
Use Twitter for the following...
Twitter can be used to secure a brand. Establishing
brand identity is important to most businesses, and
Twitter gives a business control over their message.
For example, the avatar used in a Twitter
profile can reinforce a company's brand. Use the image
normally associated with your company's brand as the
avatar for your account. The Twitter profile webpage
can also be customized to reinforce the company's brand
identity and message.
Marketers can also monitor what is being
said on Twitter about their company and brand. Simply
using the company name or brand name. When a query about
the company or service is tweeted, reply to the tweet
with an offer of assistance. To make it easier to follow
such mentions, you can subscribe to a Twitter keyword
search RSS feed, which will then notify you each time
the company or product brand is mentioned on Twitter.
Twitter can be used to let customers and potential customers
know about new products, services, and promotions. Marketers
can also conduct searches for questions where the company's
product is a possible solution. Marketers can then reply
to the queries, offering assistance where it is appropriate.
Twitter, by nature, is a viral tool. New, innovative,
and interesting items are quickly broadcast and re-tweeted,
helping to spread the word. Consider what elements of
the company or product are interesting or unique. The
more out-of-the-box they are, the more likely they will
appeal to Twitter's viral audience.
Even The Playing Field
Twitter can be used to even the playing field between
large companies and smaller ones attempting to compete.
Small companies can personalize their customer interaction
much more easily. Twitter also makes it easier to gain
the attention of others. The Twitter community helps
to even the playing field.
Twitter can be used to attract the attention of the
press or news media. Many bloggers and media personalities
participate on Twitter. As a result, the posting of
your new announcements may grab their attention, and
result in unexpected press coverage. Public relations
professionals should tweet when they issue press releases.
Twitter can be used to get instant feedback on just
about anything. If a company's development team wants
to know what customers think about a potential new feature,
Twitter is a great way to receive instant feedback.
Twitter can be used to develop ideas for new projects
or needs that people have. Monitor the Twitter stream
for the types of products or services people are routinely
Twitter can be used to connect to others in your industry.
Follow professionals in the same niche or market, in
order to stay in the communication loop.
Respond to Criticism
Twitter can be used to respond to criticism in a constructive
and professional manner. Watch for mentions that contain
criticisms of your product or service, and then reply
in a helpful and professional manner. How you respond
often says more than the actual criticism itself.
Twitter can be used to communicate and promote your
participation in industry events, conferences, and trade
Twitter can be used to provide customer service and
Twitter can be used to personalize customer interaction.
Twitter can be used to market things like special offers
or time-limited discounts.
Twitter is surely a trend, but probably
not one that businesses can afford to ignore.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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