Twitter in Business: It’s for Real!
How can businesses use Twitter in a way that executives can justify having their employees spend time on Twitter? Listen to the podcast above. Below are the show notes.
Twitter is a cross between a social networking platform and a micro blogging platform. You create a simple profile, you start following people, some follow you and you have 140 characters to say something about what you’re doing, thinking or planning. People who talk about interesting, meaningful stuff and include links to blogs and articles have a positive affect on their brand.
There has been lots of press coverage on Twitter including a Wall Street Journal article titled: “Twitter Goes Mainstream.”
In December 2008 HubSpot published the Q4 report on the State of the Twittersphere. Some interesting stats from this report:
- Twitter is dominated by new users – 70% of Twitter users joined in 2008.
- 5,000 to 10,000 new accounts are opened every day.
- 35% of Twitter users have 10 or fewer followers.
- 9% of Twitter users follow no one at all.
- There is a strong correlation between the number of people you follow and the number of followers you have.
Chuck Palm started following some Twitter celebrities recently. He started following the CEO of Zappos, the well known online shoe store. Chuck searched for blue suede shoes and found a pair that meets his unique feet. Chuck found their customer service was terrific!
Zappos has over 400 employees using Twitter. They are very focused on customer service, engaging people on the web and building relationships. When you buy from Zappos you can Tweet what you bought and post it to Facebook.
When someone of prominence starts following you on Twitter others notice and your Twitter following starts to grow.
A Ford Motor Company promotion: “just drive one.” Scott Monty heads up social media marketing at Ford Motor. He builds relationships on the social web. He communicates what Ford is working on and allows word of mouth on the web to run its natural course. He talks in a conversational way. He informs in a human voice. He educates and he engages people. He once conducted an interview on Twitter between Alan Mulally, Ford’s CEO and consumers.
How important is the number of followers? It depends on how important that is to you. Guy Kawasaki once stated that he would be willing to pay $500 per month. He said it’s the best platform to communicate with so many people so easily. Marketing reach like never before!
“Show Me The Money!”
Who in your company is a good candidate to embrace Twitter to write interesting posts several times per day? Ideally it should be more than one person. Consider a Twitter persona branded by the company, e.g., Apple, Comcast, L.A. Fire Department, Zappos, HubSpot, etc. Individual employees should be Tweeting about anything relevant, not always about yourself or your company.
Focus on building great relationships!
Breaking Twitter Etiquette
The biggest etiquette rule on Twitter is not to view Twitter as a platform for shameless promotion. Some view it as an advertising billboard. It’ NOT! it’s a platform for your human voice to build relationships across a great reach. You can make so many connections on Twitter. Market through relationship building, not shameless promotion.
@chuckpalm got a new Twitter background. The gal behind TweetGlitz.com created a new Twitter background for Chuck for free. And, she got a shameless plug from Chuck on this podcast. Not bad!
During the holidays of 2008 Dell sold more than $1M through Twitter. People were tweeting about promotions during the holidays, only available to Dell’s Twitter followers.
I personally have made several valuable connections on Twitter as I use it for relationship building in my social media marketing plan.
Twitter provides access to your community and to your extended community through a multiplier affect.
Twitter is like a marketing megaphone due to its exponential reach.
Many businesses can strengthen their brand through Twitter.
Do you know any businesses doing a great job on Twitter? Please write about them below.