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Ways to use Twitter to Build your Business

Twitter is one of the social networking sites with a ton of interest and excitement, but a lot of people struggle with how to use it.  Having clear marketing goals and objectives is KEY to success in twitter.  Knowing what your marketing goals are and who you are trying to reach is vital to successfully using twitter.  As you start to explore twitter as a business building tool here are some different marketing objectives that twitter can help you achieve:

Customer Service – Connect with customers who have issues or concerns and provide immediate support for your customers.  JetBlue does a great job of responding to travel issues and questions – and you don’t have to call and wait on hold.

Company News – Use your twitter account to let customers know about changes to your product or news pertaining to your company.  If you do share news through twitter be prepared to answer questions and discuss the changes with your audience – it isn’t a one way street.

Feedback – Twitter can be a great tool to get honest feedback from your customers.  Ask them about upcoming product changes or new services that you are considering.  Be sure to provide them with an honest explanation of why you choose to take or not take their advice.

Build Equity – You can build equity for your brand by using twitter to talk about things that are of interest to your audience.  Provide them with valuable information about something they are interested in or passionate about related to your brand.  For example, if you sell laundry detergent you can tweet about stain removal tips (just make sure that your detergent isn’t always the answer – people want honest and useful advice).

Be a Thought Leader – Especially if you are a BtoB brand you can use twitter to showcase your thought leadership and expertise.  Share trends, data and perspective on the industry to position your organziation as a leader in your field.

Syndicate Your Blog – For many bloggers twitter is one of the top ways that they drive traffic to their blogs.  Post your blog post (you can set this up to happen automatically) on twitter and use twitter as a way to share your latest bog posts.

Get Help – Twitter can be a powerful tool to get help with something.  Earlier this week I asked for a google voice invite and I got 10 offers in a matter of minutes.  When I need a new service provider I will often solicit my twitter friends for recommendations.  You have to build trust and relationships for this to work (don’t come out of the gate asking for things) but once you have cultivated relationships twitter can be a powerful resource.

Humanize Your Brand – It is easy to trash a brand.  It is harder to trash a real live person.  By being human on twitter you can connect with people on a deeper level.  This means that you will have an army of advocates if you run in to trouble.  You’ll also have credibility when you talk to people who have a problem with your business.

Selling Stuff – You can use twitter as a direct sales mechanism as long as you are upfront about it.  The Dell Outlet has sold over $3 million on twitter.  They don’t pretend to build relationships – they are clear – this is a feed of GREAT deals from Dell.  They built a following by providing great offers.  If you are using twitter to sell be upfront about it.

How are you using twitter to build your business?  What other uses have we missed in this post?

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