Lost in the Tweets
“I am at the airport.” “Oh wait, I am eating a burger, and I’m wearing red.” “I’m here, there, seeing this or that, and planning a trip to Hawaii.”
If you’ve ventured into Twitter world, you’ve surely come across meaningless tweets. Who cares about what you do minute to minute? Unless of course you’re Kim Kardashian or George Clooney and have a ton of followers who care less about the quality of what you tweet and just want to be in on – I don’t really know what.
On the other hand, as a business communication tool, Twitter can be extremely useful and powerful.
Twitter has gained tremendous acceptance and adoption, possibly because it is also easy to put to work. In its own right, it is a far more effective tool than many other media for the dissemination and collection of information. Because people are increasingly on Twitter, it is becoming a force to reckon with and should be seriously considered as part of your communications arsenal.
To put things in perspective, as at August 09, 2011, 100 million users were reported active and logged in daily to Twitter, with many doing so on mobile devices. The mobile use of Twitter is increasing by 40 percent each quarter, and 400 million unique visitors pop into Twitter each month. That’s up 60 percent from just the start of the year.
Question is, how do you best use Twitter in your business? Today, public relations and marketing are some of the most obvious opportunities. Even within this realm, the room to deploy the tool more widely is huge.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this article is that Twitter should have a far more substantial role in any business. While it’s virtually certain that no one can yet claim absolute expertise in the application of Twitter in business, there are a lot of opportunities to consider, if we go beyond the obvious and ask the right questions.
Let’s take marketing for example. Depending on how your business is structured, a few sides of marketing could include publicity, product promotion, member / client communication, market research, product research, competitive intelligence, and customer care. While it is straight forward to think of Twitter when considering external announcements, such as to promote a new member benefit (if you are an association), an event, a technology roll out or announce a new listing, it is only by looking at the business from a holistic fashion that we can discover new areas where Twitter can help. If you are in a highly competitive business and need to monitor the competition, Twitter can help to more easily track competitors’ moves. It’s not only smart business, but a significantly more efficient way to go about it. New information comes right to you. You can also forward any new findings of substance to your teams, by email, with a couple of clicks.
Customer care and product / service improvement is another area that may not be a very obvious candidate at the outset. Create a track to follow your customers. You’d be surprised at the feedback you can gather. Information that can reinforce and highlight the right areas for improvement, or unveil serious issues with ample time for you to initiate corrective action. It also allows you to gather data for presentation to your management, which helps to back up your recommendations with actual market feedback. You can also tap Twitter to deliver useful information to your customers, to make their experience more meaningful and satisfactory. Tip of the day anyone, for example?
A good approach is to examine business pains and objectives from a macro point of view. Don’t limit yourself to parts of the business that come to mind first. Have you considered human resources (HR) for example? It’s another important part of business that can have its own Twitter account to help with things like recruiting, tracking local events and announcements, and disseminate useful messages and re-tweets to staff. How about using Twitter to enhance your positioning and finding out who you’re really up against? Try tweeting “What name and traits first come to mind when you think of hiring a Realtor in ‘neighborhood name’?”
If you are a real estate agent, Twitter is surely one of the tools you want to be able to publish information through, directly from your website. Let’s call it more free, easy advertising, at the very least.
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