There was a survey recently that highlights something that may be a little surprising: the real reason people use Twitter is for business, rather than social purposes. For some time now, many online marketers have been pushing the use of Twitter for business. More than eight in 10 people tweet for business. If 80 percent of people are using Twitter to increase brand awareness and their bottom line, then businesses that have yet to embrace tweeting are falling behind their competition, and potentially losing out on possible revenue as well.
Twitter lets you write and read messages of up to 140 characters. Twitter messages are usually public, and Twitter is a recipient-driven information network, so you decide what sort of messages you want to receive. You can also receive Twitter messages, or tweets, equally well from your desktop or your mobile phone.
So why is everyone all a-twitter about Twitter? What exactly does Twitter offer online businesses? …Twitter can be used as a communication platform that helps businesses get (and stay) connected to their customers. As a business, you can use Twitter to instantly share information with anyone who is interested in your company, gather real-time market information and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company. In turn, customers can use Twitter to provide businesses with feedback about their shopping experiences, offer product ideas, and learn about offers.
When you combine messages that are quick to write, easy to read, public, controlled by recipients and exchangeable anywhere, what you get is a powerful, real-time way to communicate. Believe it or not, but Twitter’s brand of up-t0-the-minute (up-to-the-second even?) real-time communication is turning out to be ground-breaking tool for online businesses and users alike.
Twitter connects you to your customers right away, in a way that was never before possible. For example, let’s say you work for a bike company. If you run a search for your brand, you may find people posting messages about how happy they are riding the bikes, giving you a chance to share tips about cycling with them. Once you’ve engaged an audience that you already know has an interest in your market, you can lay the groundwork for future sales pitches to potential customers.
You don’t have to run a bike shop or a relatively small company to get good value out of Twitter. All sorts of businesses are increasingly finding that listening and engaging their customers on their service and the customer experience leads to happier customers, passionate advocates, key product improvements and better yet, MORE SALES.
A key benefit of Twitter is that it gives you the chance to communicate casually with customers on their terms, creating friendly relationships along the way – something that’s always been tough for corporations to do in most other mediums.
In addition to learning more about what your customers want, you can provide exclusive Twitter coupon codes, link to key posts on your blog, and share tips for shopping online. You can also take things a step further by occasionally posting messages about fun and quirky events in your company, giving others a small but valuable personal connection with your company and your employees.
Do you use Twitter for business or do you just use it for fun? We’d love to hear your comments below.
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