So you thought Twitter was just for fun, I have even funnier news for you: It can be used to boost your business. It does not matter if you are a small company, huge or medium one. It really does not matter what country you are at. Twitter works in spite of any circumstances whatsoever; If you apply certain techniques we will share with you here.
Many people are still thinking these Social Network sites are a waste of time and money. But from many Social Network experts' point of view, you are actually investing money and time just by sitting in front of your PC and micro blogging every now and then. If you are an employee, you can increase the productivity ratios of your company just by Tweeting. Just exactly as was confirmed by a research made by the University of Melbourne.
In the medium and longer run ROI can experience plausible increasing rates, and if it's being used effectively in the short run. Social Network and more especially Twitter, for example are being used by famous brands. They use it either for promoting their corporate blog just like Kodak, to keep track of their customer's file feedback, Samsung or the North American fast food brand Popeye Chicken and Ford Motors. They have placed a Twitter Follow me gadget on their front page.
There are quite a lot of companies using Twitter in order to enrich their Organizational Culture, by sharing internal news with the employees. They have different Twitter accounts for different departments such as Customer Service, Value Chain Management, for example in the case of Ford, for their different sub-brands such as Mustang, Racing, trucks, etc. Also to mention ATTnews use this system to keep updated their fans with recent news about their company, Jetblue Airlines use this wonderful system as an efficient option to support their customers and Comcast is using this tool to strengthen and add value to their customer relationship service. One of the ways they are adding value is by placing a real photo in the profile rather than a cold logo. According to their opinion this is a good RRPP weapon.
Twitter is also being used for companies' product releases. For example Dell computers use this to show coupons or offers on many products and services and Starbucks coffee company is staying tune with their customers on the latest introductory offers related to their specialty coffee products around the world. A remarkable thing about Starbucks is that they are planning to install more sophisticated applications that will enable them to interact more with their customers, applications similar to phone to phone conversation. HRBlock, Whole Foods Markets, Corn Flakes, Southwest Airlines or Quaker Wheat etc, another list of companies could be endless.
Twitter creates sustainability within a real and efficient marketing plan and because of that, certain important steps to make it work should be pondered:
* Invest quite a reasonable time on building a strong profile, as in real life the first impression is highly important. Hire a good graphic designer if possible, or simply grab an eye catching Twitter background; There are a lot around the net. Remember to respect your corporate image mood and feel. Any brand should have that and it will definitely differentiate you from the pack. Make it constant in any other ways such as real personalized cards, pens, pins, etc.
* Start widening your network by adding worth following people, celebrities and government officials. Posting useful information in a regular basis and sending a warm welcome to your new followers gives a good impression of you. Start adding potential followers, those related to your business or who you might consider to be key contacts. Remember to use your profile as an ongoing profile, which means starting to add feeds to your Twitter from your website rather than a static or boring link. Twitter has a very good application named Twitterfeeds which updates your Twitter with any content or title you add to your site, providing fresh content to your Twitter as well.
* Twitter API's to increase higher and more effective interactive levels among your followers from your Desktop, Twhirl, TweetDeck or Twitterrific etc.
* As always keep alive the social fire, by helping others and being useful to others. Joining to social organizations and professional associations or by attending conferences and other events is another good tactic. Twitter has also a tool named Tweetup, where you can plan virtual meetups that would have led you to the real world. Please do not discredit real social interactions, especially for sales closures.
* Be a proactive Twitter, that means do not just post or copy paste information from other sources or sites but post your own work from your own website. If you are working on a new research or project start sharing the information from your own website by sharing your expertise, it will help you to boost your personal brand. Just remember not to boast about, arrogance is a big thumb down in this case. Instead try to flow and have a good time with your new Twitter friends. Retweeting (@RT) useful information from other users is in this case a good tactic. By doing so you will give credit to those who describes them and it will help you a lot as well. Once you have set up the previous mentioned Twitter fundamentals, you can use now the most important business Twitter search tools which are highly efficient. Many companies are already including them in their market domination programs:
* Tweetdeck that was mentioned before and helps you in this case to organize and optimize your list, all this in front of your eyes, in your desktop.
* Tweetbeep is another wonderful tool which helps you to monitor your brand. It is compared to Google Alerts. By using this tool you will be able to monitor your industry and name and the best thing in this is all information needed is sent to your email or folder if you enable it. You can catalog it and categorize it in real time by field and segmentations.
* Twellow as we mentioned in previous articles, is like a Twitter Yellow pages or a huge Twitter data base. It is a digital directory, which has all what you want for a global and holistic order either locally, regionally, worldly or statistically. This tool can be used together with Twellowhood and allows you to do business research in a geographical basis; Unfortunately for now it only includes Canada and United States. Twellow is highly used for job hunting and this tool is being used by renamed head hunters. Of course it can be used by job seekers as well.
* Nearby Tweets is a very useful application, this helps you to search for tweets based on desired keywords or location. Although it is quite new (launched on January 2009), it promises to be the boom of all applications. By using Nearby Tweets, your local or geographic research can also be filtered by locating other interests by enriching your search and adding value to your work. It is a real time application and you do not have to be nobody's friend to follow market trends, it is like you are watching through the window of your 10th floor apartment what is happening at a crowded street of New York.
* TweetTree is another Twitter user research tool. Only the difference from other research tools and search tools is that it displays similar results from other Twitter's posts even from other social network sites such as YouTube, Twitpic, Flicker, etc.
* Blip.FM is like having a Twitter profile but with a CD player included, where you can choose your music and start moving to and from your Tweets away.
* TwinFluence and TwinCounter helps you to monitor either your whole trajectory or influence level or simply just analyzing your Twitter strength level among other Twitters, same as other statistic with charts and graphs. These tools can help you structuring a solid personal or brand SWOT.
Twitter's algorithm is also changing and mutating into more search engines friendly crawling system, changing traditional marketing and business paradigms into the Twitter business strategy and Twitter marketing ones. That means in the mean time it will compete with Google as a search engine system. Because of this, certain mathematical parameters should be applied here in this case and for those into search engine marketing works, however this is the topic of another article which will come soon.