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What’s Twitter good for?

June 30, 2009

Recently I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking to colleagues about Twitter and why it’s useful. We’ve been discussing whether Twitter is useful either for ourselves (a medium sized consulting firm) or for any of our clients. In order to dehype the conversation, I’ve been trying to distill my thinking around what can be done on Twitter into a few distinct functional uses…

Dave’s uses for Twitter (for a company / organisation)

  • Signposting –> using Twitter to link back into your own website whenever new content is available. If you’re already using RSS or some popular blogsites it can be automated with services such as Twitterstream.
  • Creating a customer services channel –> More and more companies are creating customer services channels on Twitter. I’ve personally used @easyjetcare with much success. This relies on having someone at the other end who is able to engage quickly and regularly, has sufficient information to address queries, etc.
  • Creating a brand engagement experience –> Some brands are coming up with innovative approaches to getting people engaged with their brands using social media platforms as the place to grab attention. Dunkin Donuts have come up with a great idea for a competition based on profile pics (although strangely only on Facebook, but the example remains relevant). At a simplistic level, this could be as easy as using Twitter for coupons and promotions.
  • Polling for opinions, help, information –> It’s called social networking for a reason – ask a question about your products/services, and see what people say. There are few other mediums that allow to ask your consumers for direct feedback in such a connected fashion.
  • [Added 07/07] An article in Inc introduced me to the idea of using Twitter to monitor keywords which may be translated into sales opportunities

The most important thing, of course, is to ensure that any efforts on Twitter is consistent with your communications strategy. It needs to be considered as one element of a broader channel strategy which presents a consistent brand image for your organisation across all platforms.

What do you think? Have you got any more?

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