A big impression can be made in a short 140 characters, and top companies are taking note. Twitter accounts can help build your business and your business’s online brand. Companies have taken to Twitter to market their products, become a source of information in the industry and to interact with their customers.
Because Twitter accounts are free, they can be a great tool for small businesses looking to expand their online profile.
Due to the short nature of tweets, it is important to establish a voice for your Twitter account. The voice of your account can amplify the tone of your brand, or help provide a new dimension. Some companies use Twitter to establish themselves as expert sources of information, tweeting links to news articles and studies their customers and followers might enjoy. Many companies with popular accounts use the medium as a way to show off a fun side of their brand’s personality. Companies can also direct their followers to new products or content on their websites in an unobtrusive way.
Twitter provides a guide for small businesses, and 8 best practices for establishing a trusted brand online. They also provide case studies about ways brands have effectively used Twitter to advertise their campaigns and products through promoted tweets, trending topics and accounts.
Twitter also provides an easy way to interact with customers one on one. Unfiltered feedback can be daunting, but it can provide a real insight into what your customers want. Providing effective customer service on Twitter requires a commitment to monitoring the account, your “@ mentions”, and searching for tweets including your brand’s name or products, and providing prompt responses.
Companies can also reach out to customers and crowd-source information for free. Whether you are looking to launch a new variety of a product or develop a promotional deal, there is no better audience to ask than your customers. Engaging your customers in the decision-making process has never been easier.
Twitter, like other social media sites, can also have a down side. Hacked Twitter accounts, tweets that are not well thought out or customer complaints can create a negative opinion of your brand. But, even negative feedback can provide the chance to make a great second-impression.
AdWeek was quick to highlight the masterful use of twitter by the UK grocery chain Sainsbury’s.. A dissatisfied customer tweeted at the brand that the “chicken in [their] sandwich tastes like it was beaten to death by Hulk Hogan.” The company quickly reached out to acknowledge the customer’s complaint, saying "Really sorry it wasn't up to scratch. We will replace Mr. Hogan with Ultimate Warrior on our production line immediately." The humorous tweet was also accompanied by a tweet from the corporate account providing a number to call and their regrets that the customer had to “wrestle his way through the sandwich.”
Twitter can also be used to promote special deals for your followers, tweeting links to coupons or private sales. Letting customers know that your account will tweet promotional deals can also be a good way to turn a customer into a Twitter follower.
Trying to establish an online brand through 140-character messages may seem intimidating, but with no barriers to entry and unlimited potential, Twitter accounts are quickly becoming a vital part of a modern businesses online profile.
If you would like more information on Twitter, please contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com.
Jeanne M. Buddingh is founder and partner in Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact her at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.