In a recent article, we showed you how to set up a business account for Twitter. In this post, we’re taking things one stage further by showing you some of the marvellous ways you can use Twitter to improve business.
Many businesses only use Twitter in limited ways, perhaps to publicise their recent blog posts or to post links to their product pages. However, more savvy companies have been far more creative in how they use the platform and have seen massive improvements in business as a result. Here are 10 great ways you can do so, too.
Find prospective customers to engage with
Social media is a great tool for building relationships with prospective customers and Twitter is one of the easiest platforms you can use to find them. The way to do this is by using the Advanced Twitter search feature.
Potential customers who have an interest in your products or services will use particular keywords or phrases in their tweets. So, if you sell golf equipment, for example, you can use the Advanced Twitter search to find people using golf-related terms. Once found, you can market to this interest group directly to entice them to your website.
Show the benefits of your product or service
Creating an image or video which shows the benefits of using your product or service, or showing how your product can be used in different ways is a great way to attract attention and to get people to share your tweets.
Here’s an example of how a fictitious watch company can target outdoor adventurers with a few well-chosen words, a single image and a link to its website:
Crave adventure? So do our watches.
Use Twitter to take orders
Whilst many companies use Twitter to direct customers to their website, sometimes there is no need to do this at all as you can use it to take orders directly. This can be done via the reply and direct messaging features of Twitter. You can simply tweet your offer, and if customers want to order they can reply to you or send you a direct message. If they use the reply function, their followers will get to see that they have ordered from you, too. You can then reply yourself to let them know the order has been taken.
Whilst this won’t work if you require payment up front, it will work if you are a local business where customers can come and collect the goods and pay for them in store. For example, it can be used to order a coffee or a takeaway or reserve a seat at a cinema or restaurant.
Cappuccino & croissant. 10.30. Matt. Thanks.
Improved customer service
When people started using Twitter to complain about products and services, companies realised that they needed to respond quickly to prevent negative comments going viral. Over time, what many businesses originally started as a fire fighting exercise has developed into a fully-fledged customer service model. Twitter is now used to deal not only with complaints but with every type of customer service issue from responding to how to questions, making bookings for repairs, after-sales care and dealing with many other customer queries.
Doing this on Twitter is a quick and convenient way to undertake customer service. Customers don’t need to queue for ages on a telephone or pay for the call, it is often more convenient for both business and customer and, doing it publicly lets other potential customers know that you are a business that takes customer service seriously.
Boost customer engagement
Getting Twitter users to engage with your brand is a key way to convert them into customers. One great way to do this is to send out tweets that require a response. If you have a new product, send out a picture of it with a question? So for example, if you sell cars and have models in a range of colours, ask Twitter users to name their favourite.
This kind of strategy encourages people to get involved in the debate, offer opinions and share their results, all of which can promote your products to an even wider audience
We love blue. What’s your favourite? #newcar See the full range at http://….
Many companies already use Twitter to share voucher codes with potential customers, it’s simple and easy to do and if you use a Twitter-specific code it will enable you to analyse how successful your Twitter marketing campaign is doing in comparison to other campaigns.
25% off. Today only. Grab em whilst you can. Use code: Twitterwoo
Take advantage of customer content
Another great way to market your products and to generate customer engagement is to ask your customers to post pictures showing them using your products. Each image posted will work as an endorsement of your brand, and as it takes the form of a customer testimonial, it’s likely to have far greater impact than just you telling customers how great your products are.
Once customers have posted using the reply button, you can extend the reach of each image by retweeting it.
You can generate more interest by asking customers to come up with the most unusual ways they use your product as in the example of Coca-Cola below.
Build a bigger email subscriber list
We’ve written previously about the importance of building an email list to boost your business and many companies have found ways of using Twitter to entice customers to sign-up. The way they do this is to create free offers and promote them in tweets. However, in order to get the free offer, customers have to visit your website and sign-up for your newsletter, first.
You can promote all kinds of offers to achieve this: discount coupons, two for the price of one or kids go free deals, ebooks, free quotations, product samples, etc.; whichever is most appropriate to your specific business.
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Boost your brand awareness
Promoting your brand’s values is a great way to encourage customers to think of your company in a good light and this can lead to increased customer loyalty and the onboarding of new customers. So, whether you are telling a brand story or highlighting some of the ways in which your company gives back to its customers or society as a whole, you should always use Twitter to shout it loud.
#givingback Some of our proud staff volunteering with our chosen charity.
Host a Tweetup
A tweetup is where you invite some of your Twitter followers to meet up for an event. These events are very common and have become popular as they have been proved to help businesses develop relationships with prospects, customers, partners and vendors. Their effectiveness comes from combining online and offline social networks in one place. In addition, sharing what happens at your Tweetup is a great way to develop even more awareness about your products.
A typical example could be a brewing company that invites amateur beer makers to their brewery for the day to learn how to make beer like a professional. By posting tweets, including images and video about the day, the company could generate much more interest in its products to a wider audience. This is especially the case if some of the customers who are invited have substantial social media followers of their own.
Businesses across the globe are using Twitter in more and more creative ways to help boost their social media profile. From reading this article, you should now have an understanding of how to use Twitter more effectively in order to:
- find new customers
- showcase your products
- take online orders
- improve customer service
- increase engagement and brand awareness
- offer discounts
- Grow your mailing list