Opportunities for Businesses on Twitter

Emily Creech - March 25, 2009

By this point, most of us have at least heard of Twitter and are somewhat familiar with this fast growing, micro-blogging website. Even though I am not as active on Twitter as many of those that I am following, I do enjoy listening to the conversations and am intrigued by the growth potential of this channel. Did you know that Twitter grew by 1,689% from February 2008 to February 2009, as reported by Nielsen Online?

One of the most interesting aspects of Twitter is how businesses can connect with people on a different level.   As many businesses moved to Facebook over the last few years, just as many businesses seem to be creating a presence on Twitter, and there is proof that it’s working.

A manager at a café in Houston, Texas began using Twitter and says that as a result, his clientele has nearly doubled. When they began using Twitter they were unsure of what to expect, but have been astounded by the results.   The café hosted a “Tweetup” where about 100 people came to socialize with other locals, and of course, those who attended purchased food and drinks from the café.  

The same café said that they’ve also placed orders on Twitter. Imagine working on a project or catching up on emails, and instead of stopping what you’re doing to wait in line for a cup of coffee, you could send a Direct Message to place your order. Think about the opportunities!

Social media has become a critical component for many businesses, and it’s fascinating to see that social media marketing is now moving offline where individuals can meet each other and build personal relationships.

With that said, there are a few things that anyone managing a Twitter account for their business should take into consideration.   First, as well all know, social media is about making personal connections.   It’s not a place for you to blatantly promote yourself or your brand.   While everyone is aware that Twitter and other social media channels are part of many marketing strategies, in order to be successful, you must add value.   The way for businesses to succeed in any social network is through giving advice, providing resources and generating discussions with others. Also, don’t be afraid to share non-business information. Zappos is great at this.   And, most importantly, listen. Twitter is an ideal place to learn what others are saying about you and your brand. You may be surprised what you hear.

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