Many companies and individuals are still asking themselves how can I use Twitter in my business? The following is just a small sampling of some of the ways that your technology business can use Twitter. Feel free to leave a comment on some of the ways your business has incorporated Twitter for a competitive advantage.
Developer or Tech support – look at ESRI EDN (ESRI developer network http://edn.esri.com) as an example. The company’s EDN team maintains a fine techie Twitter group where developers can exchange ideas, seek support and more. Follow the team leader on Twitter @jimbarry and other members including: @AL_Laframboise @dcardella @agup
Support an event – again, ESRI did a fine job of this by using Twitter along with their user conference to enable conference moments to be shared among attendees and with others interested but not able to attend. Paramount to an event twitter stream is the creation and promotion of an official event hashtag like #esriuc
Sales and promotions – I have to use Dell as an example here as the company has had so much success offering their customers and would-be customers great deals via Twitter deals and coupons. See @DellHomeOffers. The company uses this Twitter account (they maintain many accounts) to offer discounts – see here for an example
Customer Support – one only needs to look at @starbucks for a great example of customer service. The starbucks team monitors twitter activity very closely and does an excellent job responding to customer enquiries, complaints, and comments. As an example, a few weeks ago I commented how starbucks has been short pouring my coffee leaving a little too much room for cream. Low and behold several minutes later I received a message from Starbucks noting that I can always go up and ask for more coffee and they will gladly oblige. Here’s an example of a Tweet designed to get Dell’s attention about an issue with a product.
Press and news – This may be the obvious, however, many companies that are on Twitter forget or neglect to tweet their news. As an industry writer and journalist, I appreciate getting news alerts via twitter as frequently I act on hearing about news and quickly follow up by posting official PR on our websites or perhaps create a blog posting based on the news tip I received. As an example check out @intergraph – see example here or see also this announcement from ESRI announcing the availability of training via Twitter – ESRItraining is now on Twitter! Follow for news about instructor-led & Web-based training on ESRI software.
Corporate Social Media – I recently read an article on “how to for social media” and one of the tips that really stood out was not to depend solely on Twitter for your social media activities, rather, use Twitter along with other social apps/services to develop a social media plan. For an excellent example see Dell. the company maintains an official Twitter info page on their corporate website at http://www.dell.com/twitter. In addition to information about Dell’s twitter activities, you’ll also find information and pointers to Dell’s other social websites including YouTube, facebook, flickr, and corporate weblogs. See also http://twitter.com/DellOutlet
Photos – A picture is definitely worth 1,000 words and many companies are wisely taking advantage of TwitPic to post and share photos and images. As an example, rather than simply tweeting a news release title, a company can easily share a photo along with the news headline, resulting in immediate attention and added exposure. For an example see my Twitpic HERE – Twitpic is easily accessed from third-pary apps (PC and mobile) and is a great way to complement and ehnance your Tweets
Support your partners and clients – A great way to show appreciation for your business partners, clients, customers and others supporters is by showing them some Twitter “love”. Providing a Re-Tweet (See example), FollowFriday or a simple introduction via twitter can go a long way in building your relationships. The next time a business associate joins twitter consider sending out a “welcome @company to Twitter – follow them for some great advice on social media”.
Promote your facebook fan page! Chances are that many of your Twitter followers are also avid facebook fanatics. It follows that your corporate Tweeters may wish to occasionally plug/promote your facebook page, however, be sure not to simply re-tweet everything that appears on your facebook page, rather, periodic reminders that your facebook page exists will result in added followers. Here’s an example of how CNN recently promoted their facebook fan page via Twitter
Maintain multiple Twitter accounts – If your business has many arms and verticals, consider establishing a Twitter for each of your teams (and supporting them). I’ll use ESRI as an example again as the company has many Twitter accounts including ESRI Corporate (@esri), ESRI public safety (@GISPublicSafety), Public Works (@ESRIPublicWorks), developers (@jim_barry) and many others.
Twitter for Business – 10 Tips
I hope you find atleast one useful way to use Twitter in your business workflows from this list, no doubt there are many other innovative uses to take advantage of Twitter. Note: remember you can follow me @gletham or follow GIS technology news updates via @gisuser