Innovative Uses of Twitter
Twitter may have been around a few years, but business and individuals are still finding new ways of using the micro-blogging platform. Twitter allows real-time interaction with customers and business partners, and can be used to solicit instant feedback on new products and services. With the help of your Twitter followers, you can develop these new products into items your customers will love. Other businesses are using Twitter to communicate with their employees and drive customers to short-term sales featuring deep discounts. Here are a few innovative ways companies are using Twitter.
Instant Customer Feedback
Market test your products on Twitter, instead of paying for an expensive focus group. Send links to your followers and get instant feedback on new offerings. If you are developing a website or other online application, followers can test it and tell you about bugs or errors they find.
Interact with your followers as they test and explore. You will hear unedited feedback which can help you with everything from future product development to marketing and advertising ideas. Followers involved in the development of a product are also much more likely to become loyal followers when it's launched.
Solicit Ideas from Your Customers
Followers can develop ideas as well as products and applications. Twitter is one big discussion, and users love to offer opinions on new ideas. Twitter could be an electronic suggestion box, but converse with followers about their suggestions to turn good ideas into great ones.
Incomplete thoughts and ideas stimulate the most discussion, so throw them out there and find the one that will make your customers happiest. The customers who help you develop it will be loyal, and spread the word both on- and offline.
Track Your Reputation Using Twitter Alerts
The Twitter website isn't great for tracking multiple keywords without constant searching. Fortunately, several applications allow you to track keywords and hashtags related to your company or industry, and receive alerts when they appear. Track industry-related news and events, and listen to what people are saying about your company and products. Companies using Twitter alerts can get a jump on the competition and respond to prevent an isolated incident evolving into a crisis.
Tracking your competitors
Alerts can track your competitors as well. You can also sign up to follow your competitors so you find out what they're offering as soon as their customers do. As they send out sales, products and new services over Twitter, you can monitor and respond with product offerings of your own. While this won't help you get ahead of the competition, you'll know exactly what they're doing as soon as the industry does.
Communicate with employees
Some companies use Twitter to communicate with their employees. Employees follow an announcement account and find out about weather emergencies, company outings and other essential information via Twitter. Accessing Twitter from a mobile phone beats logging in to a company email account to find out whether the building has closed due to snow or another weather emergency.
A Tweeter's credibility is often judged by the number of followers they have. Employees should be encouraged to follow the official company account to help drive the account's credibility as well as receive company announcements. Having employees follow is a great way to kick-start an account.
Accept Customer Complaints via Twitter
Demonstrate confidence in your products and customer service by accepting customer complaints over Twitter. When followers see how well you handle the situation, they will spread the word about their great customer service. Don't do anything beyond what is reasonable, but take advantage of the opportunity to interact directly into a customer and show them how much you value their business.
Deals or limited time offers
Short-duration sales are all over Twitter. Engaged followers will drive lots of traffic to a short term sale and create a buzz around your products and links. Loyal customers will get a great deal, and regular short term sales encourage people to follow your Twitter account to find out about these sales. This opens them up to your other marketing messages, increases your presence and helps you get better feedback on your products and ideas.
Twitter is a great tool for businesses and can drive revenue, help build a brand and provide interaction with customers. As a relatively new platform, businesses are still developing their approaches and new approaches are constantly emerging. Whatever your industry, Twitter is a valuable outlet for marketing and customer feedback.