That's Great - But How Do I Use It in My Business?
Yesterday afternoon, Membership Director Patti Coen mentioned that Symposium attendees who came to the SOCAP table were asking how they could use Twitter in their business.
As it turns out, Lifehacker posted an article yesterday morning discussing 6 useful ways to use Twitter. Several of these can be implemented in a business context. Here are a couple:
1. Monitor What You Care About
Does your company produce pistachios? If so, it might be beneficial to know what people are saying about the pistachio recall in real time – or to track the scope of the recall. Well, this is where Twitter search comes in. Just go to search.twitter.com and type in “pistachio recall.” Here are your results. Even if your company does not produce pistachios, there are probably other issues that do impact your business and that you could use Twitter search to track in real time.
Do you monitor the social media buzz for your company? Twitter search, once again, can help you monitor that buzz in real time from potentially millions of Twitter users. Go to Twitter search right now and type in your company name. You may find that people are saying things you don’t want to hear, or that people are posting inanities. But there also might be a trend in public perception that you can – and should – follow in real time.
If you find a term you wish to monitor, the Lifehacker article mentions some desktop apps that you can download for free and use to set up permanent searches. Tweetdeck is probably the most popular.
2. Ask Questions, Get Answers
This can be a very powerful use of Twitter. One day in 2008, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, tweeted that he was meeting that afternoon with eBay executives. He then asked Twitter followers to send him suggestions for ways that eBay can improve the user experience. He was going to share the responses with eBay execs during the meeting. He got such a high volume of responses that he shared some suggestions during the meeting and emailed the rest.
Are there questions you would like to ask your customers in real time? Are there suggestions they could give you in real time that you could then pass on to Marketing or the C-Suite? Twitter is a great way to get this sort of information from your customers.
3. Beyond Lifehacker: Updating Consumers
This is something that the Lifehacker article doesn’t mention, but some companies are using Twitter to provide information updates and/or interact directly with their consumers. Take a look, for example, at these classic examples of how some Twitter-savvy companies are using the service:
There are many examples of companies using Twitter to update customers. One memorable one: During a big Northeast ice storm and subsequent power outage, the local utility company provided customers with updates on restoration of service. How would that be useful if you didn’t have electricity? Well, since Twitter can be used on your mobile phone, you could follow the updates from your phone.
I hope that these few examples give you some ideas that can help start you brainstorming about how Twitter might be useful in your business. If you have specific Twitter questions, you can use the contact form to reach me by email or call the SOCAP office and ask for me.
Cindy Collins Smith – SOCAP
Day 2 - SOCAP Symposium - thoughts from the windy city
Amy McIntyre – great speaker and an excellent way to jump start the day. Nuggets from her presentation that I liked most:
- Hire the right people
- Get rid of the wrong ones
- Take very good care of the ones you keep
- Learn to listen…say thank you…and say I’m sorry
Leveraging Contact Center Data to Develop Usable Consumer Insights…Ed Billmaier – the key = ATTITUDE, be a strategic differentiator not a cost center…pursue the changes needed in your company
Leveraging Social Media in Product Recalls…Listen first; have a social media plan/strategy before you are in crisis mode and don’t be afraid of social media
Eileen Troise – Dannon
Another Wonderful Day
Another wonderful day with my SOCAP family.
Wow! Amy Curtis-McIntyre started the day off perfectly! She had the whole group rolling with laughter and still delivered a powerful message.
The sessions were great and proved so effective in sharing ideas. Can’t wait for the social tonight!
Matt Sanders – Hyatt