This is part two in a six part series in which I will discuss a section of Brian Solis’ book Engage! In today’s post, I will be discussing how businesses can effectively use twitter as a marketing, business and public relations tool.
In chapter eight of the book, Solis gives 21 uses of Twitter and other social media sites that businesses can adopt to become successful in the social media world. I’m going to discuss a few of his examples that I believe are most important.
- Word of mouth marketing is something that’s been around for centuries. Twitter and other sites are great tools to grow a brand or company via word of mouth. Solis makes a point to say that there is no such thing a viral marketing. I think this is a great realization, as Twitter is basically just an extended form of communicating “word of mouth.” (The phrase “viral marketing” is really just a media generated Internet buzzword) Creating a popular contest or giveaway with a hashtag (#) relating back to your company can create buzz that can grow company recognition at an exponential rate. Using Twitter in this fashion is like being able to tell everyone you know that something is a good value or a great product in just a matter of seconds. Businesses need to embrace Twitter as the ultimate word of mouth marketing machine.
- Direct sales and special offers on Twitter are often used by social savvy businesses to increase sales and awareness. Solis discusses how hotel and airline businesses use Twitter to give 10 percent discounts to customers. The Roger Smith in New York monitors Twitter conversations to give prospective travelers deals on their rooms. According to Solis, this social media technique accounted for a $15,000 to $20,000 increase in sales for the Roger Smith Hotel. Figuring out how to target potential customers on Twitter is a useful tool to build your business.
- Mobile Marketing is the next waive of social marketing that will shift how some businesses target their customers. Solis discusses how a Korean BBQ truck business in Hollywood will use Twitter to locate customers. While in Hollywood with a friend, a hungry Solis used Twitter to contact the food truck directly to his busy location. The company ultimately made several sales and revealed its Twitter strategy to the customers who just bought food. Just minutes later, over 25 people voiced their appreciation for @kogiBBQ on Twitter. Not only were sales made, but a customer network was being established. Generating repeat customers is a huge part of making a successful business.
- Fund raising on Twitter is a huge part of a savvy non-profit organization’s social presence. Creating links to pages where people can directly donate via Paypal and other direct payment sites is a great way to generate donations. Generating a tweet with one of these links that people want to “retweet” to their followers is a great way to spread the word about a good cause. It gives people an easy way to help great causes. The American Cancer Society (@AmericanCancer) does a good job with this use of Twitter.
These are just a few of the many ways Twitter is a useful tool that businesses must use to generate new customers and to keep customers engaged. In fact, there are probably several uses for Twitter that haven’t been discovered yet. The businesses and organizations that create new methods and strategies using social media will likely be the businesses that survive and thrive in the future.