Many businesses still think of Twitter as only a public relations tool. But Twitter is more than just a way to publicize a new product or service. It’s a way for businesses to quickly connect and engage with customers, partners and employees and build a loyal following. So how can your brand leverage Twitter beyond PR? Following are six innovative ways to use the social media service that can benefit your bottom line.
1. Lead generation/customer acquisition. “Businesses can use Twitter to prospect for leads,” says Brandon Hoffman, director of Internet marketing, KEA Advertising. “For instance, let's say that you're an auto mechanic. [You could] do a search for terms like ‘need mechanic’ [or] ‘recommend mechanic,’ [looking for posters] within 10 miles of your business address.” You can then “engage them and potentially find yourself a new customer.”
Another way to find prospective customers on Twitter is to search for intent-based tweets. “Three-hundred million Tweets are sent daily and two of the most commonly used phrases on Twitter are ‘I want’ and ‘I need,’” says Bernard Perrine, cofounder and CEO, SocialCentiv, a Twitter marketing tool. “Monitoring Twitter for keywords and geolocation, brands who represent services or products that answer the ‘I want’ or ‘I need’ tweets have a golden opportunity to reply with a personalized offer and [attract a new customer].”
You can also “monitor Twitter to find unhappy customers of your competitors,” says Brittany Berger, head of Content, Mention, a media monitoring service. “If there’s an opportunity where you can help or solve their problem, a quick reply can turn them into a hot lead. Just make sure to reach out with the intention of helping, instead of letting it turn into a hard sell.”
Similarly, “look for general conversations happening about your business’s industry,” she says. “If you find people asking questions you know the answer to, help them out regardless of whether or not it’s related to your product or business. This will help you build warm connections that can be converted to leads.”
Another way to attract new customers, “reward your Twitter followers with special promotions and flash sales,” says Roxanne Martinez, president, Roxstar Marketing. “Tweet a deal that your customers cannot find anywhere else. If it’s compelling enough, you’re likely to get retweets or engagement that could attract new customers.”
2. Recruiting. You can also “use Twitter to hire talent,” says Ninh Tran, cofounder and CMO, HireTeamMate. “Fifty-four percent of companies are using Twitter to hire, and 74 percent of hires come from social networks.” Moreover, “34 percent of job seekers are ‘social’ job seekers – [and] 29 percent of social job seekers ask for advice on Twitter.”
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