Using Twitter for Business

October 19, 2011

Since Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006, both consumers and businesses have been growing and learning together on how best to use this new mass communication tool. Of course Twitter is the micro blogging service that limits ‘tweets’ to a 140 character limit. The real question is: Can Twitter effectively be used to grow your business? The answer is an unqualified “Yes!”.

Consider research conducted in September 2011 by Maritz Research and evolve24 which surveyed a panel of 1,298 U.S. consumers who reported being active Twitter users. The survey participants had also previously used Twitter to complain about a specific product, service, brand, or company.

The Maritz Research findings revealed that even though fully half of the Twitter complainers expected a response from the company directly – less than one third of the complaints received a company reply. To the great benefit of those companies who did respond to Twitter complaints, fully 83% said they liked or loved hearing from the company. Imagine your feelings as a disgruntled consumer if you received no reply at all as was the case with over 70% of the complainers. You can see the details of the complete study here.

Suffice it to say that if you are a business owner you will absolutely benefit from the following actions:

1. If you do not already have a Twitter account – set one up at: https://twitter.com/signup.

2. Promote your Twitter name to your current customers in every way possible.

3. Tweet out anything that your company does of significance. Don’t worry if you only have a small number of followers to start with.

4. Monitor (search for) your company name on Twitter frequently and most importantly reply to every single customer (or prospect) communication.

Need more evidence that Twitter can help grow your business and your brand? Here is a true story of how Twitter grew the reputation of WordPress hosting company 34SP.com in Manchester, United Kingdom. In early August 2011 a wave of violence swept across the UK precipitated by a series of sharp government spending cuts designed to cut tens of thousands of public sector jobs through 2015. In the aftermath of the destruction which saw shop windows broken and cars smashed and burned, one British citizen created a website to organize a public cleanup effort. The website which is located at riotcleanup.co.uk is hosted by 34SP.com. After an amazing flurry of positive publicity for the website, the Twitter hashtag #ukcleanup went viral inundating the website’s servers and slowing the site to a crawl.

After a multitude of tweets complaining about the website accessibility, 34SP.com donated a dedicated server and ramped up the capability of the website to withstand the nearly 2 million visitors per hour that the website experienced during peak traffic volumes. The Twitter complaint behavior turned nearly 100% positive as word went around that 34SP.com had risen to the challenge and created a massive positive experience for UK riot cleanup visitors and a boost for the 34SP.com brand.

So make a point of engaging your customers and prospects with Twitter and reap the benefits. Of course you can also follow all the latest information on Twitter from Host Merchant Services.

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