Twitter has released “Twitter 101 for Business” which is in essence a guide for getting started with using the service. It covers the basics of Twitter, how to get started, the lingo, and includes many real case studies. The guide begins by pointing out that every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. It then points out that people are turning to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses, which I would imagine is the main topic of this guide.
Although the guide is certainly worthy of a read, that is if you are wise enough to realize how valuable Twitter has become to the Internet and online marketing, I thought I’d post some excerpts.
Twitter isn’t just about useful immediacy. The conversational nature of the medium lets you build relationships with customers, partners and other people important to your business. Beyond transactions, Twitter gives your constituents direct access to employees and a way to contribute to your company; as marketers say, it shrinks the emotional distance between your company and your customers. Plus, the platform lends itself to integration with your existing communication channels and strategies. In combination, those factors can make Twitter a critical piece of your company’s bigger digital footprint.
Getting People To Listen/Follow
It’s important to understand that on Twitter, people choose to view your updates by searching for specific keywords or by following your account. This recipient-controlled model means that if you are compelling to people on Twitter, they’ll choose to view your updates through search or follow your account. The reverse is also true (people may choose to un-follow you just as easily).
You can meet several communication goals simultaneously by thinking about your Twitter account as a friendly information booth or coffee bar. It’s a good place for people to ask you spontaneous questions of all kinds, and it’s also a good spot to share juicy information they might find useful. When you hit stride with these exchanges, they often lead to unexpected, valuable relationships.
It’s About Relationships
Instead of approaching Twitter as a place to broadcast information about your company, think of it as a place to build relationships.
When people raise customer service issues on Twitter, they generally expect a quick reply—within a day, if not within a few hours, depending on the nature of your business. Keep an eye on your @mentions.
Measuring Twitter’s Value
When you offer deals via Twitter, use a unique coupon code so that you can tell how many people take you up on that Twitter-based promotion. If you have an online presence, you can also set up a landing page for a promotion, to track not only click-throughs but further behavior and conversions.
These are just some of the juicy bits of information I pulled from the guide. If you really want to see Twitter and businesses in action, be sure to read through the case studies. Twitter is even looking for additional case studies to add to the guide and invites your input if you have used Twitter for business in an interesting way.