Twitter 101

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of Twitter. On March 21st, 2006, twttr.com launched (because Twitter.com was owned by an avid bird enthusiast) and generated a total 224 tweets (infographic). Now, six years later, over one billion Tweets are sent every two to three days! Head to Tweetping to watch in real time.

Why Use Twitter

Twitter is the fastest growing social media platform of 2013. Between Q2 and Q4, the social networking site has grown by 40%! This adds up to 485 million total users with 288 million of those accounts actively Tweeting (Business Insider Infographic). This makes Twitter an excellent tool for businesses because they can easily reach a large amount of consumers; thus, allowing brands to expand and ultimately increase revenue. However, it is very important that companies use Twitter correctly.

As we continue transitioning towards a digital marketing world, consumers are constantly inundated with companies spouting content at them. That is because many businesses don’t know how to use social media effectively. Those that are reluctant to make the switch from traditional to digital often view social media sites (minus that Facebook thing the kids are on these days) as an unnecessary waste of time.

We at Command Partners have a much different outlook. We believe that overlooking or abusing a social media site with 288 million active users (aka Twitter) is not the way to go. As an excellent resource for brands to communicate with consumers, Twitter is a social network that is too awesome to ignore. There are countless benefits of Twitter, but for the sake of not writing a ridiculously long blog, we’re going to focus on three.

Benefits of Twitter for Business

1. Engage with Consumers – Twitter gives users the opportunity to connect and communicate with brands. Whether it be following, retweeting, replying, or favoriting, consumers are directly interacting with their favorite brands. This allows them to feel like they are a part of the company and will build a loyal relationship with the brand. But it is very important to do this correctly.

  • Engage in two-way communication between the brand and consumers
    • Traditional media talks at consumers. Digital marketing gives brands the chance to talk with consumers. By communicating with consumers, it strengthens the brand-consumer relationship.
  • Ask questions to encourage users to reply and share your Tweets
    • By asking users to share their point of view, they feel the brand genuinely cares about them (as they should). Consumers will then feel like they are part of the company.
  • Add hashtags to posts
    • The addition of #hashtags in the text allow your Tweet to reach potential consumers who could be interested in your brand. An example would be Tweeting for a Kickstarter product. By adding the #crowdfunding, your post would be seen by users interested and searching for crowdfunding on Twitter.
  • Participate in TweetChats
    • TweetChats are topic focused Twitter events at designated times with a specific hashtag. Users (both personal and business) participate by voicing their thoughts and opinions on the subject. This is an excellent chance for brands to show their personality. It also allows them to connect with potential customers, clients, and business opportunities. Check out the TweetChat schedule here.

 

2. Customer Service – Social media sites have opened a portal for consumers to voice any questions or complaints they may have with a brand. Yes, consumers are free to voice (and voice loudly we might add) their complaints; however, if a brand addresses the issue, they can publicly resolve issues.

  • Sentiment Analysis
    • Twitter allows businesses to find out how their brand is perceived by their customers. This is done by analyzing the terms and emoticons most commonly accompanying their brand name.
  • Respond to Complaints
    • Social media has made directly replying to customer complaints a necessity and the normal practice. Consumers expect businesses to respond to their Tweets and solve them. If a company ignored tough questions or negative comments, the situation could easily snowball on Twitter and the brand image would deteriorate. By addressing the issue in real time, brands help their customers and build a relationship.
  • Actually Solve Issues
    • It is important to be honest and transparent on Twitter. Users can see right through generic replies and identify when a company is avoiding the issue. By replying honestly, brands establish trust with customers in the public sphere.

 

3. Customer Retention – Once users follow your brand on Twitter, it is important to continually give them reasons to remain brand loyal. By rewarding their loyalty, it will encourage them to keep checking back to your profile to see what offers you have. Since all of your competitors are on Twitter as well, it is important to remind customers why they love your brand more.

  • Coupons
    • Tweeting coupons rewards your followers and encourages them to purchase from your business. Coupons are also a popular RT (retweet) among followers, so your brand could gain new customers based on how much your tweet is shared.
  • Contests
    • Contests on Twitter are an excellent way to keep your followers involved and help spread word about the brand. Whether it be a #hashtag war, a RT competition, or something non-Twitter related, users will be Tweeting about it to all of their friends. It will also deepen customer loyalty because they will keep coming back to see what the company is offering next.

 

So why should businesses care?

Well, it is simple really.How To Use Twitter Correctly

Using Twitter Correctly = A Strong Brand-Consumer Relationship
A Strong Brand-Consumer Relationship = Brand Loyalty
Brand Loyalty = Consumers Buying your Brand’s products or services
Consumers Buying your Brand = Increased Revenue (aka $$$)
Therefore:
Using Twitter Correctly = Increased Revenue (aka $$$)

 

Twitter is a social media network that can’t be avoided. Since everyone and their mother have accounts, the reach Twitter offers businesses is crucial to differentiating their brand. By engaging with consumers, responding to customer service, and encouraging customer retention, a brand can truly separate itself from their competitors (and yes, increase revenue). But, as we mentioned before, to reap the benefits, businesses have to use Twitter correctly.

If you feel like this is a daunting task and would like some help, hiring a social media marketing agency to run your Twitter account(s) is definitely in your best interest. They have the time, tools, and experience to make your brand stand out on Twitter.