A lot of people don’t think of Twitter as a marketing tool. Most think of it as a social site reserved for simple things like telling the world that your going to lunch, or what your watching, and so on and so forth. As business owners or marketers, we always want to know how to increase our sales right? What increases sales? What is it that our customers are looking for? Do we provide that? Do they even know about us?

When marketing a product, new or existing, we need to do what? Promote it, brand it/us build a community around it, perform market research, and follow through with customer support. All of these key points and many more can be achieved through Twitter. Let’s take a quick look at them individually and how Twitter can work for us.

1. Promoting

While Twitter is a conversational medium, some brands have found success in utilizing the channel purely as a promotional tool. Typically this entails a broadcast approach in which the brand uses Twitter to send offers to subscribers, much like how many companies use email marketing. Large corporations are using Twitter for this reason. Dell claims that they have generated over $1 million in sales via Twitter promotions. Twitter gives us the opportunity to promote our company and our products instantly to our customers at little to no cost.

2. Branding

Twitter is an excellent tool to create and expand your brand. Instead of seeking directly measurable/tangible benefits, a number of companies are using Twitter to successfully build or even extend brand values to new/existing customers. Utilizing a number of features in Twitter can rapidly spread awareness on the products/services you offer your customers. Providing timely resources or sharing bits of personal/ business information builds your presence and brand.

3. Building a Community through Word of Mouth

Twitter is based around a community and engaging in conversation. People spend their time discussing just about everything on Twitter. As business owners /marketers, the best form of advertising we all want is positive word of mouth about our products and services. Twitter gives us an amazing opportunity to do just that. Almost all major conferences nowadays produce a #hashtag for their event to enable attendees to connect and interact with each other via Twitter. This is a great way for your followers to spread the word about your events and to increase your reach in the market. Many major brands are using #hashtags to this effect.

4. Market Research

Twitter’s search functionality provides businesses/marketers with great real time customer research tools. Want to know what customers are saying about your product/brand? Do a Twitter search and find out. This is a great way to also learn what is hot at the time and use that knowledge to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. Using Twitter effectively, you can be on top of the latest news in your market, or even be the ones breaking the news and starting a viral trend based on your brand. The real-time aspect of Twitter makes it a power tool just for the fact that we can look at what is being talked about right now. We can then participate in the conversation and learn more about what our customers want and need. We then get use this new data to develop new products, enhance our current products, or even adjust our marketing strategy to point out that our products already fulfill their needs.

5. Customer Support

This is perhaps the most obvious and practical application of Twitter in business. Consumers talk about products/brands on Twitter all day, everyday, often asking support related questions or complaining about a product. This creates an opportunity for company’s/brands to monitor Twitter conversations and to respond accordingly.

From a marketing perspective, the advantage of a customer support initiative is that it drives customer loyalty and positive word of mouth. That coveted “Viral Marketing” that we all desire. Negative situations can be transformed into positive outcomes with the appropriate intervention. And of course, Twitter provides the perfect platform for affected customers to tell others about their positive experience!

Contact BearFoot Marketing today so we can help you start using Twitter to its fullest!