Twitter as a Marketing Tool for YOUR Business?

Written by on October 24th, 2008

Stock brokers, real estate agents, sales people, physicians, service and retail industries can use twitter to reach and engage customers!

Twitter LogoMany consultants, authors and individuals are using Twitter as a personal branding tool.   By following others and commenting on what is happening in their lives they hope to build their own following  hoping it will increase their social media stature and brand.

So how are businesses like yours using it?

I was developing a marketing strategy recently and ran across the website It’s a tool that includes online community and social networking tools to access the wisdom of the crowds to help you name products and services.  Their motto is quite simple, “three world-validated names for your thingamajib in 48 hours.

When someone like you or I need help in naming a product, we simply pay 99 bucks and wait 48 for the top three names as determined by the participants in the online community. The creative community sits back and waits for you or someone else to throw out a naming opportunity.   It’s really an amazing process to watch as people from all over the world come forward to give you their input and suggestions.  

I noticed on their website the twitter logo and decided to follow the link.  The link took  me to their twitter page where they were uploading each new namethis request.   It appeared they had someone on their marketing team spent some time building a list of people to follow (1,500) and encourage others to follow (101).   While it may not be the most effective marketing tool available, is adding it to their social media tool chest to build their brand and tag new customers.

In their eyes, twitter is just another advertising channel they don’t have to pay to access!  And it’s an easy Internet strategy to get involved in.

Another company that is actively using Twitter is Zappos, an online shoe company with 1,200 brands and nearly 2.7 million products that is generating nearly 1 billion dollars in revenue each year.  Zappos is committed to customer service and is focused on customer service and maintains a presence on Facebook and Twitter.  They see both as tools that will help them find out whos happy and who’s not!   In fact their CEO, Tony Hsieh is one of Zappos employees that are online.  He has a following of 12,000 people who read his posts on topics ranging from free shoe giveaway and feedback requests to where he’s having dinner.

So how could other businesses use twitter this?

  1. A local vet could use it to share issues he/she is experiencing to keep pet owners informed
  2. Family physicians could use it to alert parents of common colds and virus going around
  3. Stock brokers could use it in crazy economic times to communicate with all clients who are trying to reach him on the phone with the same questions
  4. Lawn mowing company could remind customers about specials
  5. Real estate agents could keep individuals looking for home updated on new listings
  6. Sales people could follow prospects to get to know more about their interests and hobbies
  7. Parents can follow other parents who are dealing with child rearing issues
  8. Sons and daughters can connect with others dealing with issues revolving around aging parents
  9. Retail shops can instantly notify best customers with special “customer” only price reductions or arrival of new services
  10. Pastors can deliver their weekly sermon, one theme at a time to the congregation

It takes time for all of us to change our behaviors.  We’ve been trained to expect things happen in the thousands, but in this naked city there are a thousand positive effects of twitter that happen one person at a time.

Colleagues I talk to are finding twitter is delivering new clients making the time and effort better than spending time and earnings from other resources to pay the local newspaper or radio station to advertise for them.   I like to remind those I work with is that social media tools is an investment in your own marketing channel.

You own the customer base, you alone can decide when and how often you use that channel.  But the bottom line is their investment to gain a new twitter connection is an investment to paraphrase cousin Eddy from the movie, Christmas Vacation, is a “gift that just keeps on giving”.

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