As Scott Straten says…’What’s to believe in…it’s not a religion.’ That being said, I do see how many struggle to see the business application. I myself joined twitter around 2007, played around with it for a year or so, and then came to see the light.
The problem I had in those days was there weren’t any instructions. You create an account and have a clean slate. In those days there was no recommendations for users to follow, and resources explaining how the service worked were scarce.
What I needed was to see how it was being used by others in order to creatively find a way to make it work for my own applications. I think any marketer worth their salt does this on a daily basis. We analyze commercials, publications, mail pieces, and campaigns to see what we like and what we don’t. We take what we like, mix it with other things we like, and find a way to make it appeal to our needs.
So let’s take that same approach with twitter…
The following case studies will shows examples of how twitter is being used effectively for business applications. After giving them a look, analyze your business needs and goals, and take pieces of the cases you like and see if you can utilize twitter in a way to address those needs and goals.
And if nothing else…do a search for your business, your brand, and your top keywords on search.twitter.com. My guess is the conversations already occurring may at least make a plea for the case that ‘The conversation is already happening, don’t you want to be involved…or at least aware.’
- Tying Revenue to Twitter: Back in 2009 we saw a flood of new business to twitter. It probably had something to do with Dell reporting $3 Million in revenue that it tied to twitter. By offering exclusive discounts/coupons and monitoring traffic from twitter that resulted in purchases, Dell was able to transform the social media tool into a solid revenue stream. At one point, the Dell Outlet was able to drive $1 Million in sales from customers who came through twitter during a 6-month period. You can read more about how Dell was able to tie revenue to twitter in this NY Times article.
- Utilizing Twitter to Reduce Customer Service Call Expenses: Small businesses with customers active on twitter can easily reduce customer service call volume by monitoring mentions on Twitter. Now imagine someone like Microsoft, who we all know gets bashed online. Their Tweet Fleet (@XboxSupport) responded to over 5,000 questions in an average time of 2 minutes 42 seconds during one week in March. Imagine the amount of call volume that prevented, and their responses being public and searchable probably reduced things even further. Social Media Examiner did a great write-up on Microsoft Xbox Uses Twitter to Reduce Support Costs.
- Build Brand Awareness, Grow Marketshare, & Create Loyalty through Twitter: Whether you are a huge billion dollar corporation or a newly formed startup, Twitter is a great tool for creating buzz and brand awareness. Take Kogi Korean BBQ and their fleet of food trucks that roam the city of LA. By effectively using Twitter, Kogi is able to gather 300-800 people with a single tweet. Knowing how to engage their customers on the social tool has helped that grow their presence on twitter from just announcements of their location into an active, almost rabid, community with cult-like characteristics. Check out this LA Times article about Kogi Korean BBQ and how they have used twitter to grow awareness, market share and loyalty.