We've all heard the success stories. A company joins the Twitterverse and in what seems like a matter of a few weeks, the revenue starts pouring in. But you shouldn't put your business on Twitter if all that flashes before your eyes are dollar signs. Instead, emulate the success stories of companies like Dell, Best Buy, JetBlue and others by using Twitter as a relationship building tool. If you successfully connect to your customers through Twitter, the potential to drive sales of your product is reasonably higher.
Even though a business model isn't clearly defined for social networking sites like Twitter, companies have at least cracked the code on how to use it for the benefit of their customers and themselves. For example, a company employee of Dell discovered Twitter at the 2007 South by Southwest conference and realized its potential for pushing out information and receiving quick responses. Once the switch had been flipped on, people began asking questions, making suggestions, and communicating their experiences in unexpected droves. Dell listened and began offering Twitter-exclusive promotions and coupons, which eventually excelled their earnings to 3 million in revenue attributed to Twitter posts. Through their 80 Dell-branded Twitter accounts, the company has raised awareness about product deals, increased sales, and successfully connected to customers and created advocates for their brand.
Another success story in the tech-world is Best Buy, who used Twitter to humanize their brand by offering an online support system called twelpforce. One of the most important tips to follow if you want to generate success on Twitter is to offer relevant information. As of January 2009, @twelpforce has provided over 19,500 answers to customer inquiries and counting. It's not just the CEOs or the marketing department that are responsible for the Best Buy accounts, employees are in on it too. Over 2,300 are signed up to answer questions, adding even more to the already extensive database of answers.
If you want to find success on Twitter that extends beyond monetary consummation, do what Dell and Best Buy did. First, be a listener. More than likely your customers have something to say, positive or negative, and it's valuable information. Trust your employees to be the voice for your brand online. Supply them with a set of rules and boundaries, but most importantly give them a mission. Offer your customers more than your brand alone. Be human. Twitter users value this channel because they know they are talking to someone with a pulse. Lastly, encourage and participate in conversation. Talking to your customers, retweeting what they say and providing feedback creates brand advocates and lifelong customers.
For more case studies and information on Twitter, visit https://twitter.com/twitter101/case_bestbuy.