Aug 19 2008
The “micro-blogging” service Twitter has been becoming more and more mainstream since the company’s inception in 2006. Twitter users are now well into the millions and growth shows no sign of slowing down. Twitter is still much more popular on the West Coast but users are spreading rapidly throughout the world. Companies are finding many creative ways to use Twitter to benefit their business. Twitter is proving to be a valuable medium for companies to run promotions, get product feedback, research competitors, manage their brand and even perform personal customer service. In this three post series we will look a little deeper into how exactly your company can leverage Twitter.
> for readers interested in running their own Twitter promotional campaign here are some helpful links:
- Beginner’s Guide for How to Use Twitter for Business and Promotions
- Define your Goals for Successful Twitter Promotions (Experienced Twitter User)
- Case Study – How to Run a Twitter Promotion
Many companies are using Twitter as a means of rolling out cheap but effective promotions. Whole Foods market is using Twitter heavily to connect with customers. Whole Foods Twitter account has become a valuable way for the company to market specific products and boost their stores through promotions. Whole Foods runs a weekly twitter promotion where they Tweet a pass phrase and one of their locations where the pass phrase can be used and the first 5 people who go to that location and give the password receive a $25 gift certificate to that store. Another way to earn a $25 gift certificate is the “Tweet of the Day”. To determine the “Tweet of the Day” Whole Foods monitors all of the Tweets from that day pertaining to Whole Foods using the Twitter search tool. The Tweet that was particularly funny or interesting wins the prize and the Twitter user receives a direct message alerting them that they have won. Whole foods now has more than 2900 followers as of today on Twitter. (**Update: as of 4/23/09 Whole Foods now has over 497,000 followers of its Twitter account)
I believe that Twitter is such a great place for these larger companies to market their products and interact with customers because their customers are actively seeking it. Whole Foods’ thousands of followers have made the conscience decision to follow Whole Foods on Twitter. They want to know what is going on and what is new at Whole Foods. It is the same concept as signing up for an email newsletter but people are more apt to simply follow someone on Twitter because it doesn’t fill up their inbox and if they have a question about something they can ask it and get a personal response as opposed to a stale email response. Personally, when there was a recent salmonella poisoning scare in Georgia I direct messaged Whole Foods and asked what they were doing to help protect against the problem in their stores. I received a direct response three hours later. What a great customer service experience. The information they gave me was just what I was looking for and displayed the power of reaching out to customers through Twitter.
For the next post we will look at some more companies successfully using Twitter for Customer Service requests.