Reason #1: Immediacy
Think of the benefits of immediate access to your target audience and customers. Announce product recalls and avoid lawsuits. Answer customer questions on the spot. Engage with non-followers who mention your product, company, or competitors. Reward followers with incentives. Announce sales and links to quarterly earnings. Immediacy gives you to reach your audience now.
- Last minute push to complete a fundraiser
- Traffic updates
- Leaking info about the upcoming release of a new product
- Posting links to your latest article or press release
- Answering customer questions so quick, they feel valued as a customer.
Reason #2: Influence
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people are asking themselves and others for recommendations on products and services. Every second of the day, someone is using Twitter to ask for recommendations. How much easier can it get to build your customer base? Be there to answer their questions and make a winning first impression.
Example Questions Being Twittered Right Now:
- "What's the best joint pain reliever medicine?"
- " What's the best place to grab a drink around pike place market?"
- "What's the best book you've most recently read?"
- "What's the best airline website you've ever used?"
- "What's the best mobile broadband in Ingerland?"
- " What's the best Twitter app for the iPhone right now?"
- "What's the best ad service for a blog do you reckon? Or is adsense still great?"
- "What's the software product that can best be described as "Powerpoint on Steriods"? Not web based software"
As you can see, anything goes. People just want information. They want recommendations. Someone who has used the product or service can offer their experience. Think about that. There are some creative solutions and approaches there.
Reason #3: Reputation
In the 21st Century, you don't have days to respond to a negative story about your company. You may not even have hours. Twitter provides an immediacy of information unprecedented in the history of the world.
Example: While in Dallas a few weeks back, I heard about the earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area thirty minutes before most people right next door in Los Angeles. Geographic proximity as an influencing factor is now irrelevant to the equation of immediacy. As long as someone twitters it somewhere in the world, you can catch the latest news within seconds.
The downside to this immediacy is the lighting fast spread of negative news. Rumors of bankruptcy, scandal, or defective products hit the wire and thousands of people are sharing the news with their friends before you've ever heard a word. If it's newsworthy, it's going to be twittered. If you're not monitoring Twitter and presenting your company's face and position to the world there, your company is vulnerable to viral attack.
Reason #4: Exposure
While there are no guarantees that someone you follow on Twitter will reciprocate and follow you back, following a person or organization is like a notification of existence. It says, "Here I am! Check me out and see if I'm worth following back." Each user is typically notified via email of each new follower, thus giving them an opportunity to review new followers and possibly reciprocate the follow.
By searching Twitter for users within a specific geographic area or by the topics of their conversations, any organization can cherry-pick their friends based on common goals or interests. This is the easiest method of increasing exposure I've ever heard of.
Reason #5: Traffic
Your company has a website. And you want people to visit it, if not purchase something or contact you through it. With Twitter, you can increase traffic to your site simply by engaging others.
Methods for Increasing Traffic:
- Answer other people's questions
- Poll for opinions
- Post links to your newest articles
- Announce sales
- Recommend other Twitter users to your audience, thereby engendering appreciation