The site is estimated to have 200 million users, generating 190 million tweets a day and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day.
For a site that only allows users to post messages of 140 characters, it has had an incredible influence on the nature of communication and even the legal landscape: witness the recent superinjunction scandal, where names of celebrities alleged to have taken out the superinjunections were published on Twitter. One of the celebrities impacted threatened to take certain Twitter users to court, opening up a debate about the law, free speech and the internet.
In short – Twitter is no lightweight social networking site, and you need to start using it!
Twitter shares many benefits with Facebook. Firstly, it allows you to have an instant conversation with customers. This is in two main ways: in the active effort you put out there in having conversations and in the way that you can see how people are talking about you, even if they’re not talking to you.
This is because whenever somebody uses your Twitter name, complete with the @ sign, it comes up in your feed. Usually on Twitter when a customer is discussing your business, they will include your full name. This is great because if they are praising you, you and everybody else gets to see it. If they are upset with you, this is also an advantage, because you can remedy the situation straightaway. For an example, look at the pages of BT or the mobile phone companies. They often deal with custumer complaints swiftly.
Twitter is also, like Facebook, a huge relationship-building exercise. In fact, it’s more about conversations and relationships than direct advertising. It gives you the chance to network with similar businesses and gain credence via notable followers too.
Twitter, therefore, is a vital part of your content marketing strategy.
How do you use Twitter for business?
Twitter is about added value. Spamming your followers with endless self-serving messages is the best way to lose them. Instead, curry favour by posting tweets that teach or give your followers something.
A great way to engage your followers is by offering Twitter-only competitions and discount codes. You can also publicise sales and new products.
Many businesses combine their blogging and Twitter strategies and this is a great thing to do. Each time you write a blog, link to it from your Twitter page. Of course, you’ll have made sure that your blog is useful, entertaining and informative, so by posting it up on Twitter you fulfil the added value remit.
It is vital to present your human face with Twitter, so take time to have real, tangible conversations with your followers and with those who you follow. Online relationships an convert into tangible sales because people buy from people not faceless organisations, so remember this each time you tweet, and issue guidelines for your staff if they are to be entrusted with your brand’s communications on Twitter.