Reprinted from the BizTimes
Marketing+PR newsletter on February 4, 2009 by FD's own Jill Schmidt:
When I read the majority of marketing articles, I find myself
skipping the first paragraphs. In an age when time is one of our
most valuable resources, I wish that everyone would just Get. To.
The. Point. That's the ultimate beauty of twitter. Businesses can now get right to the
heart of it with their consumers in 140 characters or less and not
be faulted for short replies. From a consumer perspective, it's
great to pull up a business's profile and see how they're publicly
responding to consumers' questions, issues or compliments. From a
brand's perspective, it offers the opportunity to throw a little
personality into the mix. If your brand isn't on twitter, it's time
to get educated and make your move.
Here's a short list of some twitter business basics:
Here's how two businesses recently made a strong
impression on me through twitter engagement:
I complained on twitter about a series of bad experiences with
Home Depot Online. Within minutes, "@theHomeDepot" was "following"
me and asking to help. I gave a brief description of my problem and
my order number, to which they immediately replied that they were
looking into. The next day, I received an apologetic phone call
from a customer service manager, and a $100 gift card was
overnighted to me. I repaid Home Depot by publicly thanking them on
twitter, facebook and the website GetSatisfaction. I continue to
"follow" @theHomeDepot to learn about sales and marketing efforts,
and they've secured my business.
One of my twitter friends, or tweeples, made a comment about
carpet cleaners. I replied that "I've impressed a party's worth of
people by pulling out the Bissell SpotBot and cleaning a red wine
spill." Bissell's "@wemeanclean" profile directed a message to me
stating that it's "Always nice to have party tricks." Being a
SpotBot enthusiast, I took the opportunity to sing its praises in a
message directed back to @wemeanclean in front of my 150+ followers
and opted to "follow" their brand. Bissell was using their twitter
presence to let followers know about a "cute dog" contest on their
website. I've entered my dog and downloaded the Bissell-branded
widget so that my friends in other electronic locations know to
vote for my dog too. This cross promotion is the type of electronic
"word of mouth" brands long for, all of which resulted from a
little "shout out" on behalf of a brand to one of their
It's ok to use twitter for extended brand promotion too, but it
helps to be "cute" about it. At a recent Milwaukee Interactive
Marketing Association (MIMA) event, moderator Bill Finn from Finn
Digital gave away t-shirts to the first four people to "tweet"
about the event from their mobile phones. As a result, MIMA
garnered four+ pages of twitter activity and received the most
public recognition to date. Perhaps a little party trick to keep in
mind for your next sponsorship opportunity.
Basic Twitter Tools:
The idea of using social media networks to build brand equity
can be a foreign concept for many business. However, the sheer
impact of the Internet and the word-of-mouth generated from these
networks can be more effective that traditional advertising.
Who else thinks so? Check out this article
from Business Week. A corollary article is available here.
Getting involved in social networking can build a new generation
of brand-loyal--and more importantly, brand-aware--consumers of a
company's products and services.
Media Project Manager