9 Specific Ways Your Business Can Use Twitter

Jan 13, 2010   //   by Eric Brantner   //   SEO Blog  //  35 Comments

twitter bird

By now, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the reasons to use Twitter for your business. However, most conversations on the subject rarely offer specific strategies for using Twitter for your business, and instead they consist of vague statements like connect with and engage your audience or build your brand.

Today, we’re going to take a look at specific actions you can take on Twitter to help your business.

  1. Provide customer support—While I certainly don’t recommend using Twitter as your main source of customer support, it’s helpful as an additional option for customers. JetBlue and cable service Comcast are just two major companies that provide customer support through Twitter. Make sure the employee providing customer service over Twitter is trained properly to solve problems and to offer excellent service every time.
  2. Hold contests—Twitter is an excellent medium for holding a contest for your business. Last year, web hosting services company @HostGator held a contest where the company gave away an iPhone every day for a month. To enter the contest, entrants had to Tweet the details of the contest each day. This created thousands upon thousands of mentions about the web hosting company, making the contest a viral success.
  3. Alert customers about special sales—Many companies use Twitter to update customers about special sales and coupon codes. @MarcJacobsSales and @DellOutlet are two examples of Twitter accounts where you can learn of the latest and greatest deals.
  4. Poll audience for data gathering—One of the most overlooked ways to use Twitter is to gain deep insight from your target audience. Polling customers can involve anything from getting their thoughts on new product ideas to finding out which topics they’d like to see you blog about.
  5. Let customers know your location (for mobile businesses)—Several mobile businesses (e.g. taco trucks, ice cream trucks, waffle trucks, etc.) use Twitter to let customers know where they are. This drives foot traffic to the business, helping increase sales.
  6. Monitor your reputation—If your target audience is on Twitter, there’s a good chance your company could get mentioned at some point. Guess what? These mentions might not always be so positive. Subscribe to company-specific keywords on Twitter search so that you’re alerted every time someone mentions your brand.
  7. Tell customers when you have an opening—One of the most creative uses of Twitter I’ve seen is @Laundryroom. This Twitter account alerts residents at Olin College’s West Hall every time a washing machine in the Laundromat is available.
  8. Promote special events—Does your company host after hours events or special parties? Twitter is the perfect way to promote the event so you can have an excellent turnout.
  9. Post company news—Keep your customers, partners, and employees up to date with the latest news on your company through Twitter. This can be anything from updates on big projects to information about new products you’re releasing.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out how to get more followers on Twitter.

How does your business use Twitter? Leave a comment with your suggestions for effective business Tweeting.

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Eric Brantner

Eric Brantner is a copywriter who is obsessed with getting conversions. His services are used by small and mid-sized businesses from a range of industries.

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  • Some pretty great tips you got there! :)

  • Some pretty great tips you got there! :)

  • Gerri says:

    I especially like #3. It's nice when businesses specifically reward their twitter followers with special offers.

  • Gerri says:

    I especially like #3. It’s nice when businesses specifically reward their twitter followers with special offers.

  • Brian J King says:

    Great & very informative post – glad to see some real world examples for once. I really enjoy #7 – would have been useful when I lived in the student housing @bgsu. If your audience is on twitter then this is great too – perhaps you can even get your audience to use twitter; then you can gather data, offer sales/specials, and utilize all the other 9 ways offered in this post.

    Thanks – anyone else have any other suggestions? @brianjking me if you do. Cheers.
    .-= Brian J King´s last blog ..Brian J. King's Current Resume as of Wednesday, December 16th 2009 =-.

  • Brian J King says:

    Great & very informative post – glad to see some real world examples for once. I really enjoy #7 – would have been useful when I lived in the student housing @bgsu. If your audience is on twitter then this is great too – perhaps you can even get your audience to use twitter; then you can gather data, offer sales/specials, and utilize all the other 9 ways offered in this post.

    Thanks – anyone else have any other suggestions? @brianjking me if you do. Cheers.
    .-= Brian J King´s last blog ..Brian J. King’s Current Resume as of Wednesday, December 16th 2009 =-.

  • Ann Smarty says:

    It is amazing how much more potential there's in Twitter. It seems like we will never grow tired of discovering more and more uses of it.
    .-= Ann Smarty´s last blog ..How Guest Blogging Made Me 5-Figures in 2009 =-.

  • Ann Smarty says:

    It is amazing how much more potential there's in Twitter. It seems like we will never grow tired of discovering more and more uses of it.
    .-= Ann Smarty´s last blog ..How Guest Blogging Made Me 5-Figures in 2009 =-.

  • Donna Brewington Whi says:

    Very informative — great basic (yet comprehensive) guide that any business should use as a checklist. One thing I like to do is to also share pertinent activities of my clients or past clients — especially if they have a new accomplishment. For instantly, recently tweeted about a previous client's new startup. While this does not directly promote my business, it promotes my desire to be of support to my clients and the entrepreneurial community.
    .-= Donna Brewington White´s last blog ..A new year… =-.

  • Donna Brewington White says:

    Very informative — great basic (yet comprehensive) guide that any business should use as a checklist. One thing I like to do is to also share pertinent activities of my clients or past clients — especially if they have a new accomplishment. For instantly, recently tweeted about a previous client’s new startup. While this does not directly promote my business, it promotes my desire to be of support to my clients and the entrepreneurial community.
    .-= Donna Brewington White´s last blog ..A new year… =-.

  • Dennis Edell says:

    Excellent tips, and you're right, specifics is best!

    However, as good as it might be in theory, I don't see a lot of support issues being solved very quickly at 140 characters at a time…
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..4 DAYS LEFT!- ProBloggers-31 Days To Build A Better Blog- + 3 Awesome Bonuses! =-.

  • Dennis Edell says:

    Excellent tips, and you’re right, specifics is best!

    However, as good as it might be in theory, I don’t see a lot of support issues being solved very quickly at 140 characters at a time…
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..4 DAYS LEFT!- ProBloggers-31 Days To Build A Better Blog- + 3 Awesome Bonuses! =-.

  • James says:

    Some great ideas here, really creative. Particularly number 7 – that really is some out of the box thinking on how the technology can be used for a certain business. This is always going to be better than an out of the box solution.

    That being said, when you combine #1 with #6, every business should be on to a winner there

  • James says:

    Some great ideas here, really creative. Particularly number 7 – that really is some out of the box thinking on how the technology can be used for a certain business. This is always going to be better than an out of the box solution.

    That being said, when you combine #1 with #6, every business should be on to a winner there

  • Victor Torres says:

    Im starting a Dog walking business, these were great tips!

  • Victor Torres says:

    Im starting a Dog walking business, these were great tips!

  • victor torres says:

    speedypawsnyc@gmail.com, same on twitter @speedypawsnyc, any suggestions or comments will be appreciated!

  • victor torres says:

    speedypawsnyc@gmail.com, same on twitter @speedypawsnyc, any suggestions or comments will be appreciated!

  • derrickocean says:

    Wow this is a very good blog it def lets a lot people see how powerful twitter can be if you use it the right or to its full potential especially the poll, that in itself is a very powerful tool.

    DerrickOcean

  • derrickocean says:

    Wow this is a very good blog it def lets a lot people see how powerful twitter can be if you use it the right or to its full potential especially the poll, that in itself is a very powerful tool.
    DerrickOcean

  • patgermelman says:

    Excellent post! So many self-prescribed social media experts are hesitant to come right out and tell us what the business applications for Twitter or social media. Good for you for taking the bull by the horns. Could it be that the so called "experts" really don't know. Methinks that to be true. Appreciate the clear and on point direction!
    .-= patgermelman´s last blog ..Social Media Fairy Tales =-.

  • patgermelman says:

    Excellent post! So many self-prescribed social media experts are hesitant to come right out and tell us what the business applications for Twitter or social media. Good for you for taking the bull by the horns. Could it be that the so called "experts" really don't know. Methinks that to be true. Appreciate the clear and on point direction!
    .-= patgermelman´s last blog ..Social Media Fairy Tales =-.

  • Excellent tips. I have been looking at more unique ways to push my business forward on Twitter and this article has come in very handy. Thank you.

  • Excellent tips. I have been looking at more unique ways to push my business forward on Twitter and this article has come in very handy. Thank you.

  • Kelsey says:

    These tips can be used across the board for most industries. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kelsey says:

    These tips can be used across the board for most industries. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chad Egeland says:

    Some great ideas in this list and many I touched on a blog post I had done previously. Monitoring your reputation and letting customers know your location are two great tips I hadn't thought about. If you wanna hear what my take is on this issue and hear a few more ideas that I had check out my post here: http://chadegeland.com/post/265781243/twitter-ide

  • Chad Egeland says:

    Some great ideas in this list and many I touched on a blog post I had done previously. Monitoring your reputation and letting customers know your location are two great tips I hadn't thought about. If you wanna hear what my take is on this issue and hear a few more ideas that I had check out my post here: http://chadegeland.com/post/265781243/twitter-ide

  • Brian says:

    I liked the idea of monitoring your reputation, you probably think you are doing a great job when you publish something new and no one really tells you directly when you have made a mistake. But it is good to know, because learning from mistakes is essential.

  • Brian says:

    I liked the idea of monitoring your reputation, you probably think you are doing a great job when you publish something new and no one really tells you directly when you have made a mistake. But it is good to know, because learning from mistakes is essential.

  • All good point and I definitely agree with offering special sales (or discounts) via a company twitter account, as it's a good way to engage with your followers on an individual basis.

    I wrote a short blog post on just this topic:
    http://blog.fluidcreativity.co.uk/selling-on-twit
    .-= James Chapman´s last blog ..Owl Events website gets the go ahead =-.

  • All good point and I definitely agree with offering special sales (or discounts) via a company twitter account, as it's a good way to engage with your followers on an individual basis.

    I wrote a short blog post on just this topic:
    http://blog.fluidcreativity.co.uk/selling-on-twit
    .-= James Chapman´s last blog ..Owl Events website gets the go ahead =-.

  • Hi Eric,
    Absolutely correct, twitter is one of the great way to promote business. Thanks for sharing this awesome information.