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Using Twitter for Inbound Marketing and Customer Service

By Vanessa KnipperMay 26, 2010

When actor Ashton Kutcher gained his 1 millionth Twitter follower, the quasi-event made nightly newscasts and Internet news feeds. Of course, that's old news. Kutcher is now battling pop singer Britney Spears for Twitter supremacy; both are nearing 5 million followers. You don't have to be among the Twitteratti elite to see Twitter's marketing potential.

twitter is a great social media tool for inbound marketing and customer serviceThe ultimate news feed, Twitter is one of the newer additions to comprehensive social media marketing strategies. With more than 20 million U.S. users, Twitter has the potential to expand your marketing reach exponentially. Twitter allows you to connect almost instantly with customers, as long as you limit your messages to 140 characters, or about two short sentences. Obviously, Twitter isn't a vehicle for providing in-depth information or cultivating deep customer relationships. It's more "Hi" at the coffee shop than weekend seminar. But don't underestimate Twitter just because customer contacts seem superficial. There's something about the constant accessibility, immediacy and repeated contact that appeals to consumers.

Twitter can be an effective marketing tool when used correctly. It has no peer when it comes to quickly disseminating timely snippets of information, making instantaneous announcements to large numbers of people, reaching people scattered in distant locations and obtaining instant feedback. Some of the most effective marketing uses of Twitter include:

  • Broadcasting news such as the launch of a new product or an early weather-induced closing.
  • Promote an event. Twitter allows you to easily issue repeat announcements to promote special events.
  • Announcing special sales. Offering occasional Twitter-only unadvertised sales is one effective way to keep fans tuned in.
  • Answer customers' questions. Personally responding to customers' questions or complaints builds goodwill and strengthens customer loyalty.
  • Point out useful resources. Providing helpful links to web articles, websites or blogs increases your credibility as an industry expert.
  • Obtain feedback. On Twitter you can run a poll, ask a question or ask for advice and receive valuable feedback from customers instantly.
  • Introduce new staff or announce a job opening. Who better to become your next devoted employee than a loyal customer who is already emotionally invested in your business?
  • Promote your brand. With each tweet you send, you increase consumer awareness of your company and products, and keep your brand firmly in front of consumers.
What are your experiences using Twitter for marketing and/or customer service?

Photo Credit: Metro Library and Archive
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The Author

Vanessa Knipper

Vanessa Knipper is the Marketing Director at Kuno Creative. She enjoys writing about social media and marketing trends. Vanessa is an avid reader of tech blogs and industry news, which she shares regularly on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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