Did I hear a twitter ?
By manoj.kashiramka on Jun 21, 2009
The rise of social networks like Twitter and Facebook has given customers new channels to express their opinions. Customers are increasingly using these channels to vent their anger or deliver glory to a product/service. A significant growth in unique visitors to these social networks when compared to mainstream news site like cnn.com has prompted businesses to take notice and start to use these channels.
Incorrect information that persists on net can be perceived as the truth. The information gets replicated and if businesses do not actively address the issue, the perception can start to feel like the truth. Take the case of the Irish student who as part of a social experiment added a fake quote to Wikipedia about a composer that then got published in various newspapers around the world. Everybody believed it to be the truth, until the student emailed the newspapers about the fake quote.
In a recent article about using Twitter for Business, the author lays out five use cases.
1. Voice of the Customer – Listen to what customers are talking about a product or a service. Companies can use the Twitter search or more sophisticated tools like monitter.com to listen when customers talk.
2. Proactive Customer Service – The next step is to act when customers complain or experience bad customer service. Pro-actively addressing the concerns raised can help restore some of the negativity in the marketplace the tweets generate.
3. Recruitment – The author makes a case that Twitter can be used as a recruitment tool by companies for future employees. I am not too sure that this can actually work but as per him some companies are doing this.
4. Customer feedback – Once you create a following on Twitter, you can use this channel to gather feedback on your products. You can direct customers to use web based tools like SurveyMonkey and gather the feedback.
5. Viral Marketing – The social nature of Twitter can be used as a channel in a campaign. The idea is not to run your campaign on Twitter but to integrate into the campaign as a channel.
Lots of companies have started using Twitter for business including British Airways and American Honda. A list of them can be found at the socialbrandindex. It’s become vitally important to listen to the customer and to gather feedback. Whether Twitter or Facebook were a medium to satisfy that requirement was a question in many people’s mind. To twit or not to twit. That was the question. Not anymore.