Today, I attended a talk given by Guy Kawasaki—who I consider the master of ‘personal’ branding. The talk was entitled “Using Social Media to Market Your Business,” and it was focused on Twitter. Prior to this talk, I thought I knew everything there was to know about ‘social media,’ and had come to the conclusion that Twitter was primarily “marketing people marketing to other marketers.” But after hearing about how Guy Kawasaki used it, I realized that Twitter is bound to evolve and it will play a useful role for business strategy in the future.
As of 2009, Twitter is primarily being driven by marketing people, who outnumber general consumers 4-to-1. However, as this service moves ‘across the chasm’ and into the mainstream it will most likely replace email marketing and become the new interface between companies, and their customers.
So with that said, what will Twitter mean for your business? The trick to understanding this is to realize that it’s not about Twitter itself but about the apps designed to interact with it. Guy talked about some of these (he’s online 10 hours a day)—so here are five ways Twitter has helped him and can potentially help you with your business and strategy…
“Products and services reach critical mass because mere mortals spread the word for you”—Guy Kawasaki
Twitter for Customer Insight
You probably want to know what you’re customers are interested in. There are a bunch of really good tools for finding what people are discussing related to your product or industry. Some quick searches and you might see customers complaining about competitive features, or talking about issues they want fixed.
Twitter for Sales Lead Generation
Guy Kawasaki recommended a service called TwitterHawk, that automatically responds to Twitter posts, with wording that you specify. He also gave us the caveat that this service can cross the line from marketing tool to ‘spam’. Tools like this—or even direct messaging users can be used for lead generation. Just be careful about how you are perceived.
Twitter for Customer Relations
Use CoTweet to manage your account with multiple users. The easiest application of this is to tie your entire company to one or two Twitter accounts for posting information, customer support, marketing & sales.