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Using Twitter Tools for Business

Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has experienced the kind of growth that 99.9% of web startups can only dream of. With over 140 million users, it is not only a phenomenal social media success story but also a valuable business opportunity.

Rather than a cold marketing tool, however, Twitter has become a place where users welcome interaction with the brands they follow and where new relationships are formed between potential customers and helpful brands.

Below is an outline of three tools that will help your business engage with your audience, improving customer retention and attracting new business.

Tool 1 – Twitter Search – New Business & Customer Service

Twitter’s simple search function has allowed businesses to find people talking about problems related to their industry and to reach out and offer their products or services as a solution.

It has also become a great customer service opportunity for brands who can address negative feedback and keep existing customers happy when they don’t use the @mention feature.

Of course, there are brands who don’t respond to negative feedback even when the @mention is used, missing out on the chance to show what caring folk they really are:

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Tool 2 – Buffer – Keeping the Conversation Going

Scheduling your updates is a great idea. It allows you to spend half an hour a week queuing your tweets so that the rest of your social media time allowance can be spent engaging with your audience.

Buffer allows you to manage multiple accounts, not only on Twitter but also Facebook, LinkedIn and more. You can create custom schedules to control exactly when your updates go out, and the analytics feature is pretty useful too.

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Tool 3 – Followerwonk – Finding influential users

Followerwonk has many useful features for businesses looking to maximise the effectiveness of their Twitter account.

The main feature allows you to search user bios by keyword to find the people you want to engage with. To use the example from above, Virgin Media may want to contact a few UK tech bloggers to undo some of the bad PR from their Twitter account, especially Zahid Ghadialy with his 900+ followers…

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Taking this a step further, if a business like Virgin Media wanted to see who influenced both Zahid and Jordan Ewbank (two of the bloggers above) then they could use Followerwonk’s ‘compare users’ function to see which users they both follow.

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Follower counts here are getting into serious numbers, so some cross-promotion with GigaOM, for example, would make sure that the more positive PR activity would reach a very broad and influential audience.

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In summary…

There are over a million Twitter tools that can help individuals make the most of their Twitter accounts. Businesses can take advantage of many of them in the different ways described above.

However, using these tools alone won’t guarantee success. The kind of monitoring and interaction with the wider conversation in your industry is something only a dedicated social media manager can achieve.

 

 

This article was written by Matt Fielding, Head of Search at Custard online marketing who specialise in social media management and search marketing.

 

Posted on: November 6, 2012

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