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The Five Best Business Uses of Twitter

Learn how to make Twitter work for you with advice from Gene Begin, MBA’07, digital marketing director at Babson.

Brand Monitoring

Twitter helps you find out how your audience feels not only about your brand but your competitors’ brands as well. For unsolicited feedback, monitor your brand terms (key words that relate to your product or business) and other relevant terms. When people comment about your brand in a tweet, you don’t need to respond to everything they say, but determining when and how to pipe up is good practice. You can receive direct feedback and valuable insight from your audiences by asking for comments or suggestions about new products or services.

Customer Service and Support

This is where you can make a large impact with your current customers. You know how tired people are of automated customer service via the phone. Answering customer service questions via Twitter can make some of your most passionate customers your biggest advocates. Don’t worry—an immediate response is not always expected from the Twitter audience, depending on your business and the question, but a timely response is certainly necessary. Twitter also can help you understand customers on a more personal level and build stronger, long-term relationships with them.

Promotion

Twitter is an invaluable platform to promote your business and drive traffic to your site and other online properties. The type of news that travels the fastest around Twitter is simply a great story. If you have one around your brand, product, a customer, or an employee, share it; when others pass it along, this is the new word-of-mouth marketing. Be sure to share other people’s stories—retweet, reply, link to other sites—so that you’re part of the larger Twitter community conversation.

Customer Acquisition and Retention

Quantifying how Twitter helps with customer acquisition is difficult, but it can have a strong impact given time. Marketing is all about building relationships with potential customers around your product, service, and brand. Twitter is a great platform to do just that. A strong relationship with your customers and brand advocates often will lead them to refer you to their followers, which can result in inquiries and orders.

Industry Research and Professional Development

You can gather research by using Twitter to pose customer questions and polls. Monitoring key words, lists, phrases, and thought leaders related to your industry or profession also can provide valuable market research and help you keep up with relevant people, news, and resources. Since I joined more than three years ago, Twitter has been one of the most influential and productive tools in my arsenal. I use it to follow trends, learn best practices, and engage with like-minded people in my field.​​

Follow Digital Marketing Director Gene Begin on twitter at @gbegin​.