Even with only 140 characters you can create a great program to announce, engage and inform your followers. It’s not a “set it and forget it” program – you will need to dedicate time to maintain and adjust as needed – but with so many people and companies beginning to utilize different aspects of social media, you don’t want to be left behind!
Here are my reasons for using Twitter for business:
Information is all over the place. When you visit our website, you’ll find product pages, technical bulletins, newsletters, webinars, training & seminars, etc… you get the idea. But sometimes you just want to see the short story and leave the real reviewing for later, when you have time to sit and read. A tweet can be as simple as your next training dates and a registration link or if you are attending a conference or trade event and want to promote it among your followers. Retweet others that are involved in the industry or announce new products.
A twitter account is free. I don’t know about you and your business, but we end up cutting back on advertising when other higher priority expenses come up. We may have to forgo a couple ads in top industry magazines, but look at it this way – with nearly 60% of American adults now possessing smartphones, we have to consider alternative methods of capturing their attention. Twitter also offers advertising through their site. You can promote certain tweets to target audiences and possibly build awareness of your brand/product/service in new minds – particularly to those who are local to your business.
I try to entertain our followers and keep interest high in what we tweet about throughout the day. We’ll throw in a contest about weird stories from the field or a fun #TBT (throw back Thursday) picture of an old brochure or system. The life safety industry is very serious, but if you get one chuckle out of a random picture or snarky comment, I’d hope you would carry that through your day.
There are over 285 million active users on Twitter. That’s a lot of people that have opinions on topics you might be interested in – good or bad! Wouldn’t you like to know what people are saying about your company or your competitors? By observing your audience, you can see what topics are hot, what they are interested in, and what people don’t like.
As an example, let’s say I see a few folks talking about fiber and the uses of it in the Fire/Life safety business. As a manufacturer that has a product that utilizes fiber (Lite-Connect), I would focus my tweets on FAQs about fiber, ways to learn more about it, how my product uses fiber, and everything else revolving around the topic. BTW, we have a webinar on Lite-Connect if you are interested.
People are going to talk about their experience with you or your company. If you see negative comments, don’t ignore them. By sitting back, you won’t get to the root cause, and this is the perfect opportunity to publicly turn a bad situation around and look like a superhero – with just a few 140 character tweets. Maybe they lumped you in with a competitor they had a bad experience with and the comment really has nothing to do with your company. Maybe there was a problem with a part they used or received. By reaching out, asking for details, and offering to work with them on a solution, you show that you do care about the customer and what they think of your product and company. I’ve personally reached out to a few folks that had problems. We worked out the details, produced an easy fix and everyone was satisfied.
Businesses should already look to continuously improving: customer service, technical knowledge, product training, marketing, sales and support, … Your customer does you a favor by calling, make sure you answer and support their needs to the best of your ability. J
So, to see what I’ve been talking about for the past 5 minutes, visit Fire-Lite on twitter: @FireLiteAlarms.
I love this 2 minute video from Twitter on “What Can Your Business Do…In Just 140 Characters?”. It spotlights success stories from companies – large and small – that share their stories of services, sales, fund raising, innovations, and ice cream!
BRB – I need to tweet @BenandJerrys with some new flavor suggestions!
About the Author
Elizabeth Richards is the Manager of Communications for Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power and Silent Knight. Liz joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2003 and is responsible for the communications, collateral, messaging, and events for all three brands. You can follow her on Twitter @EARichards973