Five Twitter Success Stories and How Small-Businesses Can Learn from Them

For those of you still at a loss regarding how to use Twitter to promote your business, I present five Twitter small business success stories. From these examples, we can learn ways to take advantage of Twitter in order to both promote our brand and grow our business. I hope these miniature case-studies can be useful for you.

Answer Questions

In this first example, we meet @danielha, a co-founder of Disqus, a third party blog commenting platform. Daniel Ha found on a Twitter a Tweet from a blogger that describe how she wanted to switch her blog comments to Disqus, but she realized if she did, then she would lose all of the old comments, which she wanted to keep around. Ha read the Tweet and responded to her, saying, “doh. how can we make it easier for you?” His interaction with her led to a series of emails that finally helped Disqus figure out a way to transfer all old comments in many platforms into the new Disqus system. Twitter, in this case, helped a company react to a weakness in the product, thus opening themselves up to many more clients.

Inform Customers

In our second example, we see the example of @LobstertruckDC, the Twitter account of Red Hook Lobster Pound. The company truck drives around DC, parks for the morning, afternoon, or however long until supplies run out, and sells all manner of lobster dishes. By using Twitter, the company can notify its customer base of the truck’s location, any special deals they’re selling, and other tidbits about the fresh lobster. Its 11,000 followers surely appreciate the interactivity of Twitter. From this we can learn how Twitter can work to update customers regarding a mobile store’s whereabouts and what specials are on the menu for that day.

Announce Prizes and Promotions

Our third example comes from Powell’s Books, the large independent bookstore in Portland, OR, which recently used Twitter to offer a promotion to Twitter followers to help celebrate having been online for sixteen years. The store set up $500 worth of prizes online for contest entrants, all of whom heard about the prizes online. This contest essentially favored online customers, which was a great way to create internet buzz about the store and attract customers to the website again and again.

Twitter McHenry tweets @AprilMWilliams/mchenry-county-businesses

Twitter McHenry tweets @AprilMWilliams/mchenry-county-businesses

Handle Complaints

A fourth example deals with how JetBlue used Twitter to handle customer complaints. Yes, JetBlue isn’t exactly a small business, but the way they handled one man’s complaint regarding the overheated aircraft in which he was flying was enough to help him understand the situation and perhaps why it was so hot. About the incident, the passenger later wrote, “Even more impressive is that it was not an automated response. There was a real person writing that little note.” Even if a company cannot immediately fix the problem sometimes that company’s Twitter presence, if presented humanly and forthright, can be enough to placate even the grumpiest of customers.

Growing Your Business

Finally, you can use Twitter to help your small business grow. Take the story of Houston-based shop The Coffee Groundz, whose Operations Manager J.R. Cohen joined Twitter a few years ago without really understanding what it was. After spending some time linking with other Houston community members, he one day answered a message in Twitter. A client wanted to order a sandwich and have it ready by the time he arrived. Not a big deal, surely, but it was a first for the store. Cohen said yes, and what followed was a launch of orders over Twitter. Even customers in the store could place their order via DM without having to get up from whatever they were working on. By breaking away from standard methods of ordering, such as using the phone, Cohen helped The Coffee Groundz seamlessly transition into being a social media enterprise.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alisagilbert599@gmail.com.

C You At The Movies Client Case Studies

WHO THEY ARE

“C” You At The Movies was founded on the premise that entertainment provided from a movie theatre should not have to be constricted to the confines of an auditorium or the quality of a current feature. The five Northern Illinois locations in Antioch, Zion, McHenry and Libertyville include indoor and an outdoor theatre.

The “C” You At The Movies company mission states: “We realize that there exists a child in every one of our customers. It is our goal and privilege to help that child to smile during their visits with us and to keep them smiling long after the movie they came to see has ended.”

"C" You At The Movies

"C" You At The Movies

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE

For “C” You At The Movies President Cynthia Kottke, the challenge has been to compete for their customer’s discretionary spending dollars. Her goal, to provide an entertaining, unique, family-friendly atmosphere, is standard from which all “C” You At The Movies’ ideas originate. 

The business challenge includes effectively communicating with customers and gaining immediate, actionable feedback. The company relied on traditional newspaper advertising to talk to their customers. They found the one way communication lacked the feedback they desired.

General Operations Director Scott Dehn attended CyberLife Tutors’ series of “Social Networking for Business” classes and learned how business can create relationships with customers. Scott created a strategy and began implementing the new knowledge.

CAMPAIGN RESULTS

Scott says, “We have been very successful with our Facebook and building fans. We recently crossed over 9,000 fans on our page! The “C” You At The Movies Facebook page is a forum for events and announcement. Customers visit our page to comment and talk about their experiences at our theaters.”

The site even functions as a customer service branch for questions on movie times, upcoming shows and favorite movies.

Scott turned one challenge into an opportunity. “Issues such as monitoring for, and deleting businesses using our page to simply advertise for themselves has been problematic. However, I have taken that as a possible opportunity to reach out to those companies and inquire as to whether they would be interested in advertising with us on-screen. Policing the posts and keeping them civil can sometimes be difficult as well. I try to keep our pages family-friendly as a reflection of what our company is all about.”

SOCIAL MEDIA BENEFITS

I would have to say that anything that encourages feedback in an interesting, creative way has been most successful. Asking for opinions has been very helpful in getting the snowball of communication rolling.

My goal for 2011 is to dive into the world of Twitter and see where that takes us. This has been so much fun. I really enjoy the social networking part of my job. The benefits to our business are much more immediate and personal than those of your standard newspaper advertisements.

CYBERLIFE TUTORS BENEFITS

Class lessons you provided have really helped me to establish a plan of attack in our social networking.

Scott said. “I created one Facebook page for each of our theatre locations as well as one for the C You At The Movies, Inc. company.  It is a total of 6 Facebook pages that collectively has earned over 10,000 “likes” at this point.“

SUMMARY

What is Scott’s advice to business owners?

“We have gained quite a following and it has been a lot of fun! I have some big plans to expand on this in 2011. Believe me, I tell everyone about the great experiences and benefits these classes have provided. I will let them know about the upcoming social networking class as well! I know many of them will be interested.”

Follow “C” You At The Movies on Facebook and Twitter.

Theatre Facebook Pages:

Mchenry Outdoor Flea Market
McHenry Outdoor Theatre
McHenry Theatre
Liberty Theatre
Dunes 1,2,3 Theatres
CYATM Antioch Downtown Theatre

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