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.
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.
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.
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.
This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.