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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marketing With Twitter

TwitterWith so much talk about Twitter, are you curious how companies are marketing with Twitter? I certainly am.

The more I experience Twitter as a means of connection and communication, the more intrigued I am with how it works on a local or specific level.

I recently exchanged Tweets with a friend about a rice flour based pizza available at Whole Foods, and immediately received an automated Tweet from another party selling some sort of a pizza timer. What a turn-off! The trigger was the word 'pizza' and this autoresponse was not only inappropriate, but also hugely interruptive. Had that party engaged me in conversation, I might have been more amenable. I certainly would have been more appreciative.

Nonetheless, I do see possibilities.

Harness The Power Of Twitter For Local Marketing addresses some of those possibilities and lists pioneers using Twitter for local marketing. I particularly appreciate the tips that the author includes - ranging from instant coupons, promoting coming attractions, collaborative tweeting, promoting your blog, quick polls and including Twitpics of anything special taking place. The tip I add to the list is making sure that you have a human being fully engaged in interaction and conversation. Ban the autoresponder.

Twitter Marketing Successes specifically addresses WholeFoods and Zappos [which has just been acquired by Amazon!]. The two have widely varied approaches to Twitter. Zappos exudes customer centricity, passion and humanity on Twitter [e.g., Tony Hsieh, the CEO, sent out this tweet today "Big day! Email I just sent to Zappos employees today about the Amazon acquisition - http://blogs.zappos.com/ceo..."]. Whole Foods is much more straightforward and focused, answering questions and providing information. Both are effective.

Tweeters Use Twitter For Business describes how companies use Twitter. My favorite example is that of the gourmet Korean taco truck business in LA which uses Twitter to communicate [advertise?] when and where it will be so patrons can order food. Politicians use Twitter to hold discussions of relevance to constituents, and marketers can track mentions of specific topics or brand names.

On 5/12/2009, USA Today published Banks try social networking, jump on Twitter wagon. Imagine, banks using Twitter "to reach consumers amid the economic downturn." Wells Fargo in particular I think is doing a nice job reaching out, connecting, interacting and helping customers. Many financial institutions are realizing that participating in social networks is no longer a matter of choice: their customers are actively participating and fully engaged in conversation about them [e.g., take a look at the kind of tweets that a search on bankofamerica generates]. If they intend to salvage their brands and be customer-focused, they had better take part!

The best resource that I've come across recently is the MarketingProfs Twitter Success Stories [free with premium membership] which includes case studies about 11 companies using Twitter to build their businesses [including KogiBBQ, the Korean taco truck business mentioned above].

Are you marketing with Twitter? What do you find works best?

Related Posts:
+ A Practical Twitter Primer
+ Steven Berlin Johnson at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2009

Added 7/25/09:
+ From Ann Handley: What'a a Dry Cleaner Doing on Twitter?
+ From the New York Times: Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media

Added 7/30/09:
+ From The Atlanta-Journal Constitution: Taco Mac uses Twitter to tweetup business

Added 8/14/09:
+ From CNN.com Can the Twitterati help sell your soda pop?

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