How Businesses are Using Twitter

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There’s a lot of coverage of Twitter at the moment – “it’s the next big thing”, “you’ve got to be on it” etc. This raises the question of how it can be used to help a business, and is that going to help meet the businesses objectives.

Dell have several Twitter accounts, the most prominent of which are those set up to drive traffic to their outlet sites – both in the UK and the USA. The UK twitter account is a relatively new one, but the USA one has been going for some time, and Dell claim it has driven them over $3m of sales since they started it ($2m of outlet sales, and a further $1m of full price products). This will in part be down to the number of followers the DellOutlet twitter feed has – currently it’s the 70th most followed twitterer. Dell’s Twitter posts are simple announcements of key deals on the outlet site, driving traffic directly into that deal to purchase.

Past Times are using Twitter to build their brand by posting a “What happened on this day in history” comment each day. They do also highlight key offers and last order dates to keep follwers / customers up to date. This could be a great way to introduce people to the brand, and keep the occasional purchaser interested.

Penguin have a range of twitter feeds, which focus on literary gossip and debate. Although there is the occasional update relating to buying books (at the time of writing – Father Day Gift ideas) the main focus seems to be reinforcing Penguin’s brand. Both as a cutting edge publisher, and as a central part of the publishing history.

Top Shop’s twitter is more of a gossip column – reads like a cross between a teen magazine and The Devil Wears Prada. The tone of voice and the content of the posts feels right on the nail for the brand – not surprising they have nearly 10k followers.

In the world of budget airline travel the UK businesses should take look at what South West Airlines have achieved. Nearly 70k followers saying really positive things about the company. Comparing that to Easyjet or RyanAir who have far far fewer followers and have busier complaints Twitters (set up by annoyed customers) than their own Twitters. South West Airlines are successfully using Twitter to grow some real brand advocacy.

So what can everyone learn from these companies? Quite simply – be clear about your objectives and ensure your company’s use of Twitter serves them.

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