Although you may not have a Twitter account I’m sure you’ve at least heard of Twitter and have wondered what all the fuss is about. Twitter is yet another of the growing breed of Social Networking tools. As with all good tools, it is really easy to use, and you can use it however suits you, but sometimes this simplicity means that people don’t quite ‘get it’
To start ‘twittering’ (or posting Tweets), you simply sign up and then you can start adding short posts about things you are doing, things on you mind, links that you come across etc. etc. etc. People can start following you and those that do will see what you post. You of course can also follow other people to keep up to date with their Tweets.
No right or Wrong Way
As a website owner or a business owner, such Social Networking sites can be a useful tool to promote your website or business. Although there is no real right or wrong way to use Twitter as a promotional tool, some ways are better than others.
It is of course possible to set up a Twitter account for your company and then simply post special offers and general promotional material. This is fine and if your company and promotions are of interest to people you may well develop a band of followers and your Twitter account becomes a useful broadcast tool. However, what prompted me to write this article was an experience I had recently from a company that uses Twitter to actively engage with its customers and rarely posts promotional material to its Twitter account.
Engaging with People
Graze is a company that delivers fresh, healthy snacks to your office. I’ve been using them for a few weeks and they are certainly switched on to the whole Social media and viral marketing scene. First up they offer a kind of affiliate benefits scheme for their customers. As a customer you get a ‘Feed Your Friends’ code which you can give to as many people as you want (My code is DZ3F24D). If you enter this code when ordering from Graze you will get a free box from Graze and your second box for half price. I also get £1 off a box too. Perfect viral marketing. I benefit so I tell as many people as possible, you benefit with a free box and Graze benefits as it spreads the word and encourages new customers.
Now, the other day, the postie arrived with a Graze box for me, and a box of live crickets for my pet frogs. I therefore posted an off-the-cuff remark to my personal Twitter account saying something like
“Postie has been with Graze box for me and live crickets for Frogs.. Must make sure I don’t mix them up!”.
The people at Graze picked up on this and sent me a message back saying:
“check out www.hotlix.com – you’d be surprised!”
As you can see, the message doesn’t promote Graze at all. In fact it links to a separate company which may seem counter-productive. However, it is engaging with me as a customer and talking TO me not AT me and most importantly it prompted me to write this post, once again spreading the word about Graze!.
I’m not saying that everyone should be doing this as it does take time and effort to do, but there are many ways to use tools such as Twitter and if you get it right it can certainly be a very powerful promotional tool for your website or company.
Something to Say?
If you have something to say then having a Twitter account to help spread the word is certainly something to think about. Use it to engage with your customers, spread the word about promotions and connect with other people that interest you. Don’t just use it to blindly promote you business, people won’t follow you if you do, but if you post useful content and people want to follow you then it is not only a very cost effective way of spreading the word, but fun too.