Twitter is an excellent way for companies to maximize their personal contact with customers and promote products and services to early adopters and trendy users. It can also function as an effective customer service tool and is a way to monitor complaints and concerns that are being aired on the internet by especially vocal customers.
A company can open a twitter account under their name and use it to promote products and services. By sharing links and information with followers, twitter is a means for making customers (especially devoted ones) aware of new promotions. Offering samples, coupons, and links to new products and services is a great way to attract attention to them and to reward loyal customers. Two companies who do an excellent job of this are Forever 21 and Starbucks. Take some time to look at their technique.
One of the keys to using your company’s twitter page as a promotional tool is to be careful to balance types of tweets–sending out too many in promotion of a product will irritate followers and cause them to unsubscribe. A good way to combat this is to limit the number of tweets per day and to balance tweets with coupons and other perks with ones that are strictly advertising or promotional.
Monitoring complaints and customer issues on twitter is a great way to resolve problems and build customer rapport. By regularly utilizing the search tool on twitter and entering your company name, you can find out if a disgruntled customer has taken to the internet to air their complaints. Direct-messaging the customer and offering a solution, refund, apology, or other rectification for a poorly managed service or customer issue can be a great way to generate positive PR for your company. Users who bother to complain on the internet will also be likely to publically praise your generous handling of their problem and all of their followers will then be aware that your company is paying attention to its customers’ needs.
Lastly, twitter can add a humanizing touch to your corporate image. By replying to users comments about your services and having conversational exchanges with customers using twitter, you improve your image by attaching an interested internet presence to a real person. This is something even a very well-designed website can never accomplish and is an important function of twitter that many companies ignore. Because twitter is a shorthand (140 characters) form of communication, it requires very little time to send the occassional reply but the impact in terms of positive customer relations and loyalty can be markedly more valuable than the small amount of time it took. One company who succeeds remarkably well with this human touch is Bonobos, a pants company based in Manhattan.