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Twitter is the Perfect Channel for Support & Push Marketing

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Twitter gurus will try to tell you that Twitter is only for relationships. However, they are wrong on both accounts. They are neither gurus (a ridiculous term for anyone to give themselves) and Twitter can be used for much more than relationships.

Saying that Twitter is only for relationships is like saying that telephones are only for calling friends and family. As you know, telephones can be used to order things, do online banking (without a human on the end of the line), get customer support, and can even be used for telemarketing (something most people don’t like, but everyone can opt-out of).

The same is true for Twitter. It’s an excellent resource for providing support and is perfect for push marketing. And like the telephone, it even has the ability for opting out — it’s called not following or blocking any account that gets excessively annoying.

Support via Twitter

Frank Eliason of Comcast is one of the best examples of support via Twitter. About a month ago, my Comcast Internet connection became extremely flaky. I had read a few tweets and articles about someone on Twitter with the handle of @comcastcares. Although I had been skeptical of the idea that Comcast could provide support via Twitter, it was late and I was desperate, so I gave it a try. To my amazement, not only did @comcastcares (Frank) respond quickly, he fixed my problem! I even had a follow up reply in the morning from another Comcast employee on Twitter.

Push Marketing via Twitter

While support requires human interaction, push marketing doesn’t. And in spite of the self-appointed Twitter elite’s desire for Twitter to only be about relationships, push marketing is alive and well on Twitter.

For Twitter, push marketing happens when an account mainly tweets about great deals, breaking news, or provides coupons and promo codes. A few examples of companies that are doing a good job at push marketing include @woot, @amazonmp3 and @actionalerts.

Twitter Marketing Converts

Whether you’re using Twitter to drive traffic (and page views), bring attention to a new product or service, or tell people about promotions on your website, marketing on Twitter — if done well — works! We track all of our Twitter marketing efforts with the URL shortener YOURLS and Raven Analytics’ conversion tracking code, and the conversion rates from our marketing efforts on Twitter are outstanding compared to other social networks. In many cases, we’ve seen conversion rate percentages perform well into the double digits.

For businesses, it’s time to forget about the idea that Twitter is only for relationships. Companies need to seriously consider what Twitter can do for their company right now. Twitter is very well positioned to help companies provide better customer service and to market their products and services. I also predict that it will only get better in time, especially when Twitter rolls out enhanced commercial accounts.

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8 Responses to “Twitter is the Perfect Channel for Support & Push Marketing”

  1. Jeanette Pham

    I agree wholeheartedly with this wisdom. It reminds me of an article title I saw some time ago: “Twitter is what you make it”. So true – relationship-building is a strong aspect, but clearly not the only one, and certainly not the only effective use.

  2. I would contend that truly successful support and push marketing via Twitter can’t exist independent of the rapport and relationships. Using Twitter isn’t about marketing vs. building relationships – it’s about finding a way to do both.

    Part of the reason for the increased conversion rates on Twitter vs. the conversion rates of other sources is that a tweet about a new product or service from a Twitter user you have an existing relationship with comes off more as a recommendation from a “friend” and less like a “sales pitch”. Not to mention that those relationships also significantly increase the likelihood of retweets, increasing the potential exposure exponentially.

  3. Great post Jon. @comcastcares is a great case study in taking a company with notoriously bad customer service and really succeeding in this online channel to create some positive brand equity. Any company would be wise to monitor a Twitter search feed for their brand and join the conversation when relevant.

  4. Jon Henshaw

    @Alysson – Agreed. That’s how we choose to do our Twitter marketing campaigns. I was really just trying to make the point that you can successfully market on Twitter without focusing on relationships.

    @Jack – Exactly!

  5. Twitter is evolving and there are no hard and fast rules as to what is acceptable and unacceptable regarding using it for marketing purposes.

    Ultimately it will be the users in the Twitter stream who determine whether using Twitter for marketing communications works – by their response – or lack of response.

    I think that Twitter and it’s users are a bit more loose and will allow some marketing messages to come through – provided that it serves their own best interests.

    If we as marketers use Twitter sensibly then it can be a very useful tool for reaching our prospects and customers.

    Shaun

  6. Definitely agree that Twitter is a great platform for marketing. However, we need to keep a balance. If it becomes only about marketing, people will leave it in droves – after all, who wants to spend time reading nothing but ads.