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.