Is Twitter Right for Your Business?

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. And the list goes on. With so many social networks to choose from, how do you know which ones your business should join?  Not every network will be right for your audience or your business, so it’s important to carefully choose where you will invest your time.

Perhaps you’ve already joined and grown one or two other social channels, and now you’re wondering about Twitter. To join or not to join? As you decide whether or not to join the Twitterverse, consider these five questions about your business.

Do you receive many customer service requests?

Are your customer service phone lines always busy? If so, you may find a powerful ally in Twitter. According to a Twitter representative, “80% of social customer service requests come from Twitter.”

Twitter is a better means of contact than email or phone for multiple reasons:

  • No hold times—they can send their message, leave, and return when you respond
  • More informal—lets you respond faster and shorter
  • In real time—users can update their question as needed
  • It’s public—their question and your answer are both public (unless they send you a direct message), showcasing your excellent customer service and possibly saving you from repeating yourself later

Some larger companies have an entire Twitter account (separate from their regular one) solely dedicated to customer service issues. But to start with, you can just use one account for everything. When you use Twitter correctly, its customer service potential is phenomenal.

Here’s a couple examples of good customer service tweets:

image of twitter

 

image of twitter

Are you primarily a local business?

If you only serve local customers, Twitter can introduce you to a whole new world in customer acquisition through social listening.

To see what I mean, pull up Twitter’s advanced search function. (You can also get there by typing your query into the normal search bar, opening the search filters, and clicking on advanced search.) It looks like this:

image of twitter search

 

For example, if you’re a local florist, you could search for anytime someone near you has tweeted the words “roses” or “apology flowers” today. Then all that’s left is for you to reach out to them directly.

A  Social Media Examiner Podcast episode from earlier this year explains how Mark Shaefer, a business strategy consultant, tested this feature with a pizza place:

Mark suggested the owner use advanced Twitter search. Mark showed him how to set up a stream with every conversation that was within five miles of the zip code that mentioned the words “pizza,” “restaurant,” “dining out,” or anything like that. On average, someone in the area mentioned pizza every 20 minutes.

[One] person tweeted, “My parents are coming to town. What’s the best pizza place in town?” Mark said to tweet back, “You know, humbly, I think we’re the best pizza place. Please come by. We’d love to meet your parents. Your first round of drinks is on us.”

As you can see, the advanced search tool can greatly aid your organic lead generation.

You can also listen to your competitors or other industry giants, and  keep track of industry announcements. You can make Twitter lists on your account or even inside Hootsuite to monitor what specific people, like your competitors, are tweeting.

Do you struggle connecting with customers or influencers?

Social listening is a great, but it only helps if you’re willing to join (or start) the conversation.

People are more likely to open a direct message from you on Twitter than an email.  Another great way to connect with your customers, start conversations, and answer their questions is to start a Twitter chat.

If you’re trying to build relationships with  influencers, like journalists and public figures, Twitter can help you make those connections too. For example, Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank likes to answer questions from her Twitter fans:

image of barbara corcoran

Who is your audience?

If it’s Millennials, you’re in luck. 40% of Millennials use Twitter, the biggest percentage of all generations. The percentage decreases as age increases. High schoolers and those younger hover at 18%.

Knowing who Twitter’s users are and understanding how they use the platform will help you know if your audience can be reached through Twitter.

Here’s a few more interesting facts about Twitter’s user base:

  • third of users who follow an SMB have retweeted a business Tweet.
  • 93% of people who follow a SMB on Twitter plan to purchase from them.
  • Twitter users “listen” nearly twice as much as they tweet.
  • Twitter users are less likely to comment but more likely to retweet. Blog posts shared only on Twitter had 63% more page views than those shared only on Facebook.

Does your business have a lighthearted brand?

Businesses with a fun, snarky, or relaxed brand may have a leg up on more formal and serious businesses when it comes to Twitter. The reason why is explained perfectly in a Social Media Examiner article:

“Twitter users are the most encouraging and energizing aspect of the platform. Twitter is the most human-powered social network. Facebook and YouTube users often feel at the mercy of those platforms; whereas on Twitter, people are creating the most fun and useful interactions.”

Here’s a few examples to show you the possibilities of how much fun your lighthearted brand can have on Twitter.

Charmin

Known for its sassy tweets and humorous word play, Charmin is a classic example. Last year, they delivered a truckload of toilet paper to NFL player Jake Butt as part of an endorsement deal. Can’t get much more cheeky than that! (Pun intended.)

image of chetan rakieten

Taco Bell

Taco Bell also loves to have fun with its tweets. It helps that some of their biggest fans are college students.

image of taco bell twitter

Digiorno

And then there’s Digiorno, whose cheesy tweets (Pun intended once again – I’m on a roll!) make us smirk and crave pizza at the same time.

image of DiGiorno twitter

Conclusion

As you can tell by now, Twitter isn’t for every business. But it certainly is for some. If these questions have helped you decide that Twitter is for you, stay tuned for an upcoming article about launching a successful Twitter account.

This post was originally published on Upwork.

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