Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taking Twitter Seriously

MarketingProfs has just published a report titled Twitter Success Stories. It includes a survey of 200 Twitter users, most of whom are @MarketingProfs followers. Not surprisingly, they are using Twitter to promote their businesses, using both personal and business accounts. They use Twitter for branding and awareness (84%), networking (78%), community building (77%), brand reputation management (51%), customer service (44%), prospecting (30%) and selling (20%). They rate Twitter second only to their company blog in providing value to their business.

For those of you are wondering if/how Twitter might be useful to your business, the 11 case studies have the most value. Some are the usual suspects, about which I and many others have written; Zappos as corporate strategy, Comcast for customer service, Dell Outlet for sales. There are some less familiar names that provide food for thought. Let me highlight 2 of them.

Coffee Groundz is a Houston coffee shop that was looking for a way to stand out in a crowded market. The value it has found in Twitter started accidentally with a request from a regular customer for a breakfast wrap—he was in a hurry. From taking orders it quickly expanded into commentary on issues ranging from the local music scene to how to make good coffee at home. Managing Partner J. R. Cohen is a fan of TweetUps. Over 250 people gathered at Coffee Groundz to watch the Obama inauguration, drink coffee and eat sandwiches. A good example of community building!

Another case history comes from a familiar brand. Disney was looking for a way to promote its release of the Pinocchio DVD and Blue-ray. With the help of agency Razorfish they decided on Twitter as a channel and located Melanie Notkin of This website helps single professionals buy gifts for their nieces and nephews—talk about a niche site! She’s doing well at it—at the moment she has over 9,200 Twitter followers.

After watching Notkin’s work for awhile, Disney worked out a 3-week deal in which Melanie Notkin posted Tweets about the Pinocchio release. Notice of the sponsorship arrangement was posted on her blog. Neither Notkin nor Razorfish will give specific results of the promotion, but here’s a quote from a WSJ article (subscription required) on the program:

As someone without kids and who doesn’t watch much TV, Melanie’s involvement with Disney was the only way that I was made aware that Pinocchio was being made available for purchase again.— Rob Blatt.

That sounds like the target audience talking!

If you are seriously interested in incorporating Twitter into your business, you may find the $49 for this report a good investment. There are a variety of ways for businesses to useTwitter that are strategic, focused, transparent, and highly cost-effective. Check it out!

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