Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Twitter for Business

With the advent of Web 2.0, not only has the functionality of the Internet been enhanced but it has also changed the way we interact as individuals, and on a mass scale. Almost inevitably, it has also affected the way some business approach their customers. In many cases, companies use social networks to communicate to consumers at a more personal level. An example of which is Twitter. [See video below]

As the video explains, Twitter is a social network service that revolves around the question: “What are you doing?” And since its launch in 2006, Twitter has amassed a huge following, generating millions of users online.

It is based on a simple concept, but has evolved to serve a variety of functions for companies including consumer insight. Many large companies, such as Dell, JetBlue, and Comcast, have realized the business worth of services like Twitter and have utilized it to their advantage. In this post, we will briefly explore the different uses of micro-blogging for the enterprise.

Internal Communication

Riding on the success of Twitter, several startup companies have emerged with similar services focused on efficiency in the workplace.

Yammer, winner of the TechCrunch 50, is a social network service identical to Twitter that is focused on helping "companies and organizations (be) more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: "What are you working on?"

"As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced." [CrunchBase]

Social Text, another social network tool, combines the functions of Twitter, Facebook, and Wiki’s that is, again, meant to streamline tasks and increase productivity. [See video below]

Customer Service

With millions of users sharing information on Twitter, companies have realized the wealth of information being shared on Twitter, and have utilized it as another branch for customer service.

Take for example the case of Comcast.

By monitoring Twitter messages, otherwise known as Tweets, companies are able to analyze and gain info in regards to: customer insight and competitive awareness [See article] It is notable that "the attention to Twitter reflects the power of new social media tools in letting consumers shape public discussion over brands." [BusinessWeek]


Recently, marketing has been a growing appearance on Twitter. Through Twitter, businesses are able use the site as a platform to broadcast deals, coupons, and other promotions. With the amount of advertising on Twitter, there are even tools and services to help businesses advertise more effectively. Cherp, for example, is an agency that does exactly that. Cherp consists of marketing professionals that offer services in "branding and marketing to promote on Twitter." [Profy]

With the many products of Web 2.0, it is always important to stay within the know and take these as opportunities to enhance business.

For more on Twitter in Business visit: Is the Enterprise Really for Micro-Blogging Tools Like Twitter?

No comments: