Here’s the challenge — you’re a business with a Twitter account and you’re trying to figure out how to use Twitter to promote your business.
The problem is, some people who follow you on Twitter won’t take well to the idea that your company is using Twitter to push sales of your product. Some people think it’s contrary to the idea of the internet. Other people believe that it’s okay to use Twitter to drive business, but that you have to do it carefully.
Dell Computer has done a great job using Twitter to drive sales. The word on the street is that they generated an incremental $1 million in revenue last year by promoting special offers via Twitter.
But not everybody has the resources that Dell has to launch a robust Twitter program (remember, doing what Dell did requires more than just doing Tweets — it requires inventory management, marketing, IT development and other things to make it work.)
But if you’re a small- to medium-sized business, you can still make it work. A great example of this is to do what WineGlobe does. Instead of pushing out Tweets that exclusively promote sales of their product, they do Tweets that help create a community around their culture (Wine) and their brand (WineGlobe).
Interested in learning where the word “toast” comes from? Find the answer by clicking through on one of their Tweets. True or False: Red wine gets its color from the red grapes used to make it. You can find the answer to that question via their Twitter account, too.
If you’re interested in using Twitter for business, you should take a look at how the folks at the 60 Second Marketer break down the different types of Twitterers:
- The Self-Promoter: This is the business, typically a one-person consultant, who exclusively promotes their own eBooks, webinars, services or products. Don’t be this guy.
- The Newbie: This is someone who really doesn’t get the idea of Twitter. They Tweet about the weather, their dog, their girlfriend and their mood. Don’t be this guy, either.
- The Retailer: This is a company, like Dell, who uses certain Twitter accounts to promote discounts on their products or services. It’s okay to be this guy if you don’t mind having short-term followers who will jump ship once they’ve bought your product.
- The Community Builder: This is who you want to be. Offer news, tips, insights and information via Twitter. Occasionally send out information on your own products and services that would be helpful to your followers. Most of all, create a conversation that builds on itself and helps you differentiate yourself from your competition.
Twitter is still in its youth and it’ll evolve a great deal over the next few years. But right now, if you’re thinking about how to use Twitter for business, use the Community Builder approach. That’s what WineGlobe has done and it’s what you should do, too.
P.S. If you aren’t already following us on Twitter, you can do so by clicking 60 Second Twitter.