Class is now in session Learn how to use Twitter to your business’s advantage with the official Twitter 101 guide

Posted by maggie.hunsucker July 24, 2009

 

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We’ve been making a business case for Twitter for quite some time.  Wielded correctly, it can be a useful tool for brand promotion, customer engagement, and public relations (an idea we recently expanded upon in Hot Off the Presses).  

Still, the ends and outs, hows and whys, hashtags and retweets can be overwhelming for newbies.   Sensing your frustration, Twitter decided to release Twitter 101 - the official Twitter how-to guide for businesses. Twitter 101 is a simple Q&A microsite with best practices and case studies thrown in.   If you’re unsure what Twitter is, how it works, or what it can do for your business, this is a great place to start.

We think the “Learn the Lingo” section is of particular interest.  By now, you probably know that a Twitter “tweet” is just jargon for message.  It gets a little muddled when you see hashtags (e.g. #digitalmarketing), usernames (@feedgrowth), retweets (RT @feedgrowth Check out our SiteJabber review), and shortened URLs (http://bit.ly/IZIdC) attached to the message.   The Lingo section breaks it all down and tells you how each element can be used to extend the reach of your message.   

You also want to check out the “Case Studies” section.  This is where the big dogs show you how it’s done (finally!) and includes testimonials from Dell, JetBlue, Pepsi, and American Apparel.   Many of the case studies document how Twitter is really an organic marketing tool.   That is, it helped their business in unplanned ways or provided customer insights.  Dell was able to attribute $3 million in revenue directly to Twitter, and American Apparel based an entire ad campaign on photographs of a customer wearing their cotton basics during her pregnancy.   

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In the end, it’s up to you to figure out how Twitter can help your business.  Twitter 101 is definitely a road map, and of course, feed growth! has several ideas on Twitter companion applications that make using the service that much easier.

Twitter is a pretty low-maintenance marketing vehicle. It's a short-form communication platform (140 characters), and you can even use digital tools to autofeed information into your Twitter accounts. Compared to a blog or website, it's a relatively small investment in time and manpower to keep a Twitter account active.

Insider rumblings say Twitter released the Twitter 101 guide to combat their high account abandonment rate. That is, companies would hear the hype and sign up for a Twitter account, then have no clue what to do with it. We think there should have been one all along.

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