You have a Twitter account and so what?

Ok, well maybe not so what but still what are your plans for your Twitter account?

I follow quite a few brands on Twitter some I love and some just because I am interested in how they are using Twitter for their business. However, as I begin to examine each of these companies I have noticed that Twitter has served a variety of functions for organizations from recruiting to customer service to crisis communication and everything in between. Integrated Marketing and Communications must be embedded into all of your marketing/communications strategies internally and externally which is why I personally believe your corporate Twitter account must serve ALL of the following functions:

1. Customer Service

We’ve all done it! Everyone takes to social media especially Twitter to share their comments about a particular experience or company that they do/do not like. For example, last week I tweeted “I hate Comcast” due to my frustration and poor customer service over the phone and live chat. I was immediately tweeted back by @ComcastBill and provided an additional layer of personal customer service. If you have Twitter, you must be dedicated to it.

2. Direct Marketing

Target your market. You can speak directly to your followers if you would like with Twitter much quicker. Instead of just sending automated generic messages and promotions tailor each campaign to the psychographics of your target audience. If you need help defining what those psychographics are, begin following customers that tweet about topics similar to your organization.

3. Brand Management

Although brand management consists of many components, Twitter gives organizations the perfect opportunity to manage their brand by conducting qualitative research anytime of the day. With tools in place such as HootSuite and Tweetdeck there is no reason why a company should not be using this step to manage their brands daily especially in a time of a crisis.

4. Promotions

Using promotions strictly for Twitter can really help especially during the holidays or for a new product launch. People’s ability to retweet (basically forward) the promotion to similar audiences are far more effective than mailing a coupon. You can also track the effectiveness of such promotions with the tools listed above or simply using to track your links.

5. Crisis Communications

More and more companies are taking to Facebook for crisis communication however Twitter seems to be the place that only real gutsy people go. I am still amazed at Research in Motion’s minimal attempt to communicate with consumers via Twitter and interestingly enough most people were well aware they were being ignored. If you are going to use social media for your crisis communication strategy you must use all of the platforms your company holds accounts with, regardless of how tricky it may be.

6. Recruiting

Although recruiting is generally left for LinkedIn and maybe Facebook, Twitter is also another way to get the word out that your company is hiring. Not only will it help bring in additional applicants but in this economy it’s refreshing to see a company that you are following currently hiring. TweetMyJOBS is a great example of a company using Twitter for recruiting however their initiatives are direct to the market and profession you are interested in.

7. Communication

Do follow tweeters with similar interests to what your organization does. If you’re a hair stylist, follow hair product companies. It’s that simple. This is a great way to generate organic conversations. Don’t be shy, jump in and join the conversation. Twitter is not solely a medium to push your organization’s message out. Yes, it is important but do not let your TL only reflect that.


In a nutshell: Twitter is a great tool for organizations. Do not box yourself into one service area. Create a synergy even with your Twitter account just as you would with Facebook. Keep an IMC approach to social media as well.

2 Responses to “You have a Twitter account and so what?”
  1. Hi Toyin,
    Thanks for sharing this great article. We’re glad to see HootSuite as part of your marketing-communications mix.

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