I have been using Twitter since 2008 and, admittedly, I didn’t get the point at first. But over the past six years, I have grown to use it on a daily basis as a way to stay connected and share my thoughts with the world.
More and more businesses are warming up to twitter, too, with social presence becoming more and more important to brands. Some of my clients have told me that they fail to see the value in Twitter for their business, but often find that it is a useful communication tool and an easy was to share a message with many people at once – including potential customers.
Common ways that businesses use Twitter are:
- To make company announcements
- To engage with customers
- To sell products/services
But the thing I love about Twitter is that it’s got more uses than many of us realize. Sure, it’s great for sharing a photo of your new office space or announcing a great discount that customers can’t miss, but as the platform becomes more of the “norm” for marketing communications, it’s good to think outside of the box.
Here are 10 less conventional ways that you and your business can use Twitter.
1. As a news source.
When people ask me where I get my news, I always say Twitter. While this may actually mean that Twitter is driving me to resources such as ReadWrite or Mashable, but Twitter is how I get there. It’s a great live-search tool, and the trends feature that shows me popular hashtags and keywords can usually catch me up on current events in just moments.
2. As a pitch platform.
Press releases are still the most common way to pitch to a news outlet. But Twitter can be a great way to reach out, too… as long as you’re great at getting your story across in 140 characters or less. Try out something like: “@lifestylesection – We’ve got a great system to help new moms get organized. Shooting over an email now!” This way, you’ve got two streams of communication going, and showed that you took the time to reach out to this reporter. Be aware – pitching to many, many sources at once and filling up users’ feeds is a DON’T.
3. As a survey solution.
Need a question answered? Go to Twitter and reach out to the masses. You can ask anything from what the best email marketing solution is to what you should offer as your newest product or service.
4. As your own personal “Yelp.”
Similarly, you can use Twitter to get business recommendations. Ask where the best place to eat is when you’re out of town for a client meeting or ask for a photographer recommendation when your go-to guy bails at the last minute.
5. As a way to find job candidates.
Talented and creative people are waiting out there to join your team – and many of them are letting you know on Twitter! Follow job search hashtags to see if there are any Tweets that sound like they could be coming from your next employee. If you find a good candidate, ask them to send a direct message to you with their email address, so that you can take the conversation off of Twitter. Don’t forget to use local searches, too, if you are looking for someone who is already nearby or would be willing to move to your location.
6. As a forum to speak with your peers.
Have you ever taken part in a Twitter chat? It involves users following the same hashtag so that they can take part in a unified conversation. There are Twitter chats out there for many industries, like this one exclusively for dentists.
7. As a way to share testimonials.
You may have used the retweet feature on your Twitter account, but some of your best testimonials might not come straight from your Twitter feed. If a customer sends you an email with a nice, short note, or includes a photo of them using your product, make it a Tweet! Customers don’t do that? Send a Tweet asking for their stories and photos!
8. As a connection with other businesses.
If the Imagebox team enjoys a nice lunch at a local restaurant or has a great experience with a local vendor, we usually send out a Tweet thanking them for their exceptional service. Whether you want to build a business partnership or you just want to show your appreciation, Twitter is a great way to get the conversation going.
9. As a live-feed of… whatever.
Going to a business conference? Networking event? Many events today include a hashtag that can be used for you to share your experiences with Twitter users as they happen. Find out if there is a hashtag associated with your next event and take part in the chatter!
10. As a way to scout out local influencers.
Scouring Twitter can be a nice way to find movers and shakers in your area. By searching the name of your city or popular local hashtags, you can see who has great things to say or plenty of followers – and add them to the list of people you should know about!
You can follow Imagebox on Twitter at @imagebox.