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May 2009
Building An “Instant” Customer Communication Channel
By Kip Cozart

     With over seven million Twitter.com users in the U.S. and climbing fast, businesses are rushing to find new and innovative ways to tap into this emerging instant communications channel. The basic premise behind the use of Twitter revolves around the posting of 140 character-length text responses to the question: What are you doing?

     Surprisingly, answers to this seemingly simple question can be remarkably diverse and impactful to a business’s bottom line. With each new “micro blog” (called “tweets”), customers may actively monitor your postings and encourage others in the busy Twitter social network to follow along. Within this framework, your content is rapidly exposed to a highly receptive, prequalified group of “followers,” who tend to read and react to new messages almost immediately. Tweets are short, simple and to the point. Moreover, Twitter postings avoid the clutter that typically clogs today’s more common e-mail correspondence. There are numerous ways you can move your business onto the fast track with Twitter…Think “MICRO”.

     A simple idea with lots of small but powerful uses, consider some of these uses for Twitter. Sales Promotion: Announce exclusive VIP sales events, promote just-in-time service opportunities, post discount codes that can be redeemed within your online store, link to printable coupons, offer incentives for sales referrals, advertise “sneak preview” events. Public Relations: Distribute micro “news releases,” describe ways customers are successfully using your product, post customer testimonials, promote community events that your business endorses. Customer Service: Welcome new customers, post answers to frequently asked questions, present day-by-day countdowns leading to the launch of new services. Human Resources: Announce new job openings, congratulate staff members on professional accomplishments and milestones, acknowledge team members who go beyond the call of duty.

     Keep it simple. Determine what single, specific type of information would interest your audience members most, while also benefiting your organization’s bottom line. Clearly define your content with a strong Twitter “user name” (Hint: Your 15 digit “user name” also serves as the “title” of your micro blog).

     Keep it timely. Post tweets with offers and announcements that are extremely timely and pertinent to your group’s primary interest. Incorporate a strong degree of urgency within the message, leveraging offer expiration dates and limited quantity statements.

     Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company. Contact him at 704-543-1171. For more Twitter suggestions, visit www.cccommunications.com/bizXperts/, or join our Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WebDesignDeals/.

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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