It was SoCol today (the Social Collective – a social media conference), and Twitter has been buzzing with some great presentations. I liked Drew Benvie’s presentation about why Twitter is so valuable to business for marketing, PR and CRM.
Social media offers a huge opportunity to businesses to really get to know their customers for very low cost. If you’re using Facebook and Twitter properly then for very little cost you can:
- Find out what your customers are thinking, and what they like and dislike (market research)
- Promote your products, and get your customers to promote them to their friends (marketing)
- Broadcast news and information about your company, increase its profile and build your brand (PR)
- Find out about customers’ grievances and help them before the customer becomes an angry ex-customer (customer service)
- Build true customer loyalty by showing that you’re listening, not just talking (as the ad says – priceless!)
Before the days of Twitter and social media sites, getting this sort of insight would have cost a fortune in market research, surveys, customer service reps, feedback forms – and you would still have known less than you can find out now.
Remember, the highest driver of business is still word-of-mouth. How much is it worth to your business to be in that loop, and see the discussions and recommendations online, as they happen? If you’re mentioned but you’re not on Twitter, how interested will a potential customer have to be to open a new window, and type your name into Google – assuming of course that you’re easily findable on Google? If you’re on Twitter, a mention becomes an instant ad, as any reader can click straight through to your business.
Every business with more than a handful of customers really needs an online presence. In the same way the websites went from quirk to must-have, Facebook and Twitter presences are becoming a business essential. Without them, you’re blind and deaf to your customers.