Twitter: What's the point?


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How can not-for-profit organisations, corporates and small businesses use Twitter to better market to and engage with customers and client and manage their brand reputation?

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  • Twitter and sites like it mean someone can post negative comments and be accessed by millions within seconds.
  • Twitter can be used to manage this customer feedback and negativity. One example is BT which has several corporate feeds including @BTCare which it uses to respond to customer issues. As well as responding to tweets aimed directly at the account, the agents behind the feed search for references to their brand and publicly respond. When a customer’s issues is resolved, their praise is also public – a win win.
  • Recently went to Media140, a social media conference in London. The broadband failed so the audience targeted @BTCare with complaints. BTCare responded and the problem was eventually fixed.
  • But it’s not all negative; Twitter helps organisations to build bonds with their customers. For example – The Coffee Groundz, a small coffee shop in Texas, uses Twitter to allow customers to place orders. The company has now fully embraced the Twitter community by making it easy for people to work – free wiki, many plug sockets, arranging tweet-ups (more on that later!) – they all spend lots of money!
  • Other examples include MyStarbucksIdea – Starbucks customers can suggest ideas and debate.
  • Smart registration Your profile is searchable – use keywords relevant to what you do and who you want to find it. Mention sector, target audience, location – whatever’s relevant Change it on a regular basis – it’s a marketing tool that’s completely free! Twitter uses can search profiles based on location through and directories such as
  • It’s isn’t all how many followers you have; it’s the quality of those followers. Use search engines like and to find people relevant to your organisation and follow them; chances are they will follow you back
  • Use every opportunity you can to promote your social media presence – these buttons are on Put them on your website, your business cards, your marketing material It is also possible to embed your Twitter feed into your website – Google loves new content so use it!
  • You must still give value and pitch yourself as an expert so regularly search for topics of relevance and answer questions – services like Twitalert – like Google alert – will allow you to keep track of particular keywords/subjects Also use Twitter to ask questions, gather information, ask people what they think of you/your organisation/your Twitter feed Also use Twitter to special events – get your CEO/directors online for an hour and take questions from the community – accounting software company Sage recently did it and it worked well – even answered questions from competitors – I wrote about it!
  • Despite benefits/popularity of online, face-to-face is still important so tweet-up! Tweet-ups are meet-ups arranged through Twitter. Tools exist which you can use to promote them – e.g. – set up online invitations, track mentions, print names badges If running a conference, arrange a tweet-up in lunch/coffee breaks – the chances are at most events they’ll be someone tweeting. Use them to discuss ideas for your organisation, find out what’s on the mind of your members, are you addressing their needs, what added value do they want?
  • Use the real-time search engine on Twitter. Find out who’s talking about your brand. If they are, respond. If no-one is talking about you, you need to ask why!
  • Twitter may be on the internet but use it to make local contacts. Build up local networks. Services like will help.
  • Twitter: What's the point?

    1. 1. Twitter: What’s the point? Ad Lib, Bristol, 24 November 2009
    2. 2. Who am I? <ul><li>Editor of, website for entrepreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>Administrator of </li></ul><ul><li>Part of online publisher Sift Media, founded in 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher of 11 B2B community websites </li></ul><ul><li>Audience of 250,000 business professionals </li></ul><ul><li>10 th most influential political blogger on Twitter </li></ul>
    3. 3. Different but the same <ul><li>Marketing + </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement + </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation management = </li></ul>
    4. 4. Fry up?
    5. 5. Sales up?
    6. 6. Then…
    7. 7. Now…
    8. 8. Respond Sift Media win!
    9. 9. The power is in the hands of the customer so embrace it!
    10. 10. Be tweeter friendly
    11. 11. The rise of the twournalist
    12. 12. A brand built on Twitter $250,000 raised
    13. 13. The hash tag
    14. 14. Broadcast live
    15. 15. But be careful…
    16. 16. Employee engagement
    17. 17. Twitter for recruitment
    18. 18. 1. Smart registration
    19. 19. 2. Make friends & influence people
    20. 20. 3. Promotion, promotion, promotion
    21. 21. 4. Questions and answers
    22. 22. 5. Tweet-up!
    23. 23. 6. Are your ears burning?
    24. 24. 7. Be human
    25. 25. 8. Lists
    26. 26. Competition What were the three things I said you all had in common? Tweet at @Dan_Martin with hash tag
    27. 27. Get in touch [email_address]