Twitter is Important for Businesses; Need Convincing?

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Google and Bing announced big news last week that they are going to start indexing Tweets in search results. If you didn't think Twitter was important before, it definitely is now. It is now another way to command more real estate on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Though we're not sure how Google and Bing are going to do this, we do know it's going to happen.

If you need more convincing that Twitter is growing in importance then check out the results from a new eMarketer report (“Social Commerce on Facebook, Twitter and Retail Sites”). eMarketer finds that more e-commerce merchants are dabbling in social sites because there are so many consumers using them. However, it also claims that while some e-commerce merchants are experimenting with these sites, most merchants are still ignoring them.

So if you're not on social sites, your competitors might be. Add that to the recent developments from Google and Bing and you could be missing out on brand visibility, customers and ultimately dollars.

In August, we looked at how e-commerce merchants were blogging, so now let’s look at how they approach Twitter.

Amazon doesn’t have one account dedicated to its Twitter followers but rather many Twitter accounts. Followers can choose which Amazon niche to follow on Twitter – be it MP3, deals, Kindle news, games and more. Each account provides information about its respective niche. For example, the MP3 handle tweets information about music, deals on music at Amazon, and directs users to its site. The deals handle on the other hand only lists deals. It doesn't interact with consumers or provide any other information besides Amazon deals. The Kindle handle also has little interaction with customers and instead pushes information about the Kindle.

Walmart also doesn’t have one account dedicated to its Twitter followers but rather many Twitter accounts. By visiting, the company provides a list of users that tweet on behalf of the company. These include those in Walmart’s corporate communications department, a profile for specials, music, outreach and more. Each account provides information to followers specific to that handle. The Twitter accounts for those in the company's communications department interact with users, answer questions and share information about the company. However, the other handles provide information about their respective niches (deals, music, etc.) and don't provide much interaction with followers.

Dell has four accounts on Twitter – Direct2Dell, Outlet, Home Offers and Small Biz Offers. The first account is everything PC related as well as Dell’s philanthropy. The Outlet profile interacts with users, answers questions and lists deals on Outlet products. Home Offers and Small Biz Offers operate their Twitter handles the same way as the Outlet handle, but directed at consumers and business owners respectively. The Direct2Dell profile doesn't interact with followers, but it does provide a personal contact in its bio for users to follow. This personal contact interacts and communicates with Dell users.

Unlike the others listed above, Sears has one dedicated Twitter account. This account interacts with users, answers questions, lists deals, features, and outreach. It takes the approach of the other e-commerce merchants listed above and puts it into one account. 

Like Sears, eBags also only uses one Twitter account. It provides information on bags, interacts with followers, offers promotions, and more. The personality of the person behind this Twitter account comes through with excitement and commentary.

Though some of these use multiple accounts to manage different areas of their businesses, and others only one account, it's important that you explain to your customers how you operate on Twitter. Make it clear how many accounts you have and what kind of information those accounts provide. This increases customer happiness, loyalty and provides them with the information they want and need. They are following you for a reason - they want up-to-the-minute information on your company and products. Don't ruin it by confusing them.

Do you already leverage Twitter or are you convinced to start?

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LamontJ 10-27-2009 6:08 AM

Good information, now we need to work with the skeptics.

PatP 10-30-2009 3:17 PM

hadn't heard this before....although I have already seen tweets come up in search results in the past (which is how I originally found twitter - through a tweet about my company).

MaureenA 10-30-2009 3:30 PM

Pat - Do you use Twitter for you company? If not, does that fact that you found a tweet about your company in search results encourage you to start using the platform?

PatP 10-30-2009 4:08 PM

I do use it - and  that is exactly why I started using twitter....I found a tweet (through a google search for my brand name). I needed to sign up right then for some reputation management. :)

TweetPromoBuilder 10-31-2009 9:27 AM

Great for business - New quid pro quo twitter idea - Require someone to send a tweet before you give-away a promotion code, whitepaper or important file.

kristin rielly 11-02-2009 8:06 AM

Twitter has been THE resource to help promote my new brand. I have been able to leverage twitter not only to announce new posts and breaking news, but also have been able to land celebrity interviews through DMs, gain sponsorship for a recent event and make connections with people I would otherwise never have the opportunity to talk to.

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