Twitter: Beyond Promotion

Like most forms of social media, Twitter is largely used by businesses to promote a message, product or service. However, there are a number of uses for Twitter beyond purely promotional activities. Twitter, and other social media tools, can actually provide big benefits to businesses in multiple ways. Some of the ways we have used Twitter outside of traditional marketing include the following:

Research

Social media, particularly Twitter, represents great marketing research opportunities to gain insights on what various audiences think about a variety of topics and issues. We would offer two caveats, though. This type of research is often qualitative — not qualitative — in nature, and you need to fully understand who is on Twitter — and who is not. But, while Twitter use for research may not be appropriate in all cases, it can definitely yield insights and opinions on trends and perspectives.

Content curation

It’s easy to set up lists on Twitter that might contain either individuals or organizations that you want to stay on top of to gather information about a wide range of topics. The Digital Researcher notes that, when it comes to using Twitter for curation, the sheer extent of Twitter’s reach is a key advantage. Most universities and business publications are online, as well as a wide range of thought leaders. Setting up lists and following these accounts can help you stay well informed on issues that impact your work.

Sharing Information with Key Target Audiences

Organizations and individuals that have certain affinity groups that naturally look to them for information can get that information out easily via Twitter (again, assuming the audience is on Twitter). For instance, organizations often incorporate into their crisis communication plans an option for sharing information with employees in the event of an emergency situation — universities and other at-risk groups are also doing this to ensure the ability to connect in the event of a shooter or other crisis situation.

Ear to the Ground

Some organizations set up perimeters around their facilities so they can monitor the Twitter chat that is going on. This also allows them to be alert to any signs of impending danger — or just to stay connected to their audiences. We recently heard of a hospital that has done this so they can monitor any Twitter messages that seem ominous in some way and then alert their security teams as appropriate. Similarly, the UK’s National Health Service recently began monitoring Twitter for signs of outbreaks of illness.

 

Don’t get us wrong. We love using Twitter as a marketing tool. But, don’t stop there. Keep in mind that Twitter—and other social media channels—also can be great tools to help complement your marketing efforts.

How have you used social media in non-marketing related ways to benefit your business?

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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