Twitter Social Networking: Does It Really Work?

Twitter Social Networking: Does It Really Work?

Being a social media consultant I get asked just about every question you can imagine (and many I never would have imagined) by people I meet at events and speaking gigs. One of the top questions is "does twitter social networking actually work?" which is often followed by a version of "how?". Of course I have my success stories - how I typically get approached by one new client a week from my facebook/twitter/linkedIn marketing programs, how I now oversee two of the largest organizations for their respective industries in southern california - via LinkedIn… things like this - but what often seals the deal for people is learning what other companies both big and small are doing that works. As you read this, hopefully you can start to see what you might be doing that would work for you and your business…

What Dell's doing on Twitter is one of my favorite stories, and is explained best by a Stefanie N, a dell employee herself:

I started tweeting for the U.S. Dell Outlet in June of 2007 based on a suggestion from a colleague who learned about Twitter at the SXSW Interactive conference, and the response had been very positive. But I knew we could do more. So I started tweeting more regularly and doing more Twitter-exclusive offers, which created more buzz and helped us to grow our follower base (we're now over 600,000). Our followers responded by re-tweeting @DellOutlet messages to their followers, and our numbers rose even more. The chart below (click on it to see more options) shows our growth over the last 3 months—right around the time we began introducing more exclusive offers, when we were at about 11,000 followers. … we've actually eclipsed $3 million in overall sales.

Did you catch that? $3 million in overall sales since June of 2007… that's only 2 years!

How do they do this? There seems to be a few basics I find in common for many twitter success stories:

1. Connect with your audience - Import databases, publicize your twitter profile, follow the people who talk about you and/or your product… general stay-in-touch stuff.

2. Listen and Respond to what the community is saying about you - use twitter tracking tools like to keep track of what the general public is saying about you - not just the people that are following you.

3. Give your followers what they want when they want it - which for companies like Dell is answers to service issues, help finding product, and the deals that apply to them.

Always keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish, and use whatever tool it is to accomplish your goal. For Dell it's keeping their customers satisfied in the products and making it easier for them to get the service they want. This thoughtfullness has generated over $3million in revenue for them. How could you be more thoughtful for your clients? Would twitter social networking be able to supplement this? These are the questions you need to ask, not just of yourself, but of your clients - conduct a survey, try out the software.. there are a myriad of ways to put your toe in the water and find if it's right for you

Original article here: