There have been several articles circling around about the usefulness of Twitter for businesses. Some writers are even sending requests to HARO with summary titles, “twitter, huh, what is it good for?” Here's the answer.
Absolutely everything to your business if you do four things:
1. Access search.twitter.com 2. Listen to your potential customers 3. Check Google Reader (or any other type of RSS feed) 4. Respond to potential customers
What do I mean by listen? Instead of searching for company brand name or products in tweets, why not search for client needs? Here's an example from the perspective of a travel agency:
“Need a vacation” brought back 45 results in the last 24 hours on search.twitter.com. This one keyword combination along with several others (find a vacation, want a vacation, deserve a vacation) can be gathered through the RSS button available at the top of the page.
Now, what can be done with dozens of people expressing what they need/want? How about advertising a contest or sending a discount from your related business? A bot can be created to send a reply (@) to the user saying, “We see that you need a vacation and want to help! A 10% discount on our popular vacation packages is offered at http://tinyurl.com/xyz.”
Developing a bot isn't necessary, but certainly helps make the process lean. With 4-5 queries, that's 2000+ potential customers per month expressing that they are interested in taking a vacation that a travel agency can most likely accommodate. Regardless of your conversion %, that's a lot of cheap low hanging fruit.
Does this address a tweeted need? Absolutely. Is it spammy? That's yet to be decided, but your input is always welcome in a quick survey below.