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Twitter: Your brand's story in 140 characters

Trying to increase business through Twitter can be a large commitment and can threaten to become a daily obsession. Jeweller reviews the pros and cons of using Twitter for your business.
Pro: be seen
Many suppliers will say they exhibit at trade fairs not only to sell product, but because their competitors are present and they feel the need to have a presence also. The same can be said about Twitter. If competitors are using it, then it’s at least worthy of investigation.

Con: time consuming
Twitter may appear a small commitment on first glance – after all, how much time can it take to type 140 characters and attach an image every now and then? Be warned though: Twitter is addictive, and it’s very easy to get heavily involved in the community, starting conversations and following others.

Pro: great way to run promotions
Twitter offers businesses an ideal channel for publicising promotions with an easy ‘retweet’ option that allows users to push a message out to their own followers at the click of a button. Clever promotions and vouchers can go viral and take a brand into new territory quickly.

Pro: stay up to date on trends and news
By following certain hashtags, like #engagementrings, businesses can keep tabs on trends and news. Important industry issues can explode on Twitter before the media becomes aware, giving Twitter users the chance to stay ahead of the curve simply by subscribing to relevant hashtags each day. 

Twitter has become such a popular ‘news breaker’ that even the major media use it avidly as a preferred source of daily news.

Con: distractions, distractions, distractions
Hashtag searches show every tweet carrying that hashtag. The use of the hashtags isn’t controlled however, which often means users must sort through piles of tweets before finding the ones that interest them. Put simply, searching through the sheer volume of tweets takes time.

Pro: No need for customer service hotlines
Some companies are taking customer service divisions completely online, using Twitter as their main point of contact. Addressing complaints online publicly demonstrates corporate concern for customers, as well as acting as a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that may help to reduce customer enquiries.

It’s also a visible example of a company’s service standards, which may lead to referrals from Twitter users interested in sharing their positive experiences.

Con: negative experiences are also public
Just about every store or brand has tales of negative experiences, mostly occurring in store, over email or via telephone; however, the rise of social media has meant that any negative experiences now happen in full view of large numbers of subscribing customers and have the potential to spread like wildfire.

Con: customers may not be listening
The number one reason to use Twitter for business is for companies to increase customers. Obviously, a business’ target market must already be using Twitter for this to work – there’s no point trying to connect with an audience of already-married men for the purposes of selling engagement rings, for example. 

At the moment the average Twitter user is male, tertiary educated and lives in an urban area.

To decide if Twitter is an appropriate communication tool, businesses must first do their research to find the right communities of like-minded users.

Taco Bell frequently engages in fun banter
Taco Bell frequently engages in fun banter

Dunkin’ Donuts keeps its page colourful and inviting
Dunkin’ Donuts keeps its page colourful and inviting
Starbucks asks fans to post images to redeem special offers
Starbucks asks fans to post images to redeem special offers

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Thursday, 22 August, 2019 10:25pm
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