TWITTERPATED!!!

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How many of you have a Twitter account?  I know I didn’t up until a few months ago and now I am addicted!  With homework, working out, plus friends and family time, I find it difficult to find time to watch the news and keep current.  Twitter enables me to keep current on the go – on my mobile Twitter App!  I follow certain Twitter accounts such as CTV News or the Edmonton Journal and their tweets keep me informed about current events!  I am able to stay in the loop!

Signing up for Twitter is so easy; it is free and simple, and it allows you to follow people immediately and tweet updates quickly.  Companies are taking advantage of Twitter by listening and interacting with their customers.  Twitter can spread brand messages far more effectively than television can, and can do so at a much lesser cost.

Tweeters are among some of the most influential people out there.  The social technographic profile of tweeters include highly active users: joiners, creators, critics, conversationalists, spectators, and critics.  The demographics of tweeters are 64% male with an average age of 32 and an average household income of $91,000.  52% have a college degree and 72% often tell friends about products that interest them (WOW! Talk about word of mouth)!  If you think it is only the young people who are tweeting, guess again!

As a company, before you embrace Twitter you should ask yourself what your groundswell objective is, as I mentioned before in POST: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and/or embracing.  With Twitter, you can have more than one objective.

  1. Listening: with Twitter, listening is essential.  You need to listen to know what you are getting into; watch for trends!
  2. Talking:  it is easy but don’t be boring!  Tweet things that you believe might be picked up and followed by others.  Make sure you respond to others as well!
  3. Energizing:  listen first and find the people you want to energize (those who like your products).  Respond to fans and re-tweet them, plus give them content to re-tweet to their followers.  For a great example of this, check out @Zappos_Service!
  4. Supporting:  respond to questions and complaints; listen to unhappy customers and reach out to them!
  5. Embracing:  this is more difficult when there is a limit of 140 characters per tweet, however you can use Twitter to drive people to surveys and links, plus provide incentives such as contests and draws. The best way to embrace, however, is to simply enter into a dialogue with followers.

Once you determine your objective(s), here are some tips for successful tweeting:

  1. Lock up your handle – tweet from your handle and don’t let someone else get it!
  2. Listen first – know what people are tweeting about before you post!
  3. Be ready to support people – people want responses!
  4. Follow others – people love when you pay attention to them!
  5. Be ready for a crisis – people will look to your Twitter account for a response!
  6. Respond, re-tweet, and link – and add a little personality!
  7. Staff it – make it part of someone’s job description!
  8. Check with legal and regulatory staff – it is public speech so be careful!
  9. Don’t waste a following – once you have it, keep it going and be creative!

Many companies are using Twitter now and are having a lot of success with their customers.  It is a cost-effective way to meet the needs of consumers and send them messages as well as support them.

Have a look at my Twitter account https://twitter.com/HollyMGoodman and follow me!  Creating an account is so easy to do!

Source: Groundswell

ARE YOU LISTENING PEOPLE?!

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Ok ok I have to admit – I am not the listener that I could be. Let’s face it, some of us are definitely more interested in trying to make other people laugh than we are in listening to them.

Is that selfish? Possibly. Is it dumb? Definitely!

Listening is the key to so many things. It is the key to long-lasting friendships and relationships; it is the key to being a good business person; and is definitely key when it comes to your customers.

Imagine this: you have just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and you have 6 months to live. Most likely you will listen to your doctor when he/she tells you where to go for treatment in order to try to prolong your life, or get rid of the cancer. You also want to go to the most reputable place (the Cross Cancer Institute here in Edmonton for example). What would you think if you had an appointment at the cancer treatment centre and it meant waiting for two hours in the waiting room to get in? Do the doctors not realize that your time is much more precious than theirs under these circumstances? If they listened to their patients they would understand that time is just as precious as medical research and a reputable image.

So how can we really find out what people want? In the past, we have conducted market research and we have paid huge dollar amounts to do so. Market research is great at finding answers to questions, however it is not so good at generating insights. For example, surveys can get customers to tell you the answers to questions that you think to ask them, but what about the things you never thought to ask? These answers may be very important for your business. Many customers may not participate in surveys, or focus groups, or any kind of market research. So how do we know what they are thinking?

This is where the groundswell comes in. The groundswell allows us to observe hundreds and thousands of customers in their natural habitat. From ratings to blogging to twitter – people are voicing their opinions now more than ever. Try this little exercise: Google your product or company name along with the word sucks or awesome, or do a blog search.

Naturally, there is a lot of information to sift through. But alas! There are companies that can help! Begin brand monitoring by hiring a company to listen to the Internet (blogs, Twitter, forums, etc.) and they will provide you with reports and summaries based on their results.

Your brand is not what YOU say it is. It is what your CUSTOMERS say it is. Therefore, you had better be listening to them to find out what they think your brand is about. Listen to the groundswell!

Source: Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies