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Twitter as tool for social marketing February 4, 2009

Posted by kstrehober in marketing.
Tags: , ,


In my last blog I talked about Feedback 3.0, which makes me think about Twitter and it’s opportunities for marketers. That is why I analyzed the comments on Starbucks’ Twitter page. Following I will tell you if Twitter is a suitable tool for conversational or community marketing.

Four activities used by Starbucks

While reading messages on Starbucks Twitter page and related pages I identified 4 categories of microblogs:

1) Broadcast

Starbucks is posting messages using Twitter to make announcements and promote corporate news such as new products and services (for instance their blog “My Starbucks Idea”)

2) Feedback 3.0

Next there are two ways of sharing new ideas. First, customers are actively “contacting” Starbucks by Twitter. They make suggestions that might be interesting for Starbucks or comment on products. Now the company can ask for more comments and reply, which leads to an exchange of ideas with an unlimited number of users.

Starbucks benefit: The company is building brand loyalty and is generating ideas that might be useful for their strategy or future product development.

3) After-Sales-Services

But conversation can also be based on customers’ questions about the company and complaints. Then, Starbucks is able to answer them by giving more information. In case of negative feedback Starbucks has the opportunity to react and solve the problem.

Starbucks actually offers support for any kind of stakeholder and promotes news at the same time.

4) Crisis management

Another kind of posts deals with “rumors” and negative statements about Starbucks that are published in other media. The company is able to correct these rumors by presenting facts.


Tips for using Twitter for business effectively

These activities are only possible because Twitter is dynamic. Nevertheless a company needs to know better how to use it effectively. I found an interesting article about improving your marketing activities on Twitter. I think that these are the most important tips:

            1. Avoid spam (write about relevant things)

            2. Stimulate conversation (raise interesting questions)

If you do so, people get the chance to learn more about your company. But here’s another important fact: seek “quality” followers. You should communicate with people that are relevant for your business.


Twitter seems to be not appropriate for all industry sectors

twitter-industry-sectors2I read articles, which talk about the limits of using Twitter for conversational marketing and the changing value according to industry sectors. Firstly, the Twitter community represents just a small part of the population and an even smaller part of a companies target group. Secondly, the relevance depends also strongly on the industry sector. Internet-related businesses and companies closest to the end consumer are most likely to be using Twitter and to find value in Twitter.


What companies should avoid doing

To conclude, Twitter is definitely an opportunity to meet people. Nonetheless companies should avoid trying to sell only their products. It might be helpful for businesses to make a difference by supporting, inform and inspiring the Twitter community. Only true conversations built on respect and honesty are real conversations.

 Interesting links:










1. Marcus - October 16, 2009

Mensch, na hier geht’s ja ab :-). Nun hau mal wieder in die Tasten. Will wat lesen!

2. henryrussel - February 10, 2011

Great blog – very interesting and informative. Your thoughts, experiences and expertise are all useful especially to those newbies and software engineering enthusiasts out there. Cheers to you and your blog! Learn more reliable tips and information about software requirement specification; visit Seilevel Software Requirements Blog.

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