As businesses large and small are adapting to the rapidly evolving new media platforms, several case studies show how they are using Twitter to attract customers and close sales.
These companies, including Etsy, JetBlue, NakedPizza, Pepsi, and Levi’s, are leading the way and showing small and large businesses that micro-blogging can be a powerful sales tool. From coupons to simple product updates, Twitter offers an opportunity to connect and maintain customer relationships.
Among the many case studies of companies that use Twitter to increase sales is Dell Outlet. Dell Outlet, which refurbishes and sells Dell computers, uses coupons to drive traffic directly from Twitter to its Web site. The Twitter Web site case study states: “Do the coupons work? Big time. Not only do they get retweeted and picked up by coupon sites, both of which spread the brand name, they also drive sales. Dell Outlet has booked more than $3 million in revenue attributable to its Twitter posts.”
Dell not only makes offers to followers but monitors the social media space. It maintains more than 80 Dell-branded Twitter accounts and encourages employees to tweet. Dell uses many of its accounts (with names such as @StefanieAtDell) primarily for customer service exchanges that require direct messages (Twitter’s private channel) and to reach out to people who are twittering about Dell (which they find via Twitter search).
If you want to see a small business owner who is using Twitter in creative and exceptional ways, check out Rae Hoffman’s blog post where she explains her actual results in great detail. Her company, MFE Interactive, a Web site publisher, uses Twitter for a BlackBerry information site it owns called BBGeeks. Hoffman shares how BBGeeks grew its Twitter followings and increased traffic to its main Web site by several hundred visits a month. That may not sound like a lot, but for a small business, 500 new visitors could result in a significant number of sales.
Boloco, a Boston burrito restaurant, used Twitter to distribute coupons. Boloco’s owner decided to distribute a picture of his store’s coupon and tweet that customers could print it out or show him their smartphones with the coupon page called up. The restaurant normally gets 350 coupons from an ad campaign. After using this Twitter tactic, it received 900.
A bakery in England, Albion’s Oven, uses Bakertweet as a way to send updates to customers about what is fresh from the oven. This company also leverages Twitpic, which allows it to post an image link to its tweets.
Tim Ferriss, author of the bestselling book Four Hour Work Week, shares a Twitter success story on his blog about his educational nonprofit campaign. Although slightly dated as social media goes, it still offers many insights into how to build and track a Twitter campaign.
TJ McCue is an online content specialist and founder of the Sales Rescue Team, a free Web site and online sales review service for business owners.