How companies can win the Twitter game

What does Twitter mean to coporates? Lets look at Twitter and Social Media strategy that will work for businesses.

[In continuation with our coverage on Twitter, here is a guest post from Sriram Vadlamani (Indianomics).Sriram shares an interesting perspective on how Twitter can be used by businesses.]

The repeated denial of service attacks onTwitter might make you wonder what am I going to do if this continues. I see this as an opportunity to bolster Twitter and its security system. These things are bound to happen when a product gets popular.

If you ask anyone why Microsoft’s operating system is so vulnerable to viruses and not Linux. The immediate answer is Linux has strong security and Microsoft does a lousy job at it. But, the real reason is Microsoft is so very popular that it makes sense to write a virus for its operating system’s than any other OS. Same is the case with Twitter. With 45 million tweeple, twitter now is so damn popular and hence the attacks.

Now that we have cleared the air about twitter’s security, viability, sustainability and vulnerability let us take a look at how businesses and especially Indian businesses can use twitter.

Twitter can be used in many ways to help grow your business. This is so true for startups and SME’s. We all know by now that Infosys has closed a deal on twitter. Seriously, Infosys did not need twitter to close that deal. For an enterprise like that it has preset channels to get all the possible deals. But Infosys did it anyway and found one more way of doing business.

This particular deal should be the guideline for all other businesses, especially online only businesses. Online businesses which sell customized T-shirts, businesses which have huge online collection of books should use Twitter at will to promote new products and announce deals. It could be a new launch or addition of a new feature or it could be anything related to the business. You got to be on Twitter.

For example Kingfisher has this latest tweet:

kingfisher tweet
kingfisher tweet

We all know twitter is the best communication tool for difficult situations and disasters. TCS has advised its employees on twitter about the H1N1:

tcs tweet
tcs tweet
Twitter can be used by a company in many other ways. Imagination is the only limit. One other striking use of twitter is damage control. There are different ways of damage control to guard a company’s online reputation. There are forums like which are venting opportunities for disgruntled users. The traditional way of dealing with negative feedback is to push it down. Companies employed companies called as online reputation mangers, which produce online content so much that the search engines are confused and show the doctored content to the user. Apparently this is a huge (200 crore) business. That was denial.

From denial comes approval. Since blogging and social media are the new tools which are unstoppable, companies took the feedback in their stride and are trying to work on the feedback. Dish TV was the first company to pay attention to online feedback and treat it as signal rather than noise. I am sure many other companies are working it, albeit slyly.

Southwest Airlines, one of the profitable airlines around, has closely monitored the twitter conversations of the passengers about a gaping hole in the fuselage. Following that it has announced refunds to all the passengers on the flight and promised a complete check-up of the entire fleet. Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has done the same thing when one of their passengers blogged about the lousy food on the airline.

These are all examples of how companies can promote, defend and win in the twitter game. All these examples should not limit but help you formulate your twitter strategy.

Is twitter for everybody? The answer is no, you be the judge of it. But, it doesn’t hurt to be on it. Besides, it only costs 140 characters.

PS: It is also important for the business to get certified. I tried for TCS and there is a twitter username for TCS already which is not the real TCS. Same is the case with Kingfisher.

PPS: For online only business, twitter is your new marketing manager.

Recommended Read: Twitter Guide for Businesses – What and Why of Tweeting

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