Even the major brands such as Comcast and Starbucks are leveraging the power of social media to expand their brand awareness and drive sales. For the most part, they’re doing it without spending huge amounts of money. Being successful with social media marketing does not require a massive financial investment – it needs time and passion.  Don’t forget social networking is not about selling, it is about building relationships and your online credibility.  

If the largest brands are using social media to create brand awareness, then you should do the same!   So, what should you do exactly?  There is more to social media marketing than having a great blog.  You also need to create profiles for your brand or business on the major social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.   This might sound like quite a bit of work, and it is initially but once you have set up your profiles you will find it only takes a few minutes each day to become involved in the social networks and online conversations relating to your business.

Today we will look how major brands are using Twitter.  Tomorrow we will look at Facebook and in part three we will look at YouTube.

Twitter

More people than ever are now using Twitter, which recently gained its 100 millionth user – now that is a lot of tweets

Twitter is a micro-blogging site and it is used by thousands of businesses to promote their products or services.  Twitter restricts tweets to a maximum of 140 characters but it is surprising how this restriction can make you sharpen your message.

US Companies Comcast and Zappos, two very different businesses, have both used Twitter for the same purpose – customer service.

Retailer Zappos has always had an excellent reputation for customer service. They pride themselves on being customer focused and Twitter provided them with another opportunity to show their commitment to their customers.   Zappos involvement with social media is driven by their CEO, Tony Hsieh. He’s engaged, enthusiastic and honest, and it’s paid off – His twitter account has over one million followers. His personal accessibility sets the standard for Zappos on Twitter. Over 500 of their employees use Twitter and they have even created a special section of their Web site to aggregate all of their tweets.

Zappos’ employees use Twitter to connect with their existing customers and prospects and they provide real-time customer support. Twitter is not a replacement for traditional customer support avenues, it is an additional customer service channel. Zappos’ transparency has made it a brand that people talk positively and enthusiastically about. People trust Zappos and they can see why on Twitter every day.

A company that doesn’t have quite as many fans, but is working hard to win people’s trust, is Comcast. Cable and Telecoms company Comcast was never renowned for its customer service, but thanks to Twitter, that’s changing.

Back in 2008 Comcast started using Twitter as a way of tracking customer complaints. They created the Twitter account comcastcares to pro-actively seek out unhappy customers and provide them with the service they were lacking. Today, there is a team of 10 employees who spend all day on Twitter just looking for people they can  help. The company still has an uphill battle ahead of them, but as CEO Brian Roberts said, “It’s changed the culture of our company.”

Your business might not need to look for people with a complaint about your service, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from Comcast’s Twitter experience. Both Comcast and Zappos use Twitter to pro-actively seek out problems and resolve them. In most businesses customer service is typically reactive – you wait for someone to let you know there is a problem. With Twitter, you can be proactive and give out a clear message that customer service is something that your business cares about.

While many businesses use Twitter to say things, the successful ones are using it to listen. Find out what people are saying about you. Resolve problems quickly and elicit positive feedback. Don’t think of Twitter as a micro-announcement site. It’s more than that if you’re willing to try.

If you would like more information about social media marketing please leave a message below or visit WSI IMS – WSI Internet Marketing Services for UK Business.

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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