Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why Would People Follow Your Brand On Twitter?

Twitter usage is still growing at an incredibly fast pace. Since it started a lot of brands have been willing to take advantage of this new medium in order to interact with their customers. Actually, Twitter is a great customer relationship management tool. By different ways, you may use Twitter to interact with customers. It could be by creating a new salesforce, like Dell did. It could be for customer service, or to as a direct marketing tool.

Of course, if your customers are on Twitter, following you, it would be great! Now the question is why would your customers follow you on Twitter? Wouldn't it be interesting to know the reasons which will convince people to follow your brand.

1. To get updates on future products

38% of respondents said that they use Twitter to get updates on future products or new product developments.

From a brand’s perspective, this shows that Twitter is a useful PR tool for creating buzz around a new product launch. It would also work well for innovative companies who continuously update their offering or for FMCG businesses where new products are frequently launched.

2. To engage with the company or brand

32% of respondents said they wanted to stay informed about the activities of a company or brand, with a further 20% stating they become followers to interact with, share ideas and provide feedback about services or products.

From a brand’s point of view, this proves the value of Twitter as both a customer engagement and customer feedback tool. Customer relationship management has evolved, and customers expect more interaction that traditional media provide them. Customers are willing companies to offer more transparency, and social media users don't understand why they could not speak to a brand they buy like anyone else.

It requires a real community management effort to be able to engage fully with customers.

3. To save money

Saving money seems to be another key motivator for people to follow brands on Twitter. 31% of respondents said that they follow a company to receive discounts and promotions. A similar percentage of people also hoped to get “insider” information about upcoming sales, discount events and free samples.

This means that businesses could use Twitter to feed out discount codes and coupons in order to encourage brand loyalty and drive sales.

A lot of companies are already using Twitter like this. Now it would be interesting to see the type of return on investment they may get. As the media is pretty low to use, I believe it could be pretty promising.

4. For entertainment

For 26% of the people surveyed, following brands on Twitter was simply for entertainment and no other reason.

With this in mind, perhaps brands and businesses need to evaluate the way they engage people through Twitter and include more fun, interactive content, like videos and pictures, rather than just a news and updates, in their Twitter stream.

5. To display loyalty

23% of people surveyed said they follow brands or companies to show support. In other words, it is to show their loyalty to others. Now, this bullet is very interesting. It means that being a loyal customers of your company has a social value which your customer is willing to show off online. I believe this is a great evidence of a strong CRM program.

A lot of examples exist on either categories. Now, if you are planning on setting such a Twitter strategy to add in your CRM, you must take into consideration these stats. They could help you decide on which of those ideas you may develop your core Twitter activities.