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After investigating which businesses made themselves worth following on Facebook, the same question was asked of companies on Twitter.
The micro-blogging service is most commonly used for customer service and information broadcast, but we uncovered companies integrating Twitter into restaurant wait lists, location-specific advice, and plenty of casual conversations to sustain relationships with followers and fans.
Start reaching out to your fans on Twitter using some of these techniques, or your own original strategies.
With two separate Twitter streams, San Chez Bistro of Grand Rapids, MI, makes sure that it's telling patrons exactly what they want to hear. The SanChezBistro account simply interacts with customers and responds to conversations about the restaurant. The scbhost account provides “Tweet-ahead seating” by allowing users to tweet the number of people coming and what time in order to be put on the wait list – the account replies with a confirmation, telling users “see you then!” The account even occasionally tweets special deals, like a concert ticket giveaway.
Twitter users often tweet even more while traveling. This means that a number of transportation providers use Twitter to communicate with passengers, but it is less often that a whole airport uses social media to communicate with the passengers who are just passing through. The twitter feed informs users of weather delays, responds to visitor complaints (down to broken power outlets), and brags about being a top Boston location on Facebook Places and Foursquare.
Airlines are also calling their support staff into service wherever customers are talking about their experiences, and JetBlue is no different. The account responds personally to a huge number of complaints, even when weather delays cause the account to repeat itself over and over.
Though it's no surprise that a retail site catering toward geeks would have a huge following on Twitter, the company is doing everything right engaging its tweeting customers. It has split its Twitter persona into two halves: the thinkgeekspam account only tweets about new ThinkGeek products, which frees up the thinkgeek account to communicate with customers, solve disputes, crack jokes, and post irreverent news articles and off-the-wall comments.
Over in the UK, retailers are using Twitter to keep the conversation going, too. Schuh is a British shoe company providing customer service and lots of fun commentary on customer's shoe choices. Some users will even tweet the Schuh account to see what the representative thinks of their shoe choices before making the purchase. Clearly, all the shoe conversations cater toward women, and the conversational tone of the account is casual and fun-loving to fit the customer demographics.
If you need help with your Best Buy orders or just getting a recommendation of a new product, try tweeting the Best Buy Twelpforce. Their Twitter feed is a little different from most, because the tweets from users are aggregated into a forum-style website, which allows users to search for related questions before even asking their own. This setup also allows multiple Best Buy employees to answer questions, ensuring that the account is manned around the clock.
The place Gary Vaynerchuk got his start and made his mark on the social media industry. Unfazed by the fame, this account is still having wine-related conversations around the clock. Check out conversations about favorite wines, make recommendations, and chat with fans of the online TV show.
A bank might not be the first company customers would look for on Twitter, and financial information doesn't always work to share on Twitter. Wachovia has overcome these obstacles to answer customer concerns, share financial advice, and continue the conversation with customers. Wachovia makes it clear that multiple users maintain the Twitter stream by signing each Tweet with the initials of the employee tweeting. The account also does a great job of handling frustrated user complaints quickly and professionally.
Recently relocated from @popcap_games to @popcap, this Twitter account is eagerly jumping into conversations about the company's popular games, including Plants vs. Zombies. Constant clear communication is important for a company which is quickly rolling out different updates on different games on different platforms. The feed is also interspersed with product announcements, sales, and informative articles about video games and games in general.
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