Several major companies have used Twitter to develop customer relationships and provide exclusive deals, IT Business Edge editor Susan Hall reports in her latest article. Hall spoke with executives at Dell, Zappos and Southwest, all of whom use Twitter regularly.
Dell uses Twitter in three ways. One is a RSS feed of headlines from its blogs and other news from Dell. The second is exclusive offers. The company also directly engages with customers and other people. The company has about 200 employees on Twitter, all dealing with their specific area of the business.
Zappos primarily uses Twitter to interact with customers. CEO Tony Hsieh posts inspirational quotes, happenings in the company and humorous everyday musings.
"We're a relationship brand," says Rob Siefker, senior manager for Zappos' customer loyalty team. "Zappos has a corporate culture that is really focused on having a really awesome place to work. As that relates to customer service, we relate to each other on a very personal level and we want our customers to feel they have a relationship with the brand, too."
Southwest Airlines emerging media specialist Christi Day spends the better part of her day on Twitter. Southwest has a half-million Twitter followers, with that number growing by about 6,000 daily, says Day. While its Twitter page was initially used to broadcast fare sales, customers have helped define its use by telling the airline what they want. That means updating news on plane delays and emergency landings.
So the key to these companies' Twitter success, they tell us, is developing customer relationships. It appears that none of the companies have quantified their Twitter savvy, or at least wouldn't discuss it. But if happy, informed customers mean good business, then these companies should be doing well.
Here are some resources in the Knowledge Network that discuss using Twitter as a business tool.