Twitter as an Effective Relationship Marketing Tool

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Twitter as an Effective Relationship Marketing Tool


The meteoric rise of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has brought about with it a whole new opportunity for marketers. No longer are companies reliant on mass market communications, or even targeted marketing, instead they are now able to actively engage with users in order to not only attempt to formulate opinions of a brand, but also to gain consumer insight into both new and existing products. However, businesses ignore these mediums at their peril as hi-lighted last year by Gap’s failure to successfully release a re-designed logo. Instead of engaging with customers to enquire about potential new designs, Gap failed to even discover if consumers sought a new look for the companies’ logo. This failure was most prominently displayed when a week after the new design was released the company removed the costly design and replaced it with the original logo.


The reason Gap made this decision so quickly was down to Twitter. Disgruntled consumers on the platform raised their disproval of the design as soon as it was released, these complaints aired rapidly and extensively resulting in Gap having no choice but to revert back to their original logo. This case identifies the three consumer areas that companies can engage with on Twitter. No single product will ever appeal to every single consumer and therefore mass marketing communications are a thing of the past, and so therefore Twitter allows business to communicate with the following groups. First of all are the companies existing consumers, Twitter allows the business to try to retain as much of this core customer base as possible. Beyond this, Twitter can also be used to attract new customers to a brand or product. Finally Twitter is not only a tool for critics to raise any issues with a brand or product, but also allows companies to actively engage with critics and seek to address any issues that they may have.


The reason Twitter is so successful with relationship marketing is the fact that it allows consumers and companies to interact in real-time without the requirement for either party to travel further than their office or sofa. This kind of engagement not only offers consumers a chance to engage with a brand they are familiar with, but also offers them an opportunity to affect and potential new products or services that company may develop. It also allows businesses to do market research for free with customers who already have a genuine interest in the brand, and therefore design products and services that most effectively meet these customers needs, and therefore is a great way to ensure maximum sales. Twitter allows you to;


• Raise brand awareness.
• Increase interactivity with your customer base.
• Raise discussion and positive talk on your brand and product/service offering.
• Help create a tangible meaning of a brand in the mind of the customer.
• Increase customer retention.
• Help reduce the barriers to making a purchase online through ease of access and linking to products/services.
• Direct the customer to where you want them to go on your website.
• Build corporate and company reputation.
• Foster a positive, open and warm company ethos for employees.
• Act as a direct one-to-one customer service and technical support to company operations and updates.
• Act as a disaster response management tool.




However, as with anything that is worthwhile, there are effective and ineffective ways of using such a tool. Whilst many companies rush headlong into such opportunities with complete disregard for any potential pit-falls, those with a more socially orientated mind may look at how best to utilise such a tool, and what methods and techniques receive the greatest response. Whilst Twitter is still a relatively new tool, and as such research on the subject is limited, there are a number of emerging best practice techniques emerging that allow for a more fruitful use of Twitter.  The following information details the most effective way to grow relationships between you and your followers.


Do your research


Whilst Twitter offers a great opportunity for you to reach out to a wide customer base, it is important to first listen to what your customers want, otherwise you risk alienating both new and existing customers and therefore losing out on potential sales. This is hi-lighted in the Gap incident where they failed to engage with customers and therefore found themselves making a costly mistake. Twitter now makes it so easy to engage with a large number of people in a small space of time so there really is no excuse for not doing your research.


Keep it interesting

Remember that your followers are in contact with you because they are interested in what you have to say, however, the un-follow button is just as easy to use as the follow button, and unlike un-friending on Facebook, there is little or no risk of social back-lash as users are often only engaged through the internet. This means that in order to maintain your current followers, whilst attracting new ones, you must keep your content interesting, relevant and up-to-date. Otherwise users will seek information elsewhere as people do not have time to filter through mountains of useless content, they want concise, useful information that they can read on the go.


Be consistent


Much like walking, if all parts of the body are not in sink then you risk a fall. There is no point having your website telling consumers one thing, whilst your Twitter feed is offering up something entirely different. It is therefore important to make sure that across all your communication channels your messages remain consistent with one another in order to avoid confusion and discontent.


Timing is the key

Twitter users can be following hundreds of different brands and people all at once and therefore have a constant stream of new tweets on their feed. It is therefore important that you maintain constant updates at regular intervals without swamping followers with the same message, or useless information.  Unfortunately there is no exact science for determining the optimum number of tweets, however, a little bit of common sense goes a long way in determining how many tweets you send and at what time.


Be sure to participate

Whilst Twitter allows you to be a passive observer and see what others are saying about you, it is also important to actively engage with your audience whenever possible. However, make sure you are simply joining the conversation rather than trying to lead it. The trust consumers have in a business rises greatly the more the company engages with them. It is also a great opportunity to receive instant feedback on any new products, services or designs.


Make it personal


Whilst consumer trust in a business rises the more engaged they are with the business, research shows that revealing the identity of the person between a tweet can further build this trust. By showing that there is a real person there representing the company helps build trust quickly as a result of a developing relationship. It makes the whole process much less robotic, and in humanising the process drives relationship marketing to new levels.


Remain credible

Whilst the key objective of any business engaging on Twitter is to drive sales of its products and services, it is important to remember that consumers can go to your website if they are simply looking to make a purchase. The whole point of engaging on Twitter is to build relationships with customers and clients, whilst also seeking to encourage them to make a purchase with your company. It is therefore important to share information that is relevant to both yourself and your consumers, therefore posting third-party links is a key way of building relationships with your followers as they see you as much more than just a company. This is a great way to build a brand rather than a business.


Offer something for nothing

A key component of marketing has forever been offering something for nothing, and this is no truer today than it was twenty years ago. Competitions and give- a ways are great opportunities to not only encourage new followers, but also to increase engagement with your company.


Whilst this blog covers some of the key points with regards to using Twitter as an effective relationship marketing tool, it does not cover any point in enough specific detail to bestow all the necessary knowledge for you to make a real success of your Twitter account. The best thing I can recommend for this is seeking out a professional social media agency who will be able to help you effectively manage all of your social media channels in order to make the greatest possible success of your relationship building exercises.


Good luck and happy tweeting!


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A New Twitter Dating Site! Nuf said.. Watch the video to find out more! You don’t have to like twitter to watch this! Enjoy the parody! WATCH THE FULL ENDING OF THIS VID AT: Hi everyone! My name is Lizette and I’m the host of Tweecap! What’s tweecap? Well, Tweecap is a weekly Twitter recap show, showcasing the most awesome, horrible, useful, insane, random, hilarious, interesting, crazy, entertaining and fun tweets throughout the week! To have your recommended tweets considered for the show, you can comment below, email me at, hashtag your tweet with #tweecap or reply to @tweecap on Twitter! You can follow me on twitter for the latest news and updates for the show: @lizettegagne I hope you enjoy! For more weekly videos, please comment and subscribe via youtube and the blog at Follow tweecap on twitter! http Follow Lizette on twitter! Thanks! Lizette WATCH THE FULL ENDING AT:
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