In the past, powerhouse companies have had the marketing aspect of their businesses covered from top to bottom. Radio, television, print, online, and in-store advertisements have paved the way for their success. With so many people spending so much of their time on social networking sites, lately, these companies have had even more ground to cover, but they’re certainly showing us all how it’s done. From Starbucks to Dell to the Gap, all of these companies have taken to the social media sites of the worldwide web to get the word out about their stores – and their great deals and sales. Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Twitter – they’ve got all the bases covered, and they know where the people are.
When it comes to content, these businesses are using every resource they can get their hands on. Youtube is filled with advertisements, news clips, and educational or instructional videos. On Facebook, customers can become fans of their favorite businesses. Twitter allows the businesses to give their customers live updates on everything ranging from free giveaways to guest appearances to special deals. What unites all of these networks is their ability to allow customers to provide feedback and feel like they are personally connected to their favorite stores, restaurants, or shops. The companies know that this seemingly personally connection is the key to success. It’s more than just the companies reaching out because the customers are reaching out, too. Every time they write on Starbucks’ facebook page or respond to Apple’s tweets, they are providing useful information to the companies that they support. A customer can ask a question about a store via Twitter and receive a response right on the same page less than ten minutes later, and that is a powerful thing.
Let’s take a look at how Starbucks uses Twitter. First off, it’s got a concise profile with a link to its website – a definite must. It’s also got its logo right there on its page so big that you can’t miss it. And then there’s the content. Customers post all types of things, including questions as to what ingredients are in the whipped cream, how much a shot of soy costs, and how late the stores are open. Comments include enthused exclamations about how fabulous the coffee is and the other products that customers are getting. Starbucks’ response to this is to promptly answer every single question AND offer its followers exclusive deals and coupons available only through Twitter. What does all of this mean? That there are about a million thrilled Starbucks fan addicted to its Twitter updates. These big businesses really know what they’re doing when it comes to using Twitter to benefit the company.