Using Twitter to find new customers

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June 22, 2011

The way we look for information is changing. It’s not just about using the web instead of picking up the telephone any more. While is still the most popular site on it, the internet is getting more and more social. Instead of trusting a search engine we can now ask real questions of real people, read real reviews, and use them to get better data.

Let’s say your car breaks down. You need to find a good mechanic in a hurry, but your last one wasn’t so great and this time you need to be sure of getting good value for money. Picking up a telephone directory will give you a list of local mechanics but it can’t tell you which ones are trustworthy. Searching for ‘best mechanic san diego’ on Google may just return dozens of the garages that claim to be the best.

You could ring up your friends and ask each one if they know a great mechanic. That would get you a recommendation from someone you trust, but it takes time. There is no need when you can tweet ‘Anyone know a good mechanic in San Diego?’ and ask a dozen or even a hundred friends at once.

More and more people are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media avenues to find services, decide which items to buy, what to do on the weekend, and where to go on holiday. Exact figures are hard to come by, but with Twitter sending out 1.4 million tweets per day one thing is clear. There are opportunities for smart companies to find new clients through social media.

A forward-thinking garage might take the time to set up Twitter monitoring and catch any tweets relating to car breakdowns, mechanics, and garages in their city. They might even try and identify complaints about other mechanics so they can offer a better service to the dissatisfied customers of a competing business. It’s not difficult to do, and numerous free tools exist (Monitter and TweetBeep for example) to help do it.

They’ll be alerted when relevant tweets are made, and can send a swift response. It may not be a recommendation from a trusted friend, but the reply can show a willingness to help out with the problem and that goes a long way with most potential customers. Get in quickly and there is a very good chance of getting the business.

Twitter has dozens of uses for a small company. It can be used to communicate special offers, sales, and discounts to existing clients, stay in touch with industry news, establish a reputation as an industry expert, and help increase search engine rankings, but what every small business really wants is more clients. Twitter monitoring is a great way to find them when they need you most.

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