Wednesday, January 28, 2009

using twitter to drive (foot & car) traffic

With a hat tip to the Blog of Mr. Tweet, here's a post about different take on using Twitter to promote your business: use it for to-go or pickup orders, and to drive traffic to your storefront, business or event. The post looks at the experience of CoffeeGroundz Cafe in Houston, where the operations manager became curious about Twitter, built a local following, and responded positively when a Twitter follower used the service to send a to-go order in--believed to be the first takeout order on Twitter. From the post:
Seeing an opportunity, Cohen started taking to-go orders via direct message from any of his Twitter Clientele. CoffeeGroundz offers free Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, and they serve beer and wine - making it a cross between a Coffee House and a Lounge. Today, customers can order beverages and tasty bites from the comfort of their seat using Direct Messages to @coffeegroundz.
Taking advantage of the buzz on Twitter, the coffee shop also hosted a "tweetup"--an in-person meetup for Twitter users--that brought more people in the door. The shop estimates a doubling of its customers from deft use of Twitter.

Not selling coffee? Don't have a storefront? You can still adapt what CoffeeGroundz Cafe did in using Twitter to communicate for your business or organization:
  • Build a following first by finding your core audiences and influencers on Twitter. The cafe went for a hyperlocal strategy, following Houstonians. (You can use services like Mr. Tweet to find and follow like-minded folks on Twitter.)
  • Be open and responsive to questions and requests. A quick response to one order led to a completely new order stream, and if you're willing to ask questions to learn more about users' preferences, you can use Twitter as a way to pilot new approaches.
  • Don't think of Twitter as solely mobile, or your followers as distant. Understanding that Twitter orders could come from the laptop users inside the cafe as well as customers not yet on the premises helped CoffeeGroundz add convenience for all customers and underscored its wi-fi service.
  • Add high-touch to high-tech. People who chat on Twitter love the chance to meet one another in person, whether at a conference or a coffee shop. If you can host a tweetup or otherwise help them connect, you'll enhance your presence on Twitter and build loyalty (and users will promote the event for you in their posts).

1 comment:

MrTweet said...

Wow, thanks for the great points! Pretty impressive. =) If you have a proposal for a posting on the mrtweet blog, feel free to bounce it over to me at mingyeow@gmail.com! We typically tweet it twice, once for US audience, one for international.