That’s the plural. This is not a post announcing that Twitter is for sale. 🙂
If Google can help your CRM, then so can Twitter. If you haven’t yet stumbled upon Twitter, the concept is beautifully simple. If you’ve ever sent a ‘Happy New Year’ text individually to multiple different contacts on your mobile phone, how about sending it once to everyone, whether they choose to read it on their phone or in a web browser on any device with an Internet connection? Like a Chumby (that one is waiting for whole other post). That’s what Twitter does. Restricts texts to no more than 140 characters but enables you to send one text to anyone who subscribes to your Twitter feed.
So, imagine this. Your sales people need to keep track of news that can affect your company or the likelihood of a prospective customer buying something from your company. How about using a Twitter feed to send out regular updates, in real-time.
For example: A Microsoftie travelling to a customer hoping to sell them a search solution based on SharePoint. Would be better to know that an announcement has just been made to acquire FAST than to hear it from the customer. A sales rep travelling to meet a prospect, receives a Tweet that the prospect has just announced their quarterly results. How about using Twitter in your call centre? Send out updates that can help keep everyone informed when making/answering calls. A support engineer discovers a new method for repairing a fault, takes half the time and resources – a tweet goes out and is picked up by all other engineers currently on call. You don’t need war and peace on each subject, just a short announcement that will either tell you what you need or alert you to find out more asap.
It’s a simple concept, the equivalent of that snail mail approach in the 1990s – distribution lists for sending out bulk emails. And yes, you could indeed use that approach instead. But Twitter keeps it short and helps prevent announcements from being buried under everything else that swamps your inbox.
If anything, Twitter is the reincarnation of those little stock tickers and ‘breaking news’ feeds that you could install on your desktop a few years ago. But this time, you don’t need to download any specialist software and you can view the updates in real-time on any device that can view the Twitter feed.
Take it a step further – use Twitter to feed breaking news to your customers. Why restrict the information to only those customers who your sales people are about to see or speak to? Drop in announcements about new products, short term pricing deals, any kind of buzz that might turn a prospect into a sale.
To find out more about Twitter, check it out – http://www.twitter.com/.
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[Note: if this post crops up in an odd place, it was half written back on 4th Jan and got lost]