While many associations are beginning to see the value of how social networks and social media can help them, many still have reservations about Twitter. They might feel comfortable with writing for a blog or posting videos to YouTube, but they continue to question the purpose of a tweet. If associations will take a cue from the business world, they can harness the power of Twitter to meet some of their member communication goals.

Research from the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study shows that almost 60 percent of Americans interact with companies on social media sites. The survey findings also revealed:

  • 93 percent believe a company should have a presence in social media.
  • 56 percent feel a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.
  • 43 percent should use social media to solve problems.
  • 41 percent want companies to solicit feedback on products and services.
  • 37 feel companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand.

It’s clear that the majority of Americans have an expectation and a desire to interact with companies through social media online, which helps explain why Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networking sites on the web. In only the last year its traffic has skyrocketed from 533,000 to 2.4 million visitors. To respond to this demand for communication from their customers, Ann Smarty, in her Search Engine Journal Blog, shares examples of how high-profile businesses are using Twitter:

  1. To provide deals and coupon codes (Dell and Starbucks)
  2. To offer another customer support option for customers (JetBlue, Comcast, The Home Depot)
  3. To solicit customer input and develop a closer relationship (Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, HRBlock and Best Buy)
  4. To respond to customer feedback (Popeye’s)
  5. To post company news (Ford and Samsung)
  6. To promote a blog (Kodak)

Earlier this year at Hammock, Twitter played a pivotal role in an event website we created for the National Federation of Independent Business for its National Small Business Summit. The social media site included video postings, photo sharing, blogging and knowledge-sharing powered by Twitter. Using Twitter allowed organizers and attendees to post the latest updates and news from the event.

Wonder how you can use the power of Twitter to create a new avenue for communication with your members? Contact us for social media strategies you can benefit from today.