Anybody using Twitter for marketing?

I happen to think Twitter is the silliest, most useless “big thing” on the internet. Why would I want to constantly read updates of every mundane thing my friends do? I guess I just don’t get it.

But the lure of being able to instantly communicate with customers makes my head spin with the possibilities. Anybody here using it and have any input or advice?

we are using it a little right now. www.twitter.com/napoli_pizza[/url]. if you click on my followers and my followings, you’ll find a bunch a pizzerias who are using twitter. it appears one of the more successful ones right now is [url=http://www.twitter.com/nakedpizza]www.twitter.com/nakedpizza

The thing about twitter is, if you just use it to sell stuff, you will get rejected by the twitter community. Thats not what these people want to see. Its almost like text messaging people, who you don’t know their phone number…so you can text John McCain, or Ashton Kurtcher, and they will answer you…a bunch of people are getting into that, as well as the famous people. Yes, some people want to tell the world when they blow their nose…but more so, this medium includes references to interesting stuff on the internet on all topics, and access to people who want to communicate with you personally. Quite simply, if you don’t like the stuff someone twitters (tweets), you don’t follow them. P Diddy or Chris Berman from ESPN will waste your day away with crap, but Anne Curry from the Today Show will post news a couple times a day thats not even on TV yet.

I have found its an interesting way to reach a specific target market…18-30 year olds, and 31-50 year olds, who freqently access their phones or internet. So I’ve been successful in offering a Twitter discount to order online. I’ve also been successful in reaching semiregular customers more frequently and increasing their visits. Finally, I’ve been successful in using the medium to build my brand. When I take 30 seconds to post that we are having a charity event, that post gets retweeted by many many people all over twitter…people may not know my pizza in Alaska, but they know I’m having a charity event, and may tell a relative a couple miles from me, who isn’t on twitter, to stop by. Who knows, but it isn’t costing my anything to find out, except a little time.

Finally, this medium is new. Everyone is still learning…my guess is it will be around for a while…and for the time being, its free to businesses. No one is going to get rich using Twitter, but it might be one small step in the right direction for you.

If you are wondering if anyone near you or your restaurant uses twitter, go to www.search.twitter.com, click on Advanced Search, and in the middle of the page, in the Places field, put in your city, or address, and the search distance. You can also use this worksheet to see if anyone is talking about your restaurant on twitter. However, when you search for your restaurant name, make sure you include all the common misspellings. So for Napoli Pizza, I would search Napoli, Napolis, Napoli’s, Napolipizza.

How does twitter work? Do the “tweets” get emailed or texted to followers or is there some application you have to download to use it? Or do followers just check into a webpage? I really have no idea.

I’m just now trying to figure out the facebook thing since my wife spends hours and hours on it. I hope to have a facebook page for my company set up in the next couple weeks. I was also going to begin advertising on facebook until I found out your card (you have to use a credit card) is charged daily. Guess I’ll apply for a new card that is used only for facebook.

PMQ needs to write an article about Facebook and Twitter for the next issue. If they can find room between the stories about vitamin water, smoothies and flavored teas…

Thanks for the input Napoli!

Like Brad, I’m kind of in the dark about how it fully works. Do most people have the updates sent to their cell phones? It seems like a lot of twitterers (tweeters?) follow hundreds of people - their cell phones would be going off all day!

Can people forward tweets to their own followers?

I think I’m understanding that it’s not really a tool for constant direct marketing. I’d like to send things like events or reminders.

Twitter has signs of being a fad. Sixty percent of users this month will not return next month. When the flood of new users ends, they will end up with about 10 percent reach. It is easy to implement and you can add it to your quiver of marketing arrows, but I would certainly not think it is going to be a big draw long-term.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/social_network_loyalty.png

Good afternoon TT - We now have a Twitter up and running as well. You can check it out here http://twitter.com/Taradelprinting

We are only using Twitter to provide helpful advertising articles, surveys, and design information to small businesses who utilize print advertising. You won’t see any spam from us - I promise!

Have an excellent weekend!

Great info Napoli. We’re also using Twitter (http://twitter.com/coburgpizza) as well as Facebook, and we’re now linking directly to them from our website and our e-newsletters. The connection has been minimal so far, but the interest has been high. We’re hoping for an additional element of relationship building with our followers. --Terry

We talked about Twitter in the Pizza LIVE chat several months ago. As Charles posted, twitter is HOT right now, but the adoption rate is small. But twitter isn’t going anywhere. Twitter is extremely USEFUL for your business, but it takes time.

The reason most people don’t get twitter at first is because they aren’t following anyone, or have anyone else to follow. Give it some time. Use twitter to meet people, not make sales. Once you know a little bit about a person, then you can sell to them. Or ask them to bring in their group to your pizza place. Twitter is a soft sell. It is also a way to get quick feedback. Possible useful tweets for a pizza shop.

Thinking of adding a pizza, what are your favorite toppings?
Working on new marketing material for group banquets.
Another exhausting night of selling the best pizza in
New blog post (you are running blogs, right???) about our newest employee Stacy!
XYZ Pizza to sponsor Little League of city name again. 5 years in a row.
Looking to hire 2 - 3 delivery drivers for the summer. Please RT.
Online ordering coming soon to xyz pizza. Visit xyz.com to sign up for our email newsletter.
Delivery suspended due to bad weather. Running carry out specials though.

The key to twitter is to listen. Then engage. You can’t just blast out a message, you have to engage your audience and find out about them. Twitter helps give your pizza shop personality and a “face” – much like a blog does.

If you are following people in your town and they are talking about such and such issue, take a stand, make a comment. Use your tweet stream to promote community events. Just be active.

-Scott
http://www.twitter.com/scotthack

Brad, the tweets appear on your twitter “webpage”, like the updates on your facebook page. You can access that page on your cell if you desire. You only get an email when you get a new follower, or someone sends you private message, like they can on this think tank. So if you keep your follower list fairly short, maybe 100 or so, you can give yourself a 1/2 hour each night to see all the days tweets, and respond. Now it will take you a while to get 100 to follow, that are meaningful to you. My best hint is to find someone to follow, and see who they follow…

I have a facebook page for Napoli Pizza (the direct link is on my website www.napolipizza.net) I’m not sure you should start advertising on facebook until you are very comfortable with how you’re going to use facebook. The main attraction to twitter and facebook to me right now is they are free, and a direct link to my existing customers. At this time, I use other marketing tools for reaching new customers. But thats for you to decide on your own.

In summary, use twitter and facebook like you do the thinktank…don’t be a restaurant, be just a guy (or girl) trying to get through life, answer some questions, and sell a few pizzas… thats how people get a connection to you and your business.

Napoli, I love your Apply page:
http://www.napolipizza.net/apply.html

Here are the opening lines:
“We like tough, confident employees. We’ve had our share of momma’s boys and girly girls. If mommy still makes your cereal in the morning, go apply at Dominos.”

:lol:

Thanks for all of your replies!

I think, based on the input from here and elsewhere, that I’m going to leave this one on the back-burner. All signs point to it taking more time than I have to give to be successful with it.

Charles, thanks for the interesting post. I really have little doubt that Twitter is a fad. I just thought I’d try to take advantage while it’s around.

Hello all!

My first post to the Think Tank :wink:

I came across this thread a few days ago and since there are/were ppl here that weren’t quite sure how tweeter works, when I came across this on my registrar, thought I’d share the link.

http://www.bobparsons.me/Blog25May1.html?watch=1

Cheers,
GregMo

(btw, I’m in no way connected to GoDaddy.com other than being a customer)

Number 1 law of Duck hunting . . . ermmmm . . . . marketing: If you want to hunt ducks, you got to go where the ducks are.

I am not a huge proponent of Social Networking networks in general. BUT, if you determine there are ducks/customers there to be harvested, you darned well should be using it. Low effort, no cost exposure to potential customers. Kim (my wife) is active on Facebook, and we do some marketing sorts of stuff on there for our existing customers who connect to us. Low hanging fruit, baby. Builds the relationships, develops loyalty and costs 15 minutes a couple times a week.

It is by no means a primary tool for mareting, but definitely one we use and consider any time we are sending information out to customers. Offers and specials are good, but simple reminders and full color pictures of food can be enough. Increase the number of exposures whereever you can. Find the ducks.

CAVEAT: make sure you find a way to do it so that it fits your business model and your brand image. We are getting better at it. Branding and consistancy of message across this marketing medium as well.

I set up a facebook page sometime towards the end of January just to see what kind of response I could get with it. I haven’t really used it that effectively yet, but has taken off with the amount of people that are “fans” of our topping 500 late last month. I need to experiment with it some more.

As for twitter, I created an account last week and then announced it on our Facebook page. Just starting to play around with it.

Speaking of Facebook fan pages, a search for “pizza” on Facebook returns 500 hits, the max returned for any search, and Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s are all in the top 10 results, with 290k-950k people who have “fan’ed” it (bookmarked it, if you will).

If anyone here doesn’t have one, but wants one, I’d be happy to set one up for 3-4 people, no charge. You can message me here on the boards as I’m not sure if the etiquette here allows for me to post other contact means.

Cheers,
GregMo

I’ve been doing my due diligence on Twitter for the past few weeks and decided to give it a try. Amazingly, after only a few days, I already have 6 followers. This is without any marketing at all. In fact, I’m not sure how they heard I had a twitter site at all. Anyways, I finished putting a twitter widget on my main site that auto updates. I’m going to now work on getting more followers. My plan is to get enough followers to start doing some fun “spur of the moment” advertising. I kind of view this type of marketing like radio and tv ads that build a sense of urgency like “first 100 callers” or “act by this day”, etc.

I think that this could be fun, especially during slower times. I can “tweet” my site with something like “First person that mentions Twitter will get a free order of Brownies with their purchase of $20 or more” or "All Twitter orders between 4 and 5 today will get a free xyz with their purchase.

It costs nothing to do except for my time to text message Twitter from my cell phone… pretty cool stuff.

Here’s a really good article about how a small pizzeria uses twitter successfully: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=136662

I came across this article on pizza marketplace: Pizza by tweet

…a Twitter-only promotion the restaurant ran at the beginning of May generated about 15 percent of the store’s business the day it ran.

The company ran a second Twitter-only promotion May 29 and asked customers to reference Twitter when placing their order. To Leach’s amazement, the store set an overall one-day sales record the day the promotion ran.

“A whopping 68.6 percent of total dollar sales came from customers who said ‘I’m calling from Twitter,’” Leach said. "Of the 26 new customers who had never been in the store before, 22 of them were from Twitter…

If you go to N_aked Pizza’s website, NAKEDPizza — The World’s Healthiest Pizza, you can see they have a Twitter feed right there on the front page. It looks like someone in the store is having a running dialogue with the customers - it’s like a chatroom in slow motion. I’m really intrigued by this whole thing, but that level of commitment scares me! I couldn’t do that if that’s what Twitter users are looking for…

I just listened to a webinar sponsored by HubSpot and the American Marketing Association about using Twitter for business and they recommended a couple things:

[list]
[]Remember to make it more about conversation (engaging with your followers) than distribution (promoting your product)
[
]Use Twitter Grader[/url] and [url=http://search.twitter.com/]Twitter Search to find people to follow because many of them will follow you back
[]There are quite a few useful downloadable interfaces like TweetDeck[/url], [url=http://www.twhirl.org/]twhirl[/url] and [url=http://twitterfeed.com/]twitterfeed which will help you manage your feed
[
]Finally, make sure you respond in a timely manner[/list]