One Way To Use Twitter For Business

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And then there’s this… an intriguing blog telling the story of CoffeeGroundz Cafe in Houston, TX, a coffee shop who found a unique way to use Twitter to build its business. Check it out here
A visit this week to a local web design firm uncovered this little nugget. While I’m not ordinarily a fan ofTwitter, the latest addition to an already crowded field of social networks, what you’re about to see is a smart application of the potential these groups have. Made me wonder how many of you might try something similar.
For those who haven’t had the time to investigate, Twitter bills itself as a way to deliver many short messages that you can use over different devices and networks. It wants to be a compelling service that gives a easy, enjoyable user experience — a way to help people all over the world connect. Detractors complain that the free service brings a sort of information overload, and the need to go through all those… rather mundane to say the least… updates.
Important in the personal blogging world as a fast, easy way to update a blog, Twitter also has shown itself better at keeping peopleinformed during dangerous incidents like the Virginia Tech shootings and California’s wild fires. The American Red Cross uses the Twitter service to pass information along during local disasters. Most recently the service was used by a passenger on one of the ferries during the recent US Airways 1549 landing in the Hudson River to get pictures out before traditional media was even on the scene.
And this brings me to the example that prompted this post.
During the recent, unprecidented ice storm that struck the New England area this past December, PSNH, one of three local electricity service providers, offered regular updates on power restoration via Twitter updates. Hungry for news, anyone who had the luxury of power and an Internet connection was able to get some very sought after information.
Now that the lights are back, the utility is continuing its use of Twitter to keep jittery NH power users informed on current conditions. New England weather being what it is, and the memories of those cold, power starved days still fresh, these updates are holding their value.
Another plus for PSNH is the impulsive outpouring of gratitude from power starved customers. Once the juice was back on, and our fingers thawed from the cold, people were ecstatic… and ready to share their positive feelings. Twitter made thank you messages to PSNH quick and easy to send… delivering to the beleaguered utility a boatload of positive testimonials that can be used in any number of ways.
Could you use Twitter to encourage testimonials for your own business?
Another benefit of the Twitter updates is the appreciation of many NH residents at the use of technology to keep customers informed during a time when information was pure gold. It’s hard to quantify, but the feeling remains.
Maybe there’s something to this Twitter after all. 
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