Posted by: thinkeak | August 31, 2009

Are you being followed? The power of the Tweet!

August 31, 2009

by Kristin A. Snyder

Are you being followed?  The power of the Tweet!

Lance Armstrong Tweeted the message “’Hey Glasgow – ride’s at 12 noon. Location tbd. Stay tuned! Still dialing it in. And yes, I have my rain coat!” and an estimated 300 people showed up to ride with the seven time Tour de France winner.

Earlier this summer Iranians turned to Twitter, Facebook, and blogging to get messaging out about the opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi.  Social media turned into the main media outlets during the controversial Presidential Iran elections since other forms of media had strict state restrictions.    The New York Times published an article about the role tweets played during this election, “Social Networks Spread Defiance.”  One tweet used in the article sums up how important twittering was: “We have no national press coverage in Iran, everyone should help spread Moussavi’s message. One Person = One Broadcaster. #IranElection.”

These are just two examples that show vastly different uses of the social media tool.  The first is for fans to keep up their favorite celebrity, and the other is for news resourses. The top 25 Twitters, ranked by, are all celebrities (athletes, actors, TV Show Hosts, Politician) or news outlets (CNN, New York Times).   It is easy to see the correlation of why and how celebrities and news outlets develop and maintain a twitter following.  But is Twitter just as good for businesses?

Simply, YES.   The great thing about Twitter is it is FREE, and relatively easy to learn. Twittering can be useful for all sizes of businesses for marketing, customer service, and even research purposes.  New tweeting companies need to keep in mind that they need one dedicated person to oversee the messaging and who speaks to the followers (ie: customers) not at them.  The goal is to have the followers to keep coming back for more tweets, so it is recommended to mix up the messaging and to keep it interesting.

Below are some examples how companies are utilizing Twitter:

Whole Foods Market:

  • offers $25 gift cards as prizes for people who submit the catchiest messages promoting Whole Foods.
  • Store openings
  • Recipes

Home Depot:

  • Focuses on customer service from answering questions to replying to unhappy costumers: “@willrichbridal Just saw ur tweet, sorry we let you down. I would like to hear more so we can make improvements. Feel free to DM.

Southwest Air:

  • Purchase a Southwest Airlines ticket for $250 or more on and receive a $50 rebate from PayPal.
  • Tweets delays
  • Tweets trivia questions

Check out the Mashable’s 40 Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them.

One question still remains…can you over Tweet?



  1. Great post. How often should a company “Tweet” their “twetiees”? When is enough enough?

    • Great question. I think it comes down to your followers, tweet enough to respond to their needs to build relationships. I don’t think there is a actual number of tweets not to exceed. Check out this blog on how Fortune 100 Companies are using Twitter – Customer Service, news/announcements, and promotions/deals.

      Twitter is Top Social Media Platform at Fortune 100 Companies:

  2. I know when there was a gas crisis in atlanta, people would tweet about the extact location and provide updates when new fuel trucks would arrive.

  3. I would like to follow you, what is your twitter name?

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