A recent Twitter case study for companies reveals that Twitter can not only be a strong medium for customer service or reputation management, but can also be a very strong source for business and product development. In addition, there are some additional case studies which suggest that organisations can grow on Twitter faster than Facebook! Here we have summarised reasons for why small and big businesses must leverage Twitter for lead generation, product discovery and delivery, to make real revenue!

1. Realtime sheer numbers can’t be ignored

Twitter, with 200M+ monthly active users globally, 120M+ active mobile users monthly, one billion Tweets every 2.5 days and with each Twitter user following an average of six brands, presents a strong case that brands should not to ignore this medium and should find ways to tap realtime buzz to generate leads and convert those leads into real revenue!

2. Tweets with intents and interest invite brands to reach out to consumers

The best thing about Twitter is that the people show their interest and intent in realtime. For example, if a user is intending to buy a smartphone, a simple tweet to ask for suggestions can usually attract lots of attention from all over the place. In this example, where a user tweets for suggestions before buying a smartphone, his friends and followers reply, and brands can also tap into this opportunity to promote their product.

3. Twitter has a vast mobile presence

Over 60% of Twitter active users access the social network via a mobile device and further studies suggest that those who use their mobile as a primary device are three times more likely to access Twitter while shopping compared to the average user, 53% more likely to recall seeing an ad compared to average user and 66% more likely to retweet. Overall, Twitter is one of the most accessed social networks via mobile devices and the growing popularity of mobiles is a great reason for businesses to find ways to leverage this network to reach out to as many consumers as they can. Plus, a Twitter app can even substitute for a mobile app and save huge costs for businesses, compared to aligning their content to different mobile platforms and then promoting their products!

4. Twitter is the social network most aligned to TV viewership

A Twitter study claims that 85% of US mobile device owners incorporate their device into their TV viewing experience monthly, 64% of Twitter mobile-primary users use Twitter in front of the TV at home, 25% of Twitter mobile-primary users tweet about the shows they’re watching and an 8.5% increase in Twitter volume correlates with a 1% increase in viewership ratings! In addition Twitter bought online sentiment analysis start-up Blufin Labs and joined hands with Nielsan Research to demonstrate that Twitter is poised to leverage an automatic connection between their platform and TV viewership.

5. Tweets can embed to other platforms to enhance the customer journey

140 character Tweets with image, video and call to action button can be embed into any website or blog by adding a simple code and embedded tweets stand out on the page because they include graphic elements, so they draw the eyes of your visitors. If a business replies, Twitter posts not only the reply, but also the original tweet, giving you a conversation view. This puts individual tweets into context so they make more sense. Recently Twitter launched Twitter Card, which enables businesses to embed call to action buttons, such as a link to an app store or shopping cart check out. So a tweet with YouTube and Vine Video or a Flickr image with call to action button can be integrated into any website and enrich the customer experience!

6. A hashtag can reach across networks i.e. multiply audience

Recent adoption of the hashtag by Facebook confirms the power of this scripted language, which is universally accepted by Google+ and LinkedIn. However, Twitter has dominated conversations centred around the hashtag (#) for quite some time. If we believe the experts, “Twitter’s major pitch to advertisers is to tack little hashtag addendums and catchphrases onto the end of their commercials. From there, a viewer can do a quick search for the hashtag to track conversation about the ad and connect with other folks. Same with TV marketers: Identify a hashtag with your show and viewers can talk about the action in real time.” This means Twitter, with cross platform publishing tools like Hootsuite, provides a huge opportunity for brands to join the hashtag bandwagon and reach out across networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+!

7. Twitter API enables a combination of manual and automation actions

Despite the recent negative press that Twitter received for their API’s terms and conditions, they still have a more open and rich API than any other social network, which means with the help of tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and now Tweepforce, businesses can leverage this very realtime 24*7 platform by amalgamating manual and automatic actions for business and product development. For example, a business can set an automatic search for people interested in their products and services and once relevant tweets are collected, they can manually take appropriate actions against each tweet.

Twitter is a real-time data powerhouse, combines consumer interests like TV viewership, and intent (active users follow at least six brands), and reaches a huge mobile audience, crossing networks via hashtag and embedded tweets. It can definitely help brands’ lead generation and product development, going well beyond reputation management!