Last Monday, Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday. Since CEO and Founder Jack Dorsey sent the first Tweet on March 21, 2006 announcing that he's setting up his 'Twittr,' more than 1.3 billion of us joined the platform to express ourselves in 140 characters or less.
Through emojis, videos, and images, Twitter has enabled us to communicate in myriad ways we never thought possible. The site has attracted politicians, journalists, and celebrities. The most retweeted tweet remains Ellen Degeneres' Oscar A-list packed selfie from the ceremony she hosted in 2014. The post was retweeted 3.3 million times.
Twitter has transformed the way we communicate. It's changed journalism and the way we consume and deliver content, it's created a powerful celebrity culture, and has altered the way we approach our relationships with friends and loved ones. But most of all, it's transformed how businesses interact and engage with their customers.
By opening up a 24/7, public two-way dialogue, Twitter and social media has forced companies to respond to customer inquiries in real time, to solve issues on the spot, to communicate in meaningful ways, and to create an overall better customer experience. Here are four ways Twitter has helped to transform business as we know it.
1. Customer service has been elevated in organizations.
Twitter has become the new '800-number'for many organizations. First used as a back door into companies' customer service departments, it soon became a mainstream channel for customers to get issues resolved. Today, businesses have dedicated social media service response teams. And because the nature of Twitter is so public, organizations have been forced to elevate service across all their channels to avoid disgruntled customers from taking their complaints to the social realm.
2. Customers are more informed.
Gone are the days when companies fail to alert customers of changes to policies, services, or products. Today more companies are practicing transparency and proactively getting out in front of problems as they happen. This practice diffuses issues before they escalate and customers tend to appreciate being informed.
3. Companies get free market research.
Before Twitter, when a company was ready to take a new product to market, the only way to obtain feedback was to host focus groups. Today's marketers have gotten smart about monitoring social to dial into what people are saying and then really drilling down into the triggers that motivate people and inspire engagement.
4. Omnichannel has become a priority.
Social media's role in prioritizing omnichannel efforts is pivotal. As more companies use shoppable ads and links in social and a growing number of customers shop from their social media platforms, companies have no choice but to ease the transition between online and physical locations. From addressing the causes behind abandoned shopping carts to creating a seamless transition in customer service between mobile and desktop, companies are prioritizing their omnichannel efforts.