twitter-business The concept of Twitter may seem weird at first but there’s lot of value in connecting with people though Twitter.

Businesses now use the Twitter ecosystem to pre-announce new products, get feedback, share upcoming deals or for tracking buzz around their products and services.

For instance, the Dell Outlet uses Twitter to announce deals and discounts on refurbished Dell computers. JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines use Twitter to let customers know about new routes and fare discounts. News sites like BBC and The New York Times publish breaking new stories on Twitter thus replacing the traditional email alerts.

If you also own a product or a service, here are some essential tools to help you harness the full power of Twitter without making any dent in your existing marketing budget because these tools are completely free:

1. Twitter Feed – This service fetches new content from your blog (or any site that supports RSS feeds ) and publishes a link in your twitter account. It will help your existing customers stay updated about news related to products they already own.

2. Tweet Scan - This is like Google for Twitter. It will solve two problems:

a) Tweet Scan is great for monitoring feedback about your product from conversations happening in the Twitter universe. And they provide RSS feeds so you’ll automatically know when people tweet about products.

b) With Tweet Scan, you can find existing customers who are already on Twitter and follow them so they come to know about your existence. Or you may search for the name of your competing products and track potential customers.

3. Twitter PollDaddy - This service lets you use Twitter for getting opinions or for asking questions through polls. Type your question with a list of potential answers and post it to your Twitter account.

So if you are nearing a product release and only one of the two features can make it to the final product, use Twitter PollDaddy service to learn from customers which of the two features they think is more important to them.

4. Twitter Response - TwitResponse lets you schedule delivery of your tweets just like the way you send emails in future.

Say if you are announcing a new product at 10 AM EST tomorrow, write a message through TwitResponse and it will automatically get published to your Twitter status exactly at the time you want. You need not be texting at the time of actual launch.

5. Quotably - This is another quintessential twitter service that makes it easy for you to follow conversations happening around your tweets. It arranges replies to all your tweets in a threaded form much like the way you see discussions on usenet groups.

6. TwitterReply - With Twitter, your customers get an alternate way to get in touch with you through public tweets or even direct messages. They may want to know the contact number of your support team or they could be looking for a manual which can they can’t locate on your website.

TwitterReply sends you an instant email whenever there’s a new tweet for you in the Twitter universe. You need it because customers contacting you through Twitter may be looking for instant answers.

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