Tapping the groundswell with Twitter

This week’s blog is all about twitter and how we can use it to reach out to our customers. Twitter is an online social networking platform that gives users 140 characters to send messages or tweets. It is one of the most popular social networking sites in the groundswell alongside Facebook and YouTube. The social network Twitter is “free and open, connects people, and gives them power” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Everyone has embraced Twitter because of its simplicity and ability to give the users the freedom to voice what’s on their mind. It is at the center of a whole ecosystem of interactions. Here are few elements of that ecosystem (Li & Bernoff, 2011):

Followers – allows anyone to follow anyone else on Twitter and connect with them. It also enables some of the people on Twitter to develop followings in the thousands or hundreds of thousands.

Hashtags and searches – hashtags are terms designed to mark a tweet as referring to a topic and are indicated with a #. Using hashtags, your post will be searchable by anyone who search that hashtag word you used.

Mentions and retweets – provides an easy way to reply or reference your followers or Twitter user. Retweeting is another key feature that passes messages from others to your followers.

Links – allows people to share short updates and articles with a note recommending it.

Lists – he ability to create a list of people you follow as well as a list that can be shared on the Web.

Apps and Tools – a huge collection of tools that tap into feeds for twitters and companies. TweetDeck is a free application for collecting your mentions and searches into columns in a full-screen interface, making responding easier.

Twitter users have an outside level of influence

“As you can see from the Social Technographics Profile of tweeters below, they’re three times as likely to be Creators, more than twice as likely to be Critics, and half-again as likely to be Joiners compared with typical online consumers” (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

Here are the five groundswell objectives using Twitter

  1. Listening
  2. Talking
  3. Energizing
  4. Supporting
  5. Embracing

Groundswell Objectives

Twitter lessons

Li and Bernoff mentioned that “Twitter is in many ways the visible face of the company in the groundswell” (2011). Companies have used twitter to connect and update their customers of what is going on with their products and services. Twitter has become a middleman between the two sides. Here are some strategies when using twitter in the groundswell:

Lock up your handle – you should find a way to verified your twitter account, so that others ca not pretend to be you and it ensure that customers are connecting with the right people.

Listen first – know what people are tweeting about you before you start posting

Be ready to support people – support customers by providing them quality service and identify them if they need to be transfer to a more expert individual for a difficult situation.

Follow others – follow others which energize them knowing that you are following them.

Be ready for crisis – you’ll need to get your PR team to turn the Twitter handle into an information channel in times of difficult situation.

Check with legal and regulatory staff – before tweeting any important information or any statement, you should your legal team if any of the information is appropriate to release or post. This can save you any future problems.


In conclusion, Twitter serves as a tool to update us about our favorite companies, celebrities, or experts. It brings our connections one step further to other people. This creates a whole new level of connectivity to the world. For students like me, twitter is highly beneficial for us as it can increase our client base, network, and provide free advertisement. But you have to know how to use it properly to expose its full potential.



Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing


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