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Five examples of innovation with Twitter

Credible case studies or examples of how people in organizations successfully use social communication channels like Twitter to connect and engage with customers are gold dust to anyone looking to make a case in their own organization.

We know how Dell can make money out of Twitter — $6.5 million so far, they say. It's a terrific case study. Yet such an achievement can not only seem out of reach for many organizations, but also not necessarily reflecting their goals which may not be about making money directly from their Twitter activity.

So it's great when some details appear of what a handful of well-known international companies are doing and getting out of their use of Twitter.

Examples from Franchises Go Social, a feature in the January edition of the American Entrepreneur magazine:

  • Subway: Subway's Twitter presence, @subwayfreshbuzz, attracted more than 6,000 followers in less than six months. The sandwich shop franchise uses Twitter to interact with Subway fans two ways: sending out product and promotional news and monitoring Twitter for buzz about its brand.
  • McDonald's: McDonald's operates two main Twitter handles. @McDonalds, which has more than 4,700 followers, is used for brand news and information as well as customer service. (Internal research shows that the company is mentioned every 10 to 20 seconds on Twitter.) @McCafeYourDay promotes the company's line of specialty coffees.
  • 7-Eleven: Convenience-store giant 7-Eleven launched its first Twitter campaign at @7eleven in September, when it created an online game to promote its Brazilian Bold coffee to 18- to 34-year-olds. A few weeks in, the game has scored about 100 followers and counting, but it has also generated a wave of buzz online and will be followed by more promotions.
  • H&R Block: H&R Block uses @HRBlock, launched in November 2007, as a customer-care and question-and-answer tool more than a marketing vehicle. Although the company posts info about tax law changes or company news, it more frequently answers tax questions, solves log-in issues and helps connect its more than 3,600 followers with the expertise they need to get their taxes filed.
  • Dunkin' Donuts: In a little more than a year, @DunkinDonuts scored more than 38,000 followers by creating a place where people can share their Dunkin' Donuts experiences. The company focuses on creating a place where people can talk about how much they love Dunkin' Donuts products.

(Via Janet Meiners Thaeler via Rodney Rumford)

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