For many businesses twitter is a tool to communicate with customers and to announce company news. It’s also a platform for spruiking your products or services. But there are other less common ways to use twitter to your advantage. Here are just a couple to get you thinking.

1.  Customer Support

Twitter is a great way to offer simple real time support to your customers. Not only can customers raise an issue with you quickly but you can also respond in a timely manner. The upside to this is that potential customers can also experience firsthand how well and how quickly you respond to customer concerns.

The other big benefit here is that no matter how angry or frustrated they are with you or your product they can only vent in 140 characters saving you a possible ½ hour rant on the phone.

2.  Create Some Hype

The dream of all businesses that use Social Media is to create something that goes viral. It is very hard to do this if your use of twitter is confined to conversing with customers, announcing company news or spruiking your products or services.

Instead try and create some intrigue. For example if you are holding an event try leaking some details on twitter to arouse some interest. Hopefully people will become interested and start talking about it, thus creating your viral campaign, and hopefully packing out your event.

To really make this work make sure that when you start your campaign you create a hash tag otherwise your carefully crafted plan might become an #epicfailure.

3.  Spy on Your Competition

Wouldn’t business be so much easier if you knew what your competitors where doing to attract your customers. In the past this might have required you to dress in green and hide in the bushes outside their premises. Not any longer though.

The modern and easy way is to just follow them on Twitter (and/or any other social media for that matter) and see what they are saying, doing and offering to attract more customers.