Does Twitter Really Work for Small Businesses?
Have you delved into the world of Twitter yet? One-third
of small businesses are using Twitter to promote their products or services. While you may think it is better to focus your time on Facebook and getting it right rather than trying to wrap your arms around another social media site, this one may be worth your while.
When done correctly, Twitter can be a significant tool to promote and grow your business. Why? Twitter allows you to engage your customers and potential customers in a personal way. It puts a face with your brand and gives your followers a “behind the scenes” look at your company. You build relationships with those followers that may translate down the road into business customers.
First things first, get comfortable with Twitter before you try to utilize it for your business. Pick a Twitter name that represents your company and brand, while being easy-to-remember. Start following others and really listen to what they are saying. Seek and find conversations that are already taking place about your business, businesses like you, and your industry. Once you have a handle on what’s already going on, start to share and take part in the conversations. Keep it informal, interesting, and interactive.
Once you are more familiar with Twitter, you can take it to the next level to put it to work for your small business. Here’s how:
1. Promote your Brand! Twitter is a mouthpiece for your branding. While it takes time, it is time and energy well spent. Create your Twitter page and identity to be the picture of your brand. Your tweets and retweets should reinforce your brand image. Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry circles will help you build and grow your small business brand.
2. Search and Prospect. Utilize the Twitter search function to seek out people that fit your target demographic. Start following them. Not only can you get into the minds of your buyers, but chances are good that they’ll start to follow you back and see what your brand is all about.
3. Network. Twitter is one of the best networking tools today. It makes it easier and faster to find influential people in your industry and forge relationships with them. Follow #, or hashtag, conversations that are relevant to your business. Listen first, and then participate. Retweeting is also a great way to network via Twitter. By retweeting someone, you are making the first step in starting a relationship.
4. Connect with your Customers. Successful businesses use Twitter as a way to stay in contact with current and previous customers. Offer special deals via your Twitter feed to encourage customers to follow you and share your business with others. Happy customers will tweet about their positive experiences with your business and then their entire feed becomes aware of your brand.
5. Consistency. For Twitter to be beneficial, you must consistently take part in the conversation. Provide your followers with unique, interesting, fun, and valuable content that they will find useful, and hopefully retweet. Retweeting is the best part of Twitter. Its your free, word-of-mouth, third-party testimonial advertising.
For more details and information on how to utilize Twitter for your brand, check out Twitter’s online guide, Twitter for Business
How are you using Twitter to grow your small business? What are some other ideas you have?