Twitter is a social media platform where you can share useful information and comment about your business and related issues with your audience using a limited number of words. Using Twitter is sometimes referred to micro-blogging as the maximum amount of characters you can use is 140.
The concept of Twitter is that you can follow people to see what they are saying, and in turn people can follow you to read your comments. Each time you share some information you are ‘tweeting’, the more useful and interesting your tweets are, the more people are likely to continue to follow you and therefore network with you.
How can Twitter help my Small Business?Social media platforms such as Twitter are very important to small businesses as they can help you communicate to your audience about your products or services, connect you to your existing and potential customers and help boost sales. It can also help you communicate with influential people in your area of expertise and in general.
In order to network effectively using Twitter, it is important to build relationships by providing lots of useful information in your market segment to your followers. This can include interesting comments, answering questions or by providing links to useful information which could either be your own or created by someone else. Using this technique will be effective in your audience getting to know you and will help develop a trusting relationship. This will then give you a strong platform from which you can market your business to your audience.
Twitter can give you access to many tools and applications which have been created to optimise your Twitter presence. There are apps available which can help you find useful people to follow, to help you in analysing your Twitter activity, schedule tweets, welcome new followers, offer coupons, organise and monitor your followers and to help you manage your tweeting.
How do I Get Started?The first step will be to build up a following of people who you can help and people who you would like to connect with. When choosing people to follow, focus on your area of expertise and be selective. If there are influential people in your line of business, it is worth seeing who they follow as these contacts may also be valuable to you and your business. Even if you do not know of many people in your niche, the Twitter interface itself can suggest people who are similar to you. You can then see who they are following and build it up from there. Twitter is a great way of finding out, through your contacts and their tweets, information on new developments within your industry, new projects and any changes.
Building up a FollowingYou will now need to build up an audience of followers. The next step is to start communicating effectively with the people you are following. This will make them communicate with you and start following you. You should be providing valuable and educational tweets yourself, whilst positioning yourself as an expert by providing strong insights into your market segment.
You then need to start promoting your Twitter presence. You can do this on your website by asking people to follow you on Twitter and then providing the link. You can customise your website so that it can display your most recent tweets.
If you use industry forums, insert your Twitter link next to your signature to encourage people to follow you when you are using industry forums. Finally, add your Twitter link to your email signature for an additional means of exposure .
Having a Strong and Professional Presence on TwitterAlways remain polite and professional on Twitter and always respond promptly to queries. If you provide a tweet which is of great interest, your followers may retweet. Retweeting is where a follower will repeat your tweet to their own followers. This will give you increased exposure to new potential customers. If you are ever retweeted, always remember to thank the person in question. The best way of getting retweeted is to provide information which is interesting, original and of great value to your followers.
Twitter is a good, effective marketing tool for small businesses if worked effectively. You will need to spend time and effort in order to build up your presence and a following, but the potential rewards will be valuable to your business. Ultimately, using Twitter effectively will help you to create a strong presence, enhance your brand identity and increase your base of customers.
Hi I’m Ed, and I work in the exciting, fast paced and ever-changing world of office equipment and services. I’ll be trying my best to keep you abreast give you a wide smorgasbord of handy hints, tips and advice to get the squeeze the best out of your business.
Image credit: JoshSemans via Flickr Creative Commons License