In today’s competitive market place, every business needs to develop a strong internet presence. A viable online marketing strategy goes beyond a user friendly website (which is extremely important) and into the social media network. This is where Twitter resides and it is a platform that can be a great way to market your small business. You might have heard of Twitter or have seen your teenage kids “tweet.” Now is the time for you to ramp up your own Twitter account and expand the reach of your company.
The simplicity of Twitter is probably its most attractive feature. Users can send out tweets that are only 140-characters. This forces you to get right to the point. Just because your message is going to be short doesn’t mean you can’t include pictures and links. In fact, you should. The goal of your Twitter account is to accumulate followers. These are the users who have decided they want to hear what you have to say. Hopefully, those followers will “retweet” your update and spread it even further.
How do you get Twitter followers? It helps to follow others. You have the ability to follow the same users as anyone else on Twitter. You can also create a profile page that will serve as your Twitter base. This is where users/followers can find out more information about your company along with direct links to your website.
In the Twitter universe, hashtags ( # ) are a way to connect posts and help users find content. For instance, if your business is selling T-shirts you might send out a Tweet with #greattshirtdesign. A user can then search for that hashtag and find all the related posts. It’s like using keywords in your content. You just need to # first.
To send out links, you’ll want to shorten the address. Remember you only have 140 characters. There are many programs which allow you to type in an URL and then provide you with a shortened link. As for Twitpics, these can be photos you shoot or you’re sharing. The link to the photo can be to your company’s Instagram account or other homepage. Once you’ve set up your Twitter account, start to encourage your customers to follow you and include an icon badge on your website.
Putting Twitter To Work For Your Business
You need to stay active with your twitter account. This might mean having a staff member designated with managing the account or dedicating some time out of your day to update and see what’s trending. You want to develop a balance between being consistent with the number of updates vs. over Tweeting. Twitter is extremely fluid and you need to get used to riding that wave.
Here are some helpful tips that will allow you to get the most out of your Twitter business account:
• Don’t try for the hard sell. It won’t work. Approach your updates like you would be talking to a friend as opposed to customers.
• Post links to interesting news stories that relate to your business. Conduct surveys. Ask for opinions.
• Keep track of what other followers are saying about your business or related businesses by retweeting.
• Use links and photos in your update because those are the most retweeted.
• Respond to any user who is making a comment about your company. This can include any positive or negative criticism. Twitter can become an extension of your customer service.
• Engage in conversations with other users/followers by writing @their name.
• Ask for feedback about your company or new product.
• Use programs like Tweetdeck or Moz’s Followerwonk to monitor your account and watch activity.
Additional Twitter Information
The more you use Twitter the more you’ll be comfortable with making updates. As a business you want to make sure you are updating during business hours. Don’t update at midnight! Be on the lookout for trending twitter topics that you can use to your advantage. At any given time there will be hot topics designated with the # symbol. These are the things that everyone is currently talking about on Twitter. If you can jump into these discussions with a relevant comment it can help increase your followers.
It’s important that you don’t fall down the Twitter “rabbit hole.” Too often businesses will try to jump on trending topics without thinking it through. That can become a PR nightmare especially if you’re piggybacking on a trending tragedy to try and sell a product. Yes, that has happened. Bottom line: Think before you Tweet. It’s the same lesson you learned about sending out emails with “reply all.”