Twitter is an important marketing tool for small businesses. What began as a micro blogging site has developed into a vast social networking platform where big news stories unfold in real time, often before they break on the main news networks.
Any business, large or small, can make Twitter work for them. This is your opportunity to reach a global audience. No matter what your business does Twitter is a great way to build meaningful connections online.
For small businesses, Twitter represents a quick and easy way to reach out to new and existing contacts. However, there is a right and a wrong way to engage on Twitter, so if you are new to the Twittersphere, here are some useful tips to get you started.
Before you start using Twitter, you need to open a Twitter account. It’s very simple to do this, but you must ensure that you fill out your Twitter profile completely. Many small businesses don’t do this, but it really is important. The first thing many people do when they come across a business on Twitter is check their profile. Make sure your profile fits your brand. Include your logo and some information about what the business does. Everything about your Twitter account should reflect your brand identity. Use professional photos and include a link back to your website, so people can find out more about you.
Follow Useful People
On Twitter you follow and are followed. Since it will take time to build up a decent number of followers, the first thing to do is find people to follow. Look for people within your industry and follow them. There is a fair chance they will follow you in return, which means some of their followers may begin to engage with you.
Follow people you find interesting and organisations you rate or you find entertaining, such as Sun Bingo. If someone follows you, check out their profile and if they are interesting or potentially useful, follow them back. Try to thank people who follow you. It is only polite and on Twitter, as with most areas of life, good manners pay dividends.
Twitter Content Policies
You can share all kinds of content on Twitter, as long as it is not defamatory in any way. However, for businesses purposes, your Twitter feed needs to stay relevant. People who follow you on Twitter do so because they think you add value to their feed. Be careful not to share pointless content or say anything derogatory or irrelevant. Some people thrive on posting divisive content, but for a business that is not a good policy.
Write content likely to appeal to people who follow your account. Think about what they want to know, educate them and provide content that will entertain them if they only have five minutes to read their Twitter feed.
You can use Twitter to promote blogs you write or draw people’s attention to new products or newsworthy events, but be careful not to go down the self-promotional route too much. Too much ‘me, me, me’ content is off-putting and will probably turn people off. Avoid high-pressure sales messages at all costs; this is not the way Twitter works.
Use Twitter Ads
Twitter ads are a useful way of reaching a targeted audience, so give them a go. You only pay when someone completes an action specified by you, so you can start small.
Engage with Your Audience
You can use Twitter to engage with followers and make new contacts. Talk to people directly by using @mentions. If you post a link that one of your followers is sure to find interesting, @mention their Twitter handle in the message so they are notified.
Use Twitter to ask for help or advice from your followers. If you are working on a new product or service, tweet your followers and get some feedback. It is a valuable way of building relationships and engaging with a wider audience.
Once your Twitter presence grows, it can be hard to manage your list of contacts. For this reason, it is useful to organise your Twitter connections into lists. This makes it easier to dip into conversations on specific subjects.