Increasingly, we are asked, “should we be using Twitter and/or Facebook for our business?” Today we are going to talk only about Twitter. Obviously, not every business should be using Twitter, though for the most part, if you have or intend to have a successful web presence, the answer is yes. If you already have a Facebook page, the answer is definitely yes, you should be using Twitter too.
One of the first responses we get when discussing Twitter with our clients is that they don’t know what Twitter is, or they don’t know very many people who actually use Twitter. That doesn’t mean there aren’t prospective “followers” and customers-to-be out there using Twitter, and in numbers that will likely surprise you. Will it take some time to build a followers list of any size? Yes. But, like the miners of the gold rush days, savvy Twitter users have learned that it pays to pan for those flecks of gold in those streams.
Before you start, it is important to remember this. First and foremost: DO NOT use Twitter only for pushing your products or services. Your tweets should add value to the conversations, needs, and lives of your followers and potential (those whom receive retweets, among others) followers. If all you do is promote your products or services, you will only realize a small part of what Twitter can do for you.
Each tweet can be no more than 140 characters. You don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time writing them, but you should pay careful attention to what you write. As with anything, there can be unintended consequences if you write in haste or a poor state of mind. While forms of shorthand work for kids and others that live nearly exclusively in the texting world, I strongly believe, for business purposes, that you practice writing succinctly (admittedly, hard for me to do at times) so your message is clear. I am not saying to use abbreviations at all, just keep them, well, short.
One of the reasons I believe Twitter should be an integral part of any business’s online strategy, is that Twitter is viral. Tweet something worth retweeting (similar to email forwarding), and all of a sudden you have some potential new followers, as some of your followers retweet to their followers. Oh, and Google indexes “tweets,” so your well-written tweets can be found when people do a Google search for keywords you may have tweeted. Also, if any of your followers display their Twitter stream on their Facebook page, your tweets will show for all of their Facebook friends to see. Think branding, branding, branding. Are you feeling it?
So, how can Twitter help your business? In no particular order, consider the following.
- Customer Service
- Branding, branding, branding
- Answer common questions (even though the answers are on your website) about your products or services
- Build transparency and trust
- Announcements of specials or events
- Reward loyalty – send a coupon code that your followers can redeem in your store.
- Build credability – share tips and useful links to your website and other websites
- Your Twitter conversations add value to your brand, product, or service
- Adding a Voice to your business – people like to know there are actual people with whom to communicate
Are you struggling to keep fresh content on your website’s home page? Displaying your Tweets on your home page can help you with that!
So, how do you start? Create a pesonal Twitter account and follow some of the social media experts so you know what is going on in social media. After you gotten your feet wet with your personal Twitter account, jump in and create a Twitter account for your business, and tweet, tweet.
By the way, you may reach us on Twitter @webwisedesign. We would love to hear from you, and of course, we appreciate any followers at www.twitter.com/webwisedesign.
Need more convincing? Here are a couple of resources with a lot of good information for you. The first from Lisa Barone who does a really great job of listing ways to market and build your business. The second is from Twitter itself, and will help you get started. 80 Ways To Use Twitter As A SMB Owner and Twitter 101 for Business – A Special Guide
As always, we are happy to answer your questions. Leave a comment, or give us a call at 1-800-281-9993.