What can Twitter do for your small business?
Increasing public awareness of your brand; driving more traffic to your website, store or location; and giving you a way to interact one-on-one with customers are just some of the benefits of this social media tool.
What do you need to know before you get started?
Begin by creating a Twitter profile page that includes your business information plus links to your website and any other social media pages you want to connect to. Pick a Twitter username that is short, memorable and relevant to your business.
Then figure out who to follow. It’s easy to start by following people already in your existing contact list from other social networks and from email. You’ll probably also want to follow industry leaders, associations and maybe even some competitors so you can see what they’re doing.
You can start out by just following but at some point you’ll need to start tweeting yourself. Remember to keep your tweets short and sweet. You can tweet:
- Specials and discounts for your Twitter followers
- Alerts of limited time-offers
- News about your business such as new products or services, upcoming events or publicity
- Industry news
- Quick questions or surveys so you can see what your followers think
People like visuals so if relevant, include photos in your tweets. And don’t forget to retweet others’ tweets—they’ll appreciate the promotion and you’ll build new relationships.
Remember that tweets are limited to 140 characters; it’s best to keep them 120 or fewer so others have space to comment when they retweet you. You can visit bit.ly or tinyurl.com to shorten URLs and help them fit in the tweet better.
Build your Twitter audience by letting customers know you’re active there. You can get Twitter buttons to put on your website (visit Twitter.com) and you should include your Twitter handle in your marketing materials, email signature and email newsletters.
Twitter can get overwhelming with its constant stream of information, but there are plenty of tools you can use to make it more manageable so that you are putting Twitter to work for you and not the other way around. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are two of the most popular.