If your small business isn’t already active on Twitter, a new study about its effectiveness might change your mind. The study by Market Probe International found that 86 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a small business if they see a friend recommending it on Twitter. Twitter not only boosts sales, but also helps you build lasting relationships with prospects and customers—85 percent of whom say they feel more “connected” with a business after following it on Twitter.
What Do Twitter Followers Really Want?
So how can you get more from your business’s Twitter presence? Try focusing on the kinds of tweets that prospects and customers want to hear from you. According to the study, the most popular reasons for following a business on Twitter are to get updates on future products or services (73 percent), to show that they support the business (63 percent) or to interact with the business by providing feedback or sharing ideas (61 percent).
I was surprised to see the main reasons for following a business aren’t to get deals, but to feel like “insiders” who are part of your business. To tap into that desire, create tweets that make your customers feel special. For instance, you can ask for their opinions on a new product or service you’re considering, conduct an informal poll, or ask them to share their own experiences. Suppose you’re an accountant. You could ask, “What do you hate most about doing your taxes?” share the results and also use what you learn to develop services geared toward relieving customers’ pain points.
Of course, getting retweeted is an important part of success on Twitter since it exposes your business to all your followers’ followers. How can you get retweeted more often? According to the survey, 70 of consumers retweet because they like the content, while 64 percent do so to share a positive experience they had with the business. Increase retweets by making sure you share content that’s useful and interesting to your target market, and that they’ll enjoy passing on. Content that’s humorous, uplifting or has unexpected information is likely to get shared.
Remember, not all of this content has to be yours. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, you could tweet cool images or jokes about fonts (believe me, font humor exists).
Promote Your Account
Maximize your Twitter presence by always including your Twitter handle in any type of marketing material, print or otherwise, such as in your brochures and print ads, on your business cards and in your email signature. More than one-third of Twitter users who follow small businesses say they’ve interacted with companies after seeing the company’s Twitter handle in an ad.
Consider Twitter Advertising
You may even want to consider advertising on Twitter using Promoted Tweets; nearly one-third of Twitter users say they’re more likely to patronize a small business if they see a Promoted Tweet that is relevant to them.
Overall, Twitter is a resource for your company. Learning how to use it in a way that will gain you new customers can be highly beneficial to growing your business. Don't have a Twitter yet? Set one up and learn the basics for small business.
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