17 07 2011
Twitter is a great way to promote your business and to keep your fans informed of what you are working on. It is fast and allows a company to communicate with their customers on a very personal level. Customer feedback and complaints can also be responded to quickly and openly using the social tool.
For small businesses, twitter is a great leveller. It does not take a huge marketing budget to maintain a successful twitter account. In fact, small companies can market and launch a product through twitter without spending any money.
Setting up a twitter account is very easy. By visiting the twitter.com website, you should be up and running within a couple of minutes.
Once you have created your account, it is a great idea to use the search feature to find the major people in your field, and from there, follow them. It is important to follow a variety of people and companies in your industry so that your twitter stream is both relevant and useful to you.
Secondly, if you have added a lot of the 'big players' in your field, twitter will automatically recommend further users for you to consider. This can lead you to discover new, up and coming people in your chosen insustry who you would not otherwise have heard of.
When composing your tweets try to ensure that people will get something out of the majority of your messages. You can do this by pointing out new innovations in your sector, or by posting links to deals on related products. By helping people, their trust in you will be increased.
Try to keep track on the number of times you mention your own products and services. If people feel you are mentioning them too much, they will consider it spam and will ignore your future tweets. When you speak about your own work, try to give an alternative slant from the stale text that would be in a press release. For example, you could give your followers some inside information so that they feel that following you is worth the effort.
Twitter is a great way to promote your other online content. Links to blog posts, flickr galleries or facebook pages are great ways to let your fans know about content on other channels. However try to make sure your tweets stay creative. Posting a link on its own is not going to excite anyone, so maybe phrase the message in the form of a question, ask for feedback or try to add more context to the link.
Businesses of all sizes aim to get the most out of the time they spend on social media. For this reason, it is a great idea to use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to track the number of clicks you receive for the links you post. Furthermore, if you are feeling technical, it is often possible to configure your CRM package to track incoming prospects from your twitter stream.
Don't feel that you need to read all of the messages in your stream and don't feel that you must reply to everyone that mentions your company name or product. Balancing your social activities with your actual job is hard enough without adding these kind of burdens.
Twitter is a great tool for increasing awareness of your brand without the need for a huge budget, however it can take a little while to figure out what works for you and your company.
Hopefully the tips here can help you get started!