Twitter can be a small business owners best friend, or worst enemy, depending on your approach. If you are not thoroughly conversant with how Twitter can be used to promote your business, a good place to start is on Twitter’s own “Twitter for Business” pages. You can download a 20 page Twitter business guide and read it at your leisure.
I know a lot of businesses feel that Twitter is not for them. Often, the reverse is true, and the reality is that Twitter is not for the business owner. The one piece of advice that rarely gets mentioned is comfort. I suggest you play with Twitter until you feel really comfortable using the site. Once you are comfortable, you can really start to use Twitter to its full potential to promote your business.
When playing, consider including these activities, and once you are comfortable, using them to promote your business.
- Broadcasting – this is where you send a message to virtually everyone. Only those following you will receive it in their feed, however, Twitter is searchable and your message could appear in search results.
- Replying – this is one of the most important aspects of Twitter. When you send out a Tweet, look for responses. Most responses will occur in the five minutes following your Tweet, so you don’t have to wait days for a response. When someone responds, reply to them appropriately – don’t forget to use their Twitter name with the @symbol – for example, @janedoe.
- Personalizing – I mentioned in the previous point that you need to use the @ symbol to send a message to a particular person. You don’t have to wait for a response, you instigate a conversation by using a their @symbol and their user name.
- Hash Tags – hash tags are used to tag or categorize Tweets. This is handy for hooking into trending topics, or to help your Tweet appear in search results.
- Build followers – finally, you need quality followers, so spend time following and communicating with others who are relevant to your business. Ideally, most of your followers are from your consumer base.
Twitter doesn’t require a lot of time. If you have something to say, say it. Most responses come back quickly so you don’t need to hang around. You can Tweet out your message, do some Twitter housekeeping like following or unfollowing, answering any queries, or just checking trends. If you receive responses, follow them up, otherwise, after ten minutes, you can move on to other work. Twitter can be used successfully even though you’re only connected for ten minutes, two or three times a day.