So how can Twitter really help my business?

So how can Twitter really help my business?

So how can Twitter really help my business?

Twitter is an amazing marketing tool. Probably one of the most sociable of all those online as it’s interaction is fast with limited characters per tweet (140) and can quickly grab attention and raise your online profile within your core networks.

Who uses it?

Anyone and everyone as it’s often used as a quick news source where news breaks first. This can be seen as a negative as how are you going to get your message out to the right people, but if you associate yourself in the right networked group of people you will have a high reach to customers, journalists, media partners and other associations who all have huge communities using twitter enabling you to grow your reach and spread your business message…..fast.

A major complaint and I hear it all the time is that social media just takes too much time. You as a small business and no doubt a busy parent or juggling another job too don’t have more than 5 mins to post a tweet and engage with your followers.

My personal experience is that whilst posting a tweet is very fast once you have your content planned out, when on twitter and reading your feed (which are the tweets posted by the people you follow) it’s easy to firstly get distracted, as there are so many interesting tweets to read that take you off to another website to look at something, and secondly you can loose your confidence in posting what you had set out to originally post as you may feel another brand similar to yours is doing a better job with their twitter, has 1000s more followers than you and so why would anyone want to hear from you as a twitter unknown.

This fear of who’s going to read it and why do they want to hear from me can be scary but often those who tweet 10 times a day are either big brands with a whole team employed to do their social media or the content actually posted in each tweet is repetitive or quite frankly not interesting. It’s all about brand perception. As an example, I met an owner of a small business who has over 10,000 followers recently and my perception of her brand and of course what she’d be like based on her tweets and excellent content around her business, was wrong. She works part-time on her small business – her passion, does not have a team behind her and she told me she does most of her tweeting from her mobile, on the train to and from her day job which helps her fund her business. So remember perception is everything for your small growing brand and once you get going with Twitter you’ll see it’s not that scary and more importantly it can drive results.

What have you got to loose…..I’ve put together a few pointers to help get your started. Twitter Lingo Understood, Twitter etiquette, how to build your reach and followers and some smart tools out there that you can easily use to increase your Twitter success in a lot less time than you might think.

How do you then start to create tweets?

Firstly try and remember tweets need to be interesting to those reading them and represent the brand you are trying to promote. It’s no good if the content is just interesting to you, it has to be interesting to your audience, your potential customers. Secondly it’s good to try and add in an element of personality into your brand tweets.

Yes you may be selling products but often it is the person behind the brand and your story around how you started the business, and what makes you tick that can make your content more compelling.

Here are some ideas that you can mix up together to start building a content library of tweets that you are going to send out.

– Content around your product and brand, including images of latest product offerings.

– Related news that associates to your brand. Such as a brand producing ‘new baby’ products can associate its tweets to Kate and Wills new baby or a mumsnet survey on latest trending baby names.

– Build tweets by answering questions posted by others

– Offer advice and support achievements posted by others in your areas of expertise or that follow you.

– Answer questions followers might have.

– Update on fairs or events you might be attending and share content from other interesting speakers or sellers who might be interesting to your audience.

– Post questions – it’s a great way to research

– Ask for suggestions or feedback on your own ideas.

– Inspiring quotes or tips that relate back to your brand or talent

– Other market research that others post that gets a debate going

By ensuring you have a good content library you can be sure that the right messages to promote your brand are being shared so as most importantly twitter isn’t a scary tool that takes up too much time! Remember be brief, engaging and relevant. If you have nothing to say don’t say it!

Growing your reach

To make an impact on Twitter you have to be seen consistently and this takes effort. Sending one tweet a day will hardly scrape the surface. That tweet, however valuable, will be drowned by the millions of other tweets shared each day. Because your audience are logging in and out of twitter constantly, to grow your visibility and expand your reach you may think you need to post all day. This is not true.

With impactful content in your tweets you can use some clever scheduling tools so your messages are seen throughout the day. Typically twitter usage peaks between 8-9am, 12-2pm and 5-9pm. Recommended tools that can be used to schedule and to save you time are:

Buffer (www.bufferapp.com)

This allows you to schedule and post tweets with one click. You set the day and time you want to send tweets and as you find great content to share with your followers, you add them to your Buffer, and it will share you tweets at your pre-determined times. This allows you to ensure your tweets reach more people throughout the day and keep your twitter presence consistent, impactful and more efficient.

Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com)

This is another tool that allows you to manage the flow of information and pull your different audiences together in easy to manage streams including your mentions, sent

tweets, lists, groups to follows. This dashboard style of social media management also works with Facebook, Linked-in and GooglePlus.

Hopefully this short guide gives you some insights into how to get started and doesn’t make Twitter seem like such a scary place. Good luck and get out there. You’ve got nothing to loose and lots and lots to gain!

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