Twitter is undoubtedly a useful tool for promoting just about any business, but its application needs to be properly understood in the context of your business. Here are a few tips for using Twitter to promote your business.
1.Don’t underestimate Twitter’s usefulness
If you are in an extremely specialized niche market, don’t expect to suddenly have thousands of Twitter followers. Rather focus on entering the circles that are relevant to your business. Identify “power tweeters” in your area, and engage with them. Tweet at them, mention them, etc. Find trending topics relevant to your area and participate in these discussions. Eventually you will start to receive a little bit of love back, and then people will start following you. They won’t suddenly become your devoted fans, and buy your stuff. Cultivating a twitter audience takes a lot of time, and the more specialized your niche, the more time it takes.
2.Don’t use it exclusively as a sales mouthpiece
By this I mean avoid the temptation to use your Twitter account to continually broadcast special offers or marketing titbits. People use Twitter for a variety of reasons, but one of the main things that bring people to Twitter is the desire to be entertained or informed. Post links or snippets of info that are a little relevant, but extremely interesting or funny. This will get people following you, and make sure that they actually read your tweets and add you to lists.
3.Encourage follower engagement
One of the best sure-fire ways to use Twitter to promote your business is by getting your followers to do your tweeting for you. By running competitions that require people to retweet your tweets and links, you can very quickly and easily keep track of who is participating, and also get a message spread virally.
If you have 1,000 followers (ambitious for a small business) and you tweet, you’ve maybe got a few hundred people at best who see your tweet. If you can get 50 of them to retweet and participate in a discussion, you’re exposing yourself to an extra few thousand people for the cost of a competition prize.
4. Ask for follower feedback
If you have sufficient followers, something that can improve your company’s profile is getting their opinion on things. Everyone loves to give an opinion, so run surveys, ask for comments, and run focus groups using Twitter. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, and requires a bit of time and expertise to set up, but people will start talking about it, and this will encourage more followers.
5. Keep your Twitter conversations two-way
While Twitter isn’t necessarily the best channel for conversation, it can be used for these purposes. Make sure your twitter account is always “manned” to respond to queries, and encourage people to send you direct messages. Answer them promptly, and if appropriate tweet your responses. If people know they will get a mention if they tweet at you, they’ll do it more often.