Today social media tools dominate the landscape of business marketing. Why is that? Because online social media tools are usually easy to use, free, and can yield quick returns on relatively little personal investment.
The social networking tool Twitter can be instrumental in expanding your business’s presence, whether you want to bring your enterprise online or diversify an already existing online portion of your business. By setting up an account with your business, you will have access to the hundred million-plus people using Twitter every day for casual and professional purposes. If you follow the right people and cater your tweets to your potential online clientele, you’re bound to build a sizeable following.
How to use Twitter: the Basics
To set up a profile for your business, simply go to Twitter’s website and follow their instructions, filling out your company’s information when prompted. Remember that you don’t need to share any information you don’t want to share; your company’s Twitter can be as spare as you want it to be. At the very least include a link to your business’s website (if you have one) so people who follow you know where to go for more information.
Once you’ve set up a fitting handle and profile for your business’s Twitter account, start sifting through Twitter’s website for potential followers. Click the “Who to Follow” tab at the top of the website for tips on what big names to follow in your industry. Type keywords that describe the nature of your business: “shipping” or “retail” if you run a wholesale business, for example, or “insurance quotes” if you’re in insurance and so on. The search engine should produce a list of people who post frequently on the term you entered. Make it a point to follow as many people as possible so you can get a feel for what type of tweeters best benefit your research-remember you can always unfollow people later. These followers could be potential customers, other businesses with networking potential, or news outlets related to your business’s field. If your business is solely local, enter the name of your city/state in the search bar to find tweeters specific to your area.
Tweet Etiquette/Tweeting Well
Make your business’s Twitter a hub for all things pertaining to your business; imagine that you’re explaining your business to people who’ve never before heard of it and tweet from that perspective. Tweet helpful and informative tidbits about your business; whatever it is, keep your content short and interesting. Before you send tweets out, write down methods you might capture the attention of followers who would be interested in your business. Ask yourself how you market your business offline and how you can translate that into 140 characters or less? If you need inspiration, there’s a twitter for Top Business Tweets that features daily tweets from top business tweeters!
Once you accrue a healthy following, try to respond to people who RT (retweet) your tweets or those who send you a DM (direct message). You may have difficulty distinguishing genuine questions from those asked by spam twitter accounts, but over time you’ll learn how to tell between the two. It’s important to maintain a dynamic report with your followers so as to stay engaged with your audience. Above all, make sure that you keep a professional tone on your tweets. Don’t be drawn into petty arguments fomented by spamming/trolling tweeters, and certainly don’t start any tweet-brawls yourself.
Be sure to take advantage of hashtags when you tweet. Hashtags in a nutshell increase the visibility of your tweets to those who might not otherwise find your tweets. They provide a tweeter the means of categorizing their tweets. For example, if you tweet “Check out our site for the latest figures on summer gas prices,” you could add the hashtag “#gasprices” or “#transportation” to give your tweet some categorization. This way anyone looking for tweets relating to gas prices or transportation will come across your tweet. You can also search out similarly themed twitter accounts using hashtags that you’d expect to be used by businesses in your industry.
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