Every small business does. It is a tool of engagement and brand development. It is the means to find and learn from your market targets and it is quickly becoming a linchpin to modern marketing.
Consider the following points in regards to Twitter:
1. Twitter shrinks the world. Your brand instantly becomes apparent to both, the customer down the street and across the globe. “Twitter is a place where one person can help another person anywhere in the world” – Dave Larson, @TweetSmarter
2. It is budget friendly, easy to learn and easier to use. Here are a couple of quick Twitter references you should know:
- Tweet: A message of 140 characters or less.
- Retweet (RT): A reposting or sharing of someones else’s tweet.
- @johndoe: The means by which you directly address another Twitter user within your tweet.
- #Hashtag: Placing the hashtag (#) in front of any word or sentence turns it into a search reference for the Twitter search engine. It can also be used to accentuate the point behind your tweet.
- “Via”: Source or author of the content being shared.
- OH: Overheard. The means by which you share a rumour or story.
- #FF: The Hashtag (search reference) for Follow Friday. The means by which you share people you follow with your followers, “paying it forward” if you will.
Bu utilizing simple tags like this, you literally have the world at your fingertips (whether they listen to you is another story).
3. It is here, it is now, it is real time. Ask a question, expect an answer. The power behind this as a market research tool is enormous. Not only do you have the tool to find your targets, you have the means to speak with them. If you doubt the power Twitter possesses to consolidate an effort – then consider the recent political uprisings that have begun to change the middle east.
4. There is no limit to what you can do with Twitter. Advertise, research, dialogue. build goodwill or address issues.
5.Twitter is a research tool – monitor competitors and other industry relevant parties to see what the latest buzz is from your consumers. This is a great way to see where your brand may be succeeding or failing, but it also works the same way for monitoring your competition.
5. You can spot trends and hop on board. You can spot fails and move out of the way. Twitter hosts communications on everything that is going in the world. You can monitor issues, big and small, relevant or not, and speak to them as you need to.
6. It is flexible.The speed at which it moves, the nature of limited 140 character posts, and the speed on replies make Twitter the perfect medium to test the waters. Change message types and communications as needed based on real time feedback from sources that matter.
7. Twitter is a great way to spread goodwill. Position your brand on Twitter as an expert and proprietor of helpful industry tips and info. Be helpful and enrich others – the efforts are appreciated and can quickly build brand reputation.
8. Customer Service. Twitter efforts can play a huge role in partnering with your Customer Service and After Sales Service efforts. The speed with which you can address concerns, comments or questions is incredible. Use Twitter to address customer comments and build your brand at the same time (or use it to move them to a less “public” avenue such as email, in order to address more volatile concerns).
9. Immediate information spread. Why does this matter? If you have a sudden issue, crisis or concern – Twitter possesses the speed and wide range communication capabilities to get your message out asap.
10. Connecting. I have been thrilled time and again, with how useful Twitter is for searching out new and relevant contacts. By city, by industry, by name – no matter the parameters, I can seek out those I need to network with.
11. It builds your small business future. Your tweets are entirely public, they are being seen by not just your current customers, but potential ones as well. This positioning of your brand within the eyes of the consumer base, can translate into future sales.
12. Use Twitter as a megaphone for your successes. Don’t brag, but if you get a compliment, favorite, Re-tweet it, and/or reply to it. Doing so spreads the word that, “hey! someone thought you were pretty great!”
13. Build your brand. We have already addresses this briefly, but Twitter is an ideal medium for establish your brands philosophies, morals and standards within your consumer base. Use Twitter to reinforce your brand message, stay consistent and you will see positive brand growth.
14. Twitter provides a tool to humanize your brand. It is B2B and more. It is B2C (business to customer). You can dialogue directly with the people purchasing your products and services. You can avoid the cold corporate image and show your small business is human just like them.
All that being said, there are pros and cons to all things. Likewise their are correct ways to go about it. Some businesses and Social Media Specialists would purchase follows, but the best and most appropriate use of Twitter is to develop your audience through organic relationships – communicate, speak to them, ask questions and monitor results. Go to your customers and build your brand B2B and B2C.
If you do find yourself on Twitter – drop by and tweet “Hi” – @MarketingTMS