Have I Got a Real Tweet For You!
I apologize. That was pretty bad, wasn’t it?
In 2006 three young American dudes had a “daylong brainstorming session” and came up with the idea for Twitter. The reason they called it Twitter was because it means “a short burst of inconsequential information” and “chirps from birds”.
Seven years on and Twitter is booming. 140 million of us send approximately 340 million tweets per day.
Not all tweets are important. It’s true that you can watch and participate in conversations with rock stars, sports stars and film stars. However, Twitter is not just a place for celebrities to air details of their exciting lives or talking about what you had for breakfast.
It has become an indispensable communications tool for businesses, non-profit organisations, celebrities and people all around the globe.
Twitter is having a real impact on how we receive information both on the news and in the media (See Boston Marathon bombing). It has become a key communications channel during major political events and natural disasters. And businesses now rely on it for marketing, PR and customer service.
The fact is, if you don’t Tweet then you are missing out on one of the fastest growing social network platforms for your business. I cannot watch live sports without it. I think it’s the best social channel for business to consumer.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a messaging service that allows you to send and receive messages no longer than 140 characters, or about the size of a news headline. That means that they are really easy to write and read.
Messages on Twitter are public, and you don’t have to give people permission to see what you have written making it easy to meet new people on Twitter.
Here are 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter
It’s Easy To Locate and Engage With Customers
Twitter is based on a system of give and take. You post a tweet and your followers respond. It’s simple and direct and enables you to build a relationship with your current or potential clients. With a 140-character limit per tweet, Twitter is also not a substantial time investment.
People on Twitter will expect your business to engage with them. No matter what your sector, the chances are, people are already tweeting about your products, your brand, your company or at the very least, your industry.
It Helps Build Your Brand:
What you Tweet is a piece of your brand just like your logo or a jingle in a commercial. Your tweets help to define you and your business. For example, is your business family-oriented? Does popular music have an impact on your products? Every post you make will have an impact on your brand so post wisely.
You Can Offer an Irresistible Deal:
Everybody loves getting a great deal. When one pops up on their Twitter feed, it can build excitement and generate buzz. How this works is one follower retweets your message to his followers, then they re-tweet to another and they re-tweet to another…
Here are some other tactics that companies use:
Promotions: Offer Twitter-specific discount codes. Most companies report that lower priced items are much more likely to get uptake but do some testing and see what works for you.
Contests: People on Twitter LOVE a contest. A fun, creative game with good rewards can generate a great buzz. If you do run a contest, be sure to describe it on your website and include legal details and small print to cover you and keep it legal.
Contests and genuinely good deals DO get retweeted, so they are a great way of drawing not just business, but brand new followers too.
Another good tip is this: If you do offer a deal, post it a number of times. That way, you guarantee the maximum number of people see it and it won’t just slip under the radar of a lot of people. Twitter moves fast so you must re-post your tweets.
It’s Great For Networking:
It is well known that people have landed new jobs and contracts with contacts who they met through Twitter. As a small business owner, Twitter can help you manage your contacts to uncover new opportunities for growth.
You Can Engage With Journalists and PR People: Twitter is home to thousands of journalists, media workers and PR people. If you look at practically every major online news site you will come across at least one story taken from Twitter. They trawl through Twitter trying to find newsworthy posts and trends so if you are looking for a little exposure for your business, Twitter can be a great place to connect with these people.
In fact, a former news anchor reached out to me last week from Twitter and we are having coffee next week. She saw some of my blog pots tweeted, read them, liked them and w going to refer me some business. You never know who will see your tweets.
Here is how you can do it:
Post great messages. If your Twitter account is a resource in your sector, journalists will be more willing to trust you. They might even find you through retweets and comments that other people make if your posts are good enough.
Follow the media people who cover your sector. Quite often they will tweet when they are looking for sources. You can build a better relationship with them by following them. Keep in mind though, that they have a lot of people trying to do the same thing so they will be wary and will be able to tell if you are just trying to use them for self-interest.
Follow Help A Reporter Out (@helpareporter). Yes, that account really exists. The owner of the account regularly posts inquiries from reporters looking for legitimate sources.
You Can Solve Customer Service Issues:
Every business, no matter how big or popular they are has some customer service issues. It is impossible to please all of the people all of the time. A customer with a negative experience may head to Twitter to release his/her fury and tell the world.
Side note: I often time use Twitter before I use the customer service phone number and usually get a much faster response.
Savvy companies have figured out that they need to find ways to control the message and do some damage limitation. By having an active Twitter account, you can directly handle these potential issues before they spiral out of control.
The cool thing about Twitter is that you can reply in public, showing everybody that you are a responsive, caring company. A potentially negative situation can then be turned on its head, made into a positive experience.
Twitter is a great way for tackling situations like this: it’s likely, when issues arise, that a number of people have the same issue, so answering publicly can help a lot of people all at once saving you lots of time and aggravation.
You Can Tell People Your Latest News:
Twitter is a fantastic way to push out the latest news about your company.
For example, if you’re preparing to open a new location or unveil a new product, a series of strategic tweets is a cost-effective way to provide that information.
A word of warning though: Don’t make all of your posts just about your company. If you are a brand that a lot of people already love and are fans of, like Apple, for example, then you can probably get away with posting mostly about your company. But if you are just a small company and not well known it is best not just post about your own company all of the time.
Taking this approach will help build your credibility with existing and potential customers. Also, use the @ button and interact with people. The people that listen on Twitter are the ones that benefit most from it.
You Can Provide Product Information:
If you are just about to launch a brand new product or service, Twitter is a great tool for getting the word out to the masses.
A good tweet can build up a buzz and get lots of interest as people start up conversations. At the same time, you can be informative and establish trust with your followers so that they will be eager to buy your product or use your services. Think about Twitter as a way to exchange mutually interesting information.
The Famous 5…er 6?
They are the most popular and followed Tweeters in the world . . . but there’s no need to follow the herd!
1. Justin Bieber 41,792,861 Followers
2. Katy Perry 39,265,545 Followers
3. Lady Gaga 39,118,246 Followers
4. Rihanna 30,543,357 Followers
5. Britney Spears 29,253,011 Followers
6. Adam Dukes 629 Followers (I have my work cut out for me if I want to catch those divas)
Let’s give these 5…er 6 a round of applause…
I love Twitter. I cannot recommend it enough if you are a small business owner. People love to complain on Twitter, giving you a chance to reach out and offer your solution. Use the search feature, jump in the conversation and don’t sell!