Small business owners who don’t understand the appeal of Twitter may be missing out on a valuable marketing tool.
Movie stars, major corporations and regular Joes all use Twitter. What has them so excited about this social networking tool and why should small businesses jump on the bandwagon? Can Twitter be used to build a business or is it just a time waster?
Like any advertising or promotional tool, Twitter is extremely effective for someone who understands how to use it, while people who don’t know the ins and outs of successful social networking may find that it doesn’t seem to work at all. Small business owners who take the time to learn how to tweet and respond to their followers properly can end up with a very responsive customer base and increase their company’s visibility in Google’s search results.
Twitter Is a Social Network, Not a Diary
The key to Twitter success is to remember that it is a social network. Effective tweeters know they need to engage and interact with their followers. According to Concentric Marketing UK
you should try to use a ratio of one promotional tweet to every four to ten conversational tweets. However, their conversational tweets are rarely about what they had for breakfast, unless they are restaurant owners or selling the newest and best omelet pans. Instead, they ask their followers questions about how they are solving business related problems or talk about how excited they are that they met several twitter followers in person the other day. They are approachable, they respond to tweets from their followers and they make following them fun with coupons, contests, or interactive trivia quizzes.
Follow Related Twitterers
Once a small business owner begins to tweet, he or she needs to develop a Twitter following. One of the best ways to do so is to follow people who have the same interests. For example, a yarn shop owner could follow knitters, crocheters and felters. A landscaping business could follow gardeners, green living fans and people who are interested in sustainable living.
In addition, small business owners should follow other businesses on Twitter who are in the same or a closely related field. A pet sitter could follow pet sitters in other locations, veterinarians, pet store owners and dog groomers.
As these people notice the business owner is following them, many of them will follow him or her in return. They will read tweets, respond to them and re-tweet them to their own followers. This gives the business owner a very targeted audience. In addition, as he or she reads tweets, the business owner will probably discover some very useful knowledge, such as the items potential customers are looking for.
Once small business owners get involved in social networking on Twitter, they will notice that it can be a very active and fun place to connect with customers and to network with other businesses. As long as they don’t get distracted by all the fun tweets and tweeters they discover, they can really effectively market their businesses and grow their customer base.