Everyone is talking about Twitter these days and for good reason. Twitter is an amazing microblogging platform and one that every small business should embrace as part of their overall social media marketing strategy. If you’re operating a small business, here are five ways you can use Twitter effectively:
Create a M.A.P.
The first step to effectively using Twitter is to create a M.A.P. or Marketing Action Plan for your business. Your M.A.P. will include a list of all the things you can tweet about – company news, blog posts, important announcements, special offers, industry news and so on.
Don’t be afraid to get creative.
The most effective Twitter accounts (aside from celebrities) are those managed by folks not afraid to take chances and get creative. Here are some great examples: CoffeeGroundz, Kogi BBQ and Maine’s very own BeadinPath. Add some flair and personality to your tweets. As a small business, you want to be approachable and getting creative and lighthearted can help you achieve that goal.
Engage in “two-way” conversations.
The last thing you want to do on Twitter is stuff the pipelines with constant “stuff” about your business. In addition to the items listed on your M.A.P., you also want to make sure that you are taking advantage of what social media is all about – fostering relationships and building a community around your brand. To do this, you need to engage in two-way conversations. Start by monitoring your “mentions” and see who is talking about you. And respond! Include the “@” symbol before their Twitter user name so that it feeds directly into their account (and they can respond back!). Also consider tweeting questions to specific people on Twitter or your followers in general. Encourage them to @ reply their responses!
Maintain a non-annoying frequency.
There is nothing worse than logging on to your Twitter account and seeing hundreds of tweets from the same person or business posted back-to-back within seconds (or minutes) of each other. Don’t do this! Maintain a non-annoying tweeting frequency. How often you tweet depends on who is following you, what you have to say, how often you are retweeted and so on. There is no one-size-fits-all-solution. Since Twitter streams move at a rapid pace, it is recommended that you tweet often – but not too often. Watch how your audience reacts and adjust accordingly.
Utilize a targeted follow/unfollow approach.
Listen. We all dream of having millions of followers or thousands of adoring fans. Problem is, focusing on numbers – especially on Twitter – is the equivalent of simply banging on a pot with a metal spoon; you’ll be generating a lot of noise. Focus on growing your Twitter following organically and targeted. The best way to achieve this is to select one of your target markets and spend some time following accounts that fall within this area. Use the search functionality right on Twitter or visit listing resources such as Listorious. Follow up to 50 accounts. Approximately 48 hours later, go to an service such as JustUnfollow and stop following up to 50 accounts that did not reciprocate. The next day, repeat this process. Keep doing this with specific target markets or accounts you wish to follow – those that are most relevant and beneficial.
Experts agree that Twitter is a must have tool for today’s small business owner. By spending a little time tweeting each day and selectively building up a targeted following, you can give your small business a big boost. And best of all…it’s free!