Does your business want more customers? Look to Twitter
How Twitter delivers a pipeline of customers to your Website
To be able to understand what Twitter is and its benefits to businesses, it’s important to define social media. Social media refers to websites and applications that allow users to create as well as share content or participate in social networking. Let’s face it! Social media has overtaken most (if not all) forms of online marketing today. Social media websites like Facebook have over 1 billion active users on a daily basis.
Twitter boasts of over 320 million active users monthly. There are many other social media sites and apps with an equally impressive user base. When you consider the fact that most internet users today access the internet via mobile devices and social media sites lead the pack as the most mobile-friendly websites in the web today, it’s easy to see why social media can’t be ignored by businesses keen on crafting effective online strategies.
Although there are very many social media websites and apps today, our focus here will be on twitter and how business owners stand to benefit from using the site. Twitter is undoubtedly one of the most effective but commonly overlooked social media site for promoting businesses. Most business owners today (especially owners of small to medium-sized businesses) haven’t realized the potential of twitter in bringing in new business. This can be attributed to many things most of which are misconceptions.
For instance, many people think twitter is hard to use. Some people don’t even understand what Twitter is. This article will strive to let you understand what twitter is and how you can use it to generate business. If you thought it wasn’t worth investing in Twitter as a business owner, think again! Let’s begin by defining Twitter.
What is Twitter?
Twitter can be defined as a real-time information network where users discover what is happening (around them and globally in real-time) while sharing information instantly as well as connecting with people and businesses globally. Twitter is such a powerful social media site/tool since it allows its users (both people and businesses) to reach their target audience regardless of their location or what they are doing since twitter is composed of 80% mobile users. This leads us to a very important question; how can you use Twitter for business? Before answering this question, it’s important to understand the landscape of Twitter i.e. the building blocks
Twitter building blocks
To be able to understand how to use Twitter for business, it’s crucial to understand Twitter’s landscape. One of the most important elements of Twitter’s landscape are the terminologies i.e. the language/words used to interact on the platform. The most important terminologies are discussed below to help you get started;
1. Tweet: A Tweet is simply a message posted on Twitter. A Tweet contains 140 characters or less. It can also contain photos, links and/or videos. Although you can Tweet about anything, it’s important to post useful tweets that add value to your existing and potential clients. A Tweet can be posted for a variety of reasons from driving/creating awareness to connecting with influencers and generating leads.
2. Reply: Twitter users click on ''reply'' to respond to Tweets. Replying to Tweets is a great way of joining conversations, responding to customer queries as well as building a strong relationships with your Twitter followers (your direct audience on Twitter). Your Twitter followers are simply those who are interested in you/your business.
3. Retweet: A Retweet is simply a Tweet that is taken from another Twitter user and sent (twitted) to your own Twitter followers. You Retweet a Tweet that you think engages/adds value to your followers.
4. Like: As the name suggests, a like is simply a way of liking (acknowledging/showing appreciation) for a Tweet.
5. Hashtag: In Twitter, a hashtag refers to any word/s or phrase/s without spaces, beginning with the hashtag symbol (#). Twitter users use Hashtags to organize conversations as well as make it easier to find information/content on a specific topic.
6. Handle: A Twitter handle is simply a username. Twitter handles begin with the @ symbol followed by any characters you choose. Like any other username, a Twitter handle is used to uniquely identify every Twitter user.
7. Mention: A mention is simply a way of bringing a Tweet to another Twitter user's attention by including their username (handle) in you Tweet. You can
also use a mention to ask a Twitter user a question, thank them or simply highlight your content to them.
With the above information, you shouldn’t have a problem kick starting your Twitter user experience. Let’s however focus on a better way of using Twitter i.e. using Twitter to promote your business.
How can you use Twitter for business?
Many large businesses have found value in Twitter. Small businesses are however lagging behind. Not anymore! There are very many ways your small business stands to derive value from twitter. The most notable ways are discussed below. You can use Twitter to;
a. Listen and learn
Twitter is a great platform for businesses to listen to their existing/potential customers as well as learn from them. As a small business owner, you can use tools such as Twitter search to listen to valuable conversations taking place within your industry and use such conversations to learn your existing/potential customers (followers) better. This will in turn put you in a better position to craft more effective future marketing strategies.
b. Drive awareness
Twitter is also a great platform for businesses to raise their profiles as well as increase marketing impacts. Twitter has great features for small businesses i.e. tweets and Twitter ads that allow effective communication with potential and existing customers. These features allow business owners to drive awareness on any issue effortlessly.
c. Provide unmatched customer service
73% of all small to medium business Twitter users find Twitter to be the fastest way of responding to customer service issues. Considering today’s consumers want fast responses/action on issues, you couldn’t ask for a better customer service tool. Every business owner should consider using Twitter since it allows for the quickest and easiest responses to customer queries. Twitter also helps businesses forge stronger relationships with customers on top of helping businesses develop a solid reputation.
d. Connect with influencers
Twitter has also broken down the barriers of communicating with influencers better than any other platform available today. Twitter allows you and your business to connect with top brands/influencers which is a great way to raise your business’s profile as well as start important discussions and build valuable connections. All you need to do is include handles of top influencers on your Tweets.
e. Generate leads/business
When you are able to listen and learn from your existing/potential customers, drive awareness, provide unmatched customer service and connect with influences, your business’s potential to generate leads becomes unmatched. Furthermore, Twitter has many special features that allow businesses to generate leads faster than any other platform. For instance, tweets are a great tool for generating leads as long as they are crafted with special elements i.e. hashtags and handles that increase their exposure. Twitter ads also help businesses target specific markets/clientele better which translates to plenty of useful leads.
The above information summarizes what Twitter is, its building blocks, why it’s such an important promotional tool for businesses today and lastly, how business owners can use Twitter to promote their businesses. After going through the above information, it shouldn’t be a problem convincing you to set up a Twitter profile for your business. It is however important to note that there is more to Twitter than what is discussed above.
For instance, you need to understand Twitter, all its features and tools in-depth for you to be able to get the best out of Twitter for your business. Twitter has many great features and tools that allow businesses to thrive. There are many Twitter secrets that allow some businesses to thrive on Twitter better than others. To discover these secrets, you need to devote a lot of time and energy to learning how to effectively use Twitter for business. Alternatively, you could seek the services of a Twitter-for-business expert to help you get ahead faster. All in all, it’s really worthy investing in Twitter as a business owner.
Make no mistake: Twitter brings customers to small businesses.