I know I can hear you saying that you barely have time to do all of the marketing activities you are already doing.
But consider the impact this strategy can have on your business. It could be one of the best, most cost-effective marketing strategies you implement.
What Is Twitter?
Twitter is a free service where you can post messages (called ‘tweets’) of up to 140 characters. This is also known as micro-blogging.
People can ‘follow’ you and then they will be able to see your tweets automatically in their Twitter account. Conversely, you can also choose to follow the people who are following you, so you can easily see their tweets in your Twitter account. In addition, you can also request to follow anyone you know or find intriguing.
You can read (and reply to) people’s tweets and the people who follow you can do the same with your tweets. You can also re-publish what other people tweet about which is known as ‘retweet’ (RT) and is very easy to do. Hopefully, people will retweet your tweets and this practice could seriously boost you/your business profile.
What To Tweet About
It is true, some people do tweet about what they are eating or that they are going to walk the dog. But if you are using Twitter for business, make the majority of your tweets about your area of expertise. You want to add value.
It is okay to add some personal information here and there, to make the experience more personal. Just remember, some people follow hundreds of people, so if your tweets are losing perceived value to them, there’s a good chance that they’ll stop following (and retweeting) you.
For business, try and tweet: practical tips; helpful resources (articles, web content and so on); your own fresh ideas and insights; valuable tweets from other people (retweets); blog posts (yours and others’); events; questions; book recommendations; quotes; interesting videos and more.
Useful tip: Since you are limited to 140 characters on Twitter, if your tweet includes a link you can use http://bit.ly to turn a long website address (URL) into a short one.
Benefits For Your Business
Here are my top ten reasons why you should get on board and how using Twitter can help you grow your business and be more profitable:
1. Meet potential new clients you would otherwise probably never encounter. With other social networking websites you need to actually know people to connect or be friends. With Twitter you can follow anyone (unless they have their account protected which is not the majority) and vice versa.
2. Discover new business opportunities. Once you start connecting with people you may discover exciting new contacts that you can collaborate with on projects.
3. Connect with strategic alliance partners. You can meet people who have different types of businesses than yours but serve the same kind of client. From there you can refer clients to each other.
4. Position yourself as an expert. When you share your knowledge with people who need and want it, you can become known as a ‘go to’ person for that topic.
5. Increase exposure. When people retweet your posts, your messages get spread far and wide. You can also gain exposure by retweeting other people’s posts.
6. Promote other people’s ideas, projects and events. This builds relationships and it is cool to do. Funny that one of the outcomes of giving referrals is that you often receive referrals. The same thing tends to happen with promoting other people. Do not do it just for this reason, it is important that you believe in what you promote. Reciprocation is often just a natural consequence.
7. Promote your events. But keep this proportional, you want to provide value 90% of the time and talk about your stuff only 10% of the time.
8. Use Twitter as a place to share your knowledge if you do not have an ezine or blog. If you do have an ezine and blog, Twitter will complement them fabulously. Because Tweets are so short, you can use them to direct people back to your blog, where they can get the whole story.
9. Listen to talk about your business. You can find out what other people are saying about your business, which is free market research. If you know what people are saying, good and bad, you can do something about it.
10. Stay on top of the latest trends and developments in your industry. Yes, we are in a state of information overload. But you can filter Twitter to find the people, businesses and conversations that matter the most to you.
Results from Using Twitter
Expat author and speaker Jo Parfitt says, “I use Twitter to shout out about things that I think will be of use to my followers (writers, mainly) and this brands me as both an expert and a generous person. Twitter has undoubtedly allowed me to grow my tribe. By making my Tweets appear on my website and in Facebook, it lets me stay at the top of the minds of the many hundreds who follow me in each of those places.”
In my own case, I have met some amazing people on Twitter. For example, Melody Biringer of Crave in Seattle started following me on Twitter (on purpose because she was coming to the Netherlands, saw that I lived here and liked what I was tweeting about) and I followed her back. She later sent me a direct message. Soon after, she visited Amsterdam and I invited her to some networking groups with me. I introduced her to Andrea Martins, who was also visiting. I helped her, she helped me with connections and information in return. A win-win.
Melody says, “I visited Amsterdam for the Fall of 2009. I walked into that city only personally knowing one person and walked out starting a business and having a whole slew of new friends, all because of Twitter. I was able to pinpoint very like-minded people and when we met up in person we felt like we have known each other for a long time.”
Go, Start Tweeting
Hopefully you are starting to see how Twitter can help you expand your network and grow your business. Make the decision to get a Twitter account and start using it today. Invest the time to learn how it works so you can take advantage of this amazing marketing strategy to grow your profile and rock your business.
© Stephanie Ward
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Share your thoughts and questions about Twitter below in the comments section. I respond to every single comment.