How Twitter Can Be Used to Market Your Small Business
Found In: Social Networks
In today’s on-demand world, there is no doubt social media advertising is extremely beneficial as it offers instant, in-your-face marketing. Twitter and other popular social sites offer endless possibilities for small business owners to harness the nuclear-promoting power of the web, using little to no advertising dollars. However, novice social site users might be a bit skeptical about how to use Twitter effectively in a marketing campaign. Thankfully, there are some pro-marketing techniques requiring very little sophistication in the technology department that any small business owner can use.
All good business marketing campaigns begin with a plan, and Twitter campaigns are no exception. The first thing a small business owner needs to consider is what he should be tweeting about each day.
- Restaurants could tweet out daily specials or new additions to the menu.
- Bars could tweet out happy hour times and specials.
- Real estate agents could tweet about new homes on the market or current market conditions.
- Public relations firms could tweet news updates.
- Contractors could tweet out current remodeling and repair specials.
The key is to keep your tweets fresh, new and relevant to your line of work. Even if you wind up repeating a few tweets during a marketing campaign, you are working every day on creating a brand and cementing a solid online reputation. Be creative, but be consistent.
Create a spreadsheet outlining 30-days’ worth of updates, then edit your Twitter profile.
The Twitter profile page is equivalent to an “About Us” page on a business website. Use a photo of the owner or the business logo as the profile photo. Fill out the information on the profile page completely; do not leave any blank spots. Make it as interesting as possible, to encourage users to “share” your profile in Tweets or mentions.
Do not Leave Your Website Out in the Cold
It is equally important to update your website by adding a “Follow us on Twitter” button. As a small business owner, think about cross promoting your Twitter page and website simultaneously for the best of both worlds in marketing.
Hand’s Off Marketing
With a veritable smorgasbord of Twitter marketing tools, the small-business owner is never without plenty of online, desktop and mobile options to manage his marketing campaign. Among some popular social profile management apps are Hootsuite, Tweet Deck and Twaitter. These nifty programs allow users to automate tweets, specifying what they want to send out to the World Wide Web at different points of the day. This lets the small business owner do what he does best; work on his business without having to be tethered to Twitter all day, every day.
After sending out the first wave of your Twitter marketing campaign, it is time to analyze the effectiveness of your tweets. Start by logging on to Twitter and looking at your @Mentions, allowing you to see who shared your tweets with their followers. Then, check your direct messages for notes from potential customers or clients. The more “shares” you achieve, the more successful your marketing campaign. Therefore, remember to thank all of the tweeters who shared your message with their lists openly and often.
Of course, checking Twitter alone is not going to give you a full portrait of the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Check the traffic sources pointing to website. The more Twitter.com is in the referring URL (Universal Remote Locator), the more people were directed to your website directly from your Twitter marketing campaign, and more is better.
Who’s Who Marketing
Celebrities love Twitter. While you might not think this nugget of wisdom is a tremendous deal, you would be wrong if you maintained that attitude. Twitter gives you instant access to celebrities, entrepreneurs and other professionals; making what was once a huge world, feel much smaller and more accessible.
Connecting with captains of industry on Twitter feeds is thousands of times more effective than doing cold call, or sending a letter or email to someone who has no idea who you are. Twitter is all about relationship building. Plant seeds by responding to tweets, water them by striking up a regular dialogue and watch them grow.
Direct messaging is nothing short of ultra-powerful promotion. For example, if Ed is a restaurant owner, he could log on to Twitter and look for a list of people who mention the word “hungry” in their tweets that are nearby, or who used “#hungry” as a hash tag. From here, Ed can message those users directly, inviting them over to his restaurant, or post a link to his restaurant on his page. The trick is to keep direct messages on point and relevant to the users. Mass messaging feels, looks and tastes like spam.
If Ed were to say, “Come to Ed’s for food,” it comes off as spam-like to readers. On the other hand, if Ed were to say, “I noticed you were hungry, we have great enchiladas, stop on by! I’d love to meet you,” then you have a viable tweet that a user is likely to respond to favorably.
The bottom line is that Twitter offers phenomenal returns on investment. There is no need to pay to promote your business or service, when you can tweet free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, only spending a little time in the process. This is one of many reasons that makes Twitter a number one choice for small business owners everywhere.