This is the third in a series of three blogs on Using Social Media for Your Business. The other two in the series are Why Facebook and Twitter Are Great For Your Business, and How to Use Facebook to Grow Your Business.
Now that I have shown you the value of social media, and how to start a Facebook account, I want to show you how to create and use a Twitter account for your business. In case you arrived here via Delorean from 1955, I will explain to you, Doc, and Marty what Twitter is. Twitter is a social network that allows you to say whatever you want, whenever you want. The only catch is you have to say it in 140 characters or less, so brevity is the key. Twitter has become a phenomenon that no one could have predicted. Businesses are using it in a variety of ways. So can you. In the next few paragraphs, I will show you how to open an account, start tweeting, and manage your account for maximum effect. Then you can jump into the conversation and start reaping the benefits.
Getting an Account
This is an easy one. You just go to Twitter. From there you click on the sign-up button, and follow the instructions. Make sure you use your business name in some form in your user name for the account. For instance, we would use @numinix to let everyone know we are from Numinix. Then you will want to build your business’ profile. Be sure to list any pertinent information about your business you would want the world to know. The next step after that is to look for other tweeters to follow. Use the search function to find friends, colleagues, competitors, or experts in your industry. You will also want to post on your website that you can now be followed on Twitter, so your customers can find you. Now that you have an account it’s time to start tweeting.
The account is up, you have used all 160 characters of your bio, now what do you say? To tell you the truth, it all depends on what you want to use your account for. The unique thing about Twitter is it allows you to build a relationship with your customer base in real time. You could start with something like “It’s great to be a part of Twitter, what questions do you have about our company or product”? Beyond that, here are a few tips to help you tweet:
- Ask questions that will provoke a response from your followers.
- Answer questions from your customers about problems, concerns, new items, etc.
- Don’t simply tweet about what product or service is on sale. You are trying to build a community with your followers, not spam them to death.
- Talk about new trends in your area
- Offer special deals or coupons to your followers
- Use it to answer customer service questions in real time
These are just a few examples of the myriad of ways you can use Twitter. Exactly which of these you use will depend largely on how much time you have, how big your company is, and how much value you perceive is being elicited from your Twitter experience. Once the tweets start rolling in, you’re gonna need a way to organize it all.
Managing the Chaos
As you can imagine, there can be an endless stream of tweets coming in to your account. You don’t have time to sit online all day and respond to/read them all, so some great applications have been developed to help you keep it all together. This is not an exhaustive list, just some ideas to get you started.
- Tweetdeck– Absolutely essential tool for keeping active and updated on Twitter. You can create groups which allow you to only view the tweets that are relevant for you at the time. Tweetdeck has too many features to list here, so check it out.
- SplitTweet-This enables you to manage several accounts from one place. You can manage your home and business account, or several business accounts with relative ease.
- FutureTweets-This awesome app allows you to store tweets to post in the future. Great if you want to offer a special deal or insight every few hours and don’t want to stay on Twitter all day.
- Twitter Search-Use this one to perform advanced searches where you can specialize your search and narrow it down to only the most relevant information for you (area of interest, geographical location, company name, etc). Especially great to track whenever someone mentions your company’s name in a tweet.
To be sure, we have only scratched the surface of all that can be done for your business with a Twitter account. Now you know how to get started, what to tweet about, and you have the tools to help you on your journey. If you do it right, Twitter will be great for your business.