Twitter Tips For Small Business
Though it may seem like you need an IT consultant to tell you your way around Twitter, (and other social media) you don’t really! The biggest thing about social media is engaging customers to help figure out ways to make your business better and more geared towards what the customer is looking for…or reevaluate if you think maybe you’re targeting the wrong demographic.
As a small business owner, it’s even more important to engage your customer base and do some (free) market research, while still getting to know your customers and promoting your brand!
Build Out Your Profile
You’re a business, and any social media profiles that you have are all a part of your brand…even if they seem like they may not be. Most people, when determining whether to “follow” someone back on Facebook, or especially Twitter, takes a look at their profile and figures out within a few seconds if they want to follow the person back or not.
And you want to be one of those Twitter accounts that people follow! So use your company logo – and a good quality one – not stretched or pixelated – and write a succinct 160 character description of your business. And don’t forget to include your website! Twitter makes it fairly easy to add your website in the “Edit Profile” section of Twitter – plus, you don’t have to use up any of your 160 characters for your website URL!
Be genuine and upfront with your customers – and part of that is actually having all the right information on your Twitter profile!
Find Local Twitter Users
You’re a small, local business – it makes sense to engage your local customers – but how to find your local base of customers? You certainly can’t ask everyone who walks into your store what their Twitter handle is – and even if you tried, that would probably leave a bad taste in people’s mouths – too invasive, or something.
But it’s quite easy to find local “influencers” on Twitter – there are a number of services out there that will help you find the people that you’re looking for, including Twitter itself! Twitter has an advanced search function that will allow you to narrow down by location and search for phrases relevant to your business.
While Twitter has the advanced search option it’s also useful to do a manual search through the people who follow people who follow you. (Did you follow that?) If the people who follow your followers share the same interests (or location) they might be worthwhile for you to follow, as well.
There are also a bunch of third party tools that will allow you to search for users and topics by location -
- WeFollow: a Twitter directory that will tell you who others in your industry arena are following.
- Topsy: a real time search of Tweets.
- Follower Wonk: will allow you search Twitter users by location in the “more options” in the “search Twitter bios” category.
Play Nice & Be Good
This is an obvious one, but if you’re getting involved with any kind of social media, follow both the written and unspoken rules. With Twitter, some of the unspoken rules are:
- Not everyone is going to follow you back. Don’t get offended.
- Don’t Direct Message spam people.
- Know why the trending hashtag is trending, and don’t just use it because it’s trending.
- Don’t automate tweets (all the time) – most people can tell.
- Don’t always re-tweet someone else – have your own thoughts every once in a while.
- It’s not all about self-promotion.
These are just a few first steps to really getting involved with social media and leveraging that community for your small business presence online. What is your advice to small business owners?
Please comment and let us know!
Alison Waters is a freelance writer who works with a company that offers IT consulting services for small business – the more complicated stuff, like networking and cloud computing and system crashes (and how to keep your data safe) – Twitter, Facebook and gadgetry advice not included.
Posted on: March 6, 2012