How can Twitter help your business? Start with the numbers: Twitter claims over 100 million active users generating 250 million tweets a day. There’s bound to be opportunity for you in there. We’ll help you understand how that sheer volume can help promote your products and services.
Interact With Customers Directly
New channels for direct interaction don’t come along every day. The ability to speak with and hear from loyal customers and potential prospects, in real time, is one of Twitter’s most valuable features.
The most important thing you can do to foster those relationships is communicate regularly and give your audience something of value. Point people to your blog or Web site. Promote upcoming events or offer limited- time deals exclusively reserved for “followers.”
Twitter is also a cost-effective method for opening up new avenues to mobile and online interaction. Solicit and receive feedback directly, in real time, opening new possibilities for providing support and service and showing the human side of your business.
Build Industry & Community Relationships
In many ways, the old adage is true: Your reputation is your most valuable asset. Twitter can help burnish your credibility and establish relationships with industry or community leaders.
The best way to extend your presence is to follow and be followed. Remember that people you follow will generally follow you, providing exposure to experts and prominent influencers in your market.
To that end, Twitter lists let you combine groups and either monitor or promote yourself to them en masse. This aspect of Twitter is less about driving direct sales and more about opening up new avenues for building your brand. The benefits are less immediate, but no less valuable.
Gather Market Intelligence
Beyond connecting directly with customers and enhancing your reputation, Twitter can provide invaluable insight into your market and community. This can help you stay ahead of current trends, evolving priorities, and emerging opportunities.
Use the basic Twitter Search to help find profiles or people relevant to your market. The Advanced Search option lets you get more granular and specific, allowing you to mine what’s being tweeted about you and your business with filter options for location, time, attitude, and other criteria.
Twitter DO’s & DON’Ts
Just like any social environment, Twitter has evolved its own etiquette.
Here are some tips on how to best represent your business.
Do use a Twitter ID that explicitly identifies your business. Keep your brand at the top of people’s minds.
Do participate. You’ll get more value the more you contribute. Opportunities to promote your business emerge the more you engage.
Do listen. Follow anyone mentioning your products and services or tweeting about topics directly relevant to your business.
Don’t be negative. Treat others with respect and take any disputes to a more private and more personal forum.
Don’t be afraid to retweet. Sharing relevant tweets from others establishes your leadership and provides a quick way to stay in touch.
Don’t slack elsewhere. Twitter can open new channels for service and feedback, but don’t allow it to replace other interactions