Small Business on Twitter? My Top 5 Tips
Whether you are a small or large business, a freelancer or a corporation, an author, a publicist or some other kind of business makes no ends to these tips. These tips are for all business types, that may make you think they are generic but they aren't - these tips are designed for you and your business to make the most of them. Some tips have scenarios to fit business A but there will be something similar in your business I assure you, so take a read and think outside of the box.
Top Twitter Tips for Business
<h4><strong>Be a Real Person</strong>
This may sound odd and almost dumb on the surface but think about it. There are corporations and companies out there that are like robots, they auto-generate tweets based on the latest news, which can be nice, but they don't engage with other users and their customers. They are "face-less" and this means that users almost immediately will feel alienated, this is why companies such as @virgintrains talk to those who talk to them. They tell them to have a nice journey or answer any query, even if its a case of contact us by phone ... a reply on twitter is better than no reply (for the most part). it may help to give your twitter account a persona, so if its customer service maybe imagine a nice young lady with a caring tone, and stick to it... if you've a team it's a little harder but maybe have a group of accounts 3 or 4 with names like @123_sharon @123_ben etc so they are clearly all connected.
Post Continually In essence it does what it says on the tin. What this doesn't mean is spend every minute on twitter or other social media platforms such as facebook. This will have an odd effect on your business unless your are say a web design agency, indeed you may find as most do there is a balance to be found between being productive in other work and making the most of social media. One way to gauge this is to see what effect spending 1 day a week for 2 weeks and then an hour a day each day for 2 weeks has ... my guess is the later will be better. Another tip here is that most browsers allow you to "pin" to the toolbar, this means you can pin your "mentions" to the toolbar and it will become highlighted when you get mentioned, alternatively try some applications such as tweetdeck. This means you can get some "real work" done as some of my clients call it.
Listen to other users Twitter is not about straight selling, its about engagement and interaction - and you can only interact properly and wholly if you are listening. So if someone tweets you respond, even if it's a curt response. If you spot something being said (not to you) but is in your business field of interest retweet it or say something about it, don't let it pass by, become part of the conversation. Also part of listening is following, if someone tweets you something nice or interesting follow them, it will encourage them to talk more and the more they talk the more their followers see your name and the more likely they will be to talk and follow you - and likely bring some business too.
Be the Resource make your twitter account the place to go for the latest information in your sector. If you are a Gym for instance post to the latest journal about treadmills effecting health, about vitamin D etc ... post around your area and not just about your Gym... see the bigger picture
Don't Give Up Sounds silly again but I have seen many accounts go dormant or cease to exist in my 4 years on twitter. When someone doesn't tweet for 2 or 3 months when I notice I unfollow and I'm unlikely to follow them again ... dormant twitter accounts look bad, smell bad and can ultimately loose you business - twitter is a long-term game for a long-term gain ... stick with it.
At this point I want to give a mention to Tameside Business Community, an online local resource and discussion area for businesses in Tameside whom prompted me to write this post and are really quite nice people.
And also do follow myself @andykinsey
If you have any other tips for businesses using twitter leave a comment below.