I thought for a long time that Twitter was just a frivolous waste of time. I didn’t see the business potential for it—after all, how much can you do with just 140 characters? That was until one of my clients mentioned that she’d found Twitter to be surprisingly useful—once she understood how it worked and how she could make it work for her. She gave me a couple of tips to get me started, and now Twitter is a key component of my business and can be for yours as well.
Twitter works primarily because information is transmitted and shared instantly. The volume of information swirling around the Twitterverse is simply staggering, and like anything else, the trick is to isolate what’s useful and screen out what's not.
How To Tackle Twitter
Overwhelmed by the idea of tackling Twitter? These five tips can help you make Twitter work for your business.
1. Search for your name. If you enter your name or your business’s name on Twitter, you’ll instantly see who is talking about you and what they’re saying. You search for your company name, and you’ll see your own promotional materials, but you’ll also see unscripted tweets from folks who are talking about you or your products. You’ll get a window into unique user experiences. You’ll also be able to respond in real time to questions, criticisms or complaints. Consumers love to know that someone cares about their business and satisfaction.
2. Search for competitors. Not only will you see what the competition is up to and how they’re promoting themselves, but you may find a treasure trove of dissatisfied customers, ripe for the picking. Offer them a great deal to switch. All your competition's faults are potential strengths for you. Twitter users crave interaction and will welcome your real-time responses to their tweets.
3. Search for keywords. Look for topics both broad and specific. That will clue you in to the people who are discussing things that are relevant to your business, and they’ll also direct you to discussions and articles on topics that can help you improve the service you provide. Informal discussions can also give you some out-of-the-box insight into new services you might offer, or shortcomings that your analysis might have missed. Candid, honest feedback is extremely useful, and Twitter can be a great source for that feedback.
4. Use an auto responder. Don’t ever forget that Twitter is about instant gratification. Set up an auto responder to thank followers for choosing to follow you and let them know that the relationship will be interactive. Also, auto responders let you go on vacation and unplug while keeping Twitter working for you. You can even schedule tweets ahead of time for the period you’ll be away, and no one but your friends and family need to know that you’re really in Tahiti rather than slaving away entertaining your followers.
5. Produce relevant content. While tweets are limited to 140 characters, you can include a link to relevant and useful information for your followers. You may write an article about ways you can improve your service and tweet the link to your customers. It’s simple, easy and useful. You’re providing value and most importantly, you’re providing a link and an impression for your business. If one of your followers finds the information useful, you’ll end up with retweets and new followers.
Upshot For Using Twitter
Twitter offers a unique platform for consumer interaction. Not only is it the chance to get your name and your message in front of millions of users, but you also have the added benefit of an interactive experience. The interactive experience can be a double-edged sword, though. You’ll want to carefully control anything tweeted on behalf of your business, and if consumers expect a response, you want to make sure that they get one.
Twitter moves at lightning speed. It’s all about novelty and feeling connected to celebrities and businesses. You’ll need to commit to being responsive and creative, but the benefits in terms of exposure and consumer loyalty are enormous.
Read more articles on how to make the most of social media.
Photo: Getty Images