Social Media Directors: Helping Your Small Business Use Twitter, Part II

Twitter tweets are one of the simplest, most popular, far-reaching and easily engaging social media interactions ever invented for small businesses social media interactions. Limited to just 140 characters including spaces, it forces both business and public users to be somewhat inventive with their use of language in order to say what they’re trying to get across. Its efficiency is a huge part of its power, and when you show that you are listening and receptive, Twitter users will notice.

One of Twitter’s best, and often overlooked, attributes, is the fact that, while you can reply to someone’s tweets and/or copy them in credited retweets, you don’t get the long string of responses from a who’s who of your friends and acquaintances that almost always end up going off on completely unrelated tangents, as often happens on Facebook wall posts.

Facebook has great online marketing value, of course, but Twitter is far more adept at some things. For instance, by ‘following’ like-minded businesses, you’ll find out what they think is interesting and worthy of publicly posting. If they end up following you back, your tweets will then appear in their feeds, and any business contact has potential to become profitable in monetary as well as social means.

Retweeting* interesting tweets you see is a great way to sort of introduce yourself to potential new contacts, as everyone’s feed shows them who has retweeted them. People notice when you think what they’ve said is valuable and they appreciate it, just as in regular offline life.

Twitter tweet, random.

Don't respond to or retweet (RT) messages that have no value for your business. But do follow real people who could become clients.

Potential clients who might not find you elsewhere are likely to see your tweets when they search subjects you’ve mentioned, turning them into possible customers. Always reply to every human that messages your twitter feed. Don’t make the mistake of acting as if there is not a real human on the other side who is communicating with you.

You would not ignore someone who walked into your office and introduced themself, would you? Of course not, and your business likely would not last too long if you did. The same logic applies to your respectable online reputation.

Now, all of this sounds easy enough, and it really is. However, it takes time and patience to develop a following that will be useful for your social media presence. An understanding of subjects that people will find interesting enough to warrant reading what you have to say, end up following you, and ideally becoming clients or useful business relationships is what is needed to leverage this great tool.

*As an aside, as a small business, you should try to retweet other small businesses and real people whom you find interesting and would like to connect with. While it is not a bad thing to retweet messages from larger corporations or media outlets (Coca-Cola, say, or the NYT), building your network around Twitter users with whom you are more likely to interact with on a business level will be more beneficial to you.

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Posted on July 14, 2011, in Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Vancouver and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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