If you’re anything like me, you probably think or at least used to think that twitter is one of the following things: One it’s pointless, why do I need to constantly send out what seem to be the equivalent of status updates? Two, there’s no way twitter can benefit my business besides spamming links to my site; and three I’m just not convinced, it’s not worth my time. I have however, recently come to realize the value behind the phenomenon, and I have also become a bit of a twitter addict!
So you may be thinking, “What can twitter possibly do for my business?” Well I have found, without listening to what the social media experts are saying, that it can benefit your business in the following ways. It gives you the ability to:
Find and grow your target audience
Engage with that audience in a fast and efficient way
Be available to your audience instantly 24/7
Promote your company and your content, and Get Noticed!
Find and Grow Your Target Audience
Twitter gives you a direct line into a network of tweeters who are talking about topics directly related to your business and what you do. These users could be similar businesses, experts in your field, or potential customers. Using twitter search, or a multitude of twitter management tools and applications, you are able to directly search for the people you want to engage with; using twitter searches, keyword searches, and hash tag searches.
Example: Using Twitter search, I might type in Web design, and a list of fellow tweeters who are talking about web design or who might be web design companies will pop up, and I can either add them to my network by following them, or begin a conversation with them.
Or I might use www.HootSuite.com, an excellent Twitter and social media management tool to make a keyword search. I might enter the key word SEO to find all the conversations going on in twitter that have to do with SEO. This keyword search will open you up to the entire twitter network including people who you are not following, and who are not following you. (Click here for our Blog about HootSuite.com)
Using this strategy you can gain access to hundreds and maybe thousands of people who are talking and asking questions about that key word. It is a simple, effective, and most importantly FREE way to find and grow your target audience.
Engage With Your Audience in a Fast and Efficient Way
Your audience in Twitter has now become more than just your followers, it is also the people you follow, and anyone you want to search for using key words and hash tags. And twitter gives you a fast and efficient way to start conversations with these people, answer their questions, and provide them with any information you want as well as see what information they are providing. To start a conversation you merely have to type @username and then a short message and you’re on your way.
Be Available to Your Audience Instantly 24/7
One thing I have noticed, and that I love about Twitter, is that Tweeters never sleep! I sometimes find myself finally getting to bed at 2 am, checking my phone and seeing a new notification from either twitter or Hootsuite saying, “you have a new mention from @whateverusername” and I can respond to them on the spot right from my phone, there is no need for a delay between when someone asks a question and when you can respond. Essentially supply can always meet demand for information, instantly, 24/7. For those of you who like to disconnect after work this may not seem so appealing, but for workaholics, and people who always have to be connected like me, this is perfect.
You can stay connected anywhere; with all the mobile apps that twitter and twitter management tools provide for basically any Smartphone or tablet.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of leveraging Twitter for your business. It is the most beneficial but also takes the most time and work. It has everything to do with what exactly you are tweeting in your tweets. You can have a giant network of credible followers, and find an audience that is looking specifically for your services, and yet if you have no credibility and simply spam links to your site or provide useless information, you are completely and utterly wasting your time.
So here’s what to focus on:
Get engaged in conversations with useful and relevant comments
Create content such as a blog that is relevant to what people are talking about and share it with the right people on twitter
Be Helpful! – answer questions, whether it is relevant to your business or not, if people know they can come to you for help, then they will listen when you speak!
Tweet and re-Tweet helpful articles not created by you, just because you didn’t create it doesn’t mean people won’t be happy that you led them to it!
Bottom line: Get engaged and help out and people will listen to you!
Promote Your Company and Your Content, and Get Noticed!
Once you have built some credibility within your network, it’s time to get noticed! Again its key that you don’t ruin what you have done so far by spamming links and promotions for your business, but at the same time don’t forget what your there for; to get the word out about what your business is and what you do. Share your content, share your blog, if you’ve made a tutorial video on YouTube, make sure people know about it, if it’s good content people will come back for more! And if you’re lucky maybe your content will be picked up by someone else on twitter and featured in their blog or on their site.
If your new to Twitter or don’t know what I’m blabbering about check out this webinar from www.Hubspot.com on using Twitter for Marketing and PR, they do an excellent job teaching newbs how to do it right!