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Twittering Your Way to Positive Business Results

Twittering Your Way to Positive Business Results

Twitter has transformed the way we communicate and the way we get information, from business updates to headline news. But is Twitter the right social network for your business? Twitter is based around status update-style messages confined to 140 characters or less. This can present a challenge for properly communicating your marketing messages and carrying on conversations on the network.

Mastering Twitter communications helps you better hone your messages and distill the points you’re trying to make to fewer words in the form of “tweets.” Communicating on Twitter helps you better understand the shorter form of marketing on mobile devices.

Tweets can take a variety of forms, and there is no single right way to tweet. Consider the image you’re trying to project, the audience you’re trying to reach and your business goals as you craft and post messages on Twitter. Follow people on Twitter to get a sense of what others are posting in areas related to your business. People will follow you if you provide relevant content based on their interests.

Here are some practical uses for using Twitter for business:

  1. Share useful information. Whether you craft your own tweets with tips and recommendations or retweet other people’s information, being helpful can attract people to you through your Twitter account. Helpful means different things to different businesses. If you own a restaurant, you could post the daily special on Twitter. If you are an accountant, you could post an accounting tip of the day. If you're a photographer, you can post a photo a day. Retailers can post sales, discounts, information about products or services and other information to better inform current and potential customers.
  2. Link to more information. Think of your Twitter page as a gateway to your company’s website, blog, online store or other site where you'd like people to visit. In your Twitter bio, you can link to any site you’d like, both in the default field for a URL but also within the text of your bio. Add links to tweets whenever relevant to leverage Twitter as a traffic driver or simply to give people more information beyond 140 characters.
  3. Provide customer service. Twitter can be a valuable “listening tool,” and by monitoring what people are talking about on Twitter, you can get to know your customers and assist them with issues they might be having as well as identify and connect with your prospects. If a customer is praising your company or product, thanking them is a given. If a customer is complaining about you, Twitter could be your first opportunity to look for ways to resolve their problem. Use keyword searches in Twitter or other monitoring tools such as Hootsuite to look for your company’s name and other terms people might use related to your business. If you sell pet supplies, search for people who tweet about their pets. If you own a bed and breakfast in Maine, search for people who are tweeting about travel, about Maine, about bed and breakfasts, whatever might be a relevant keyword.

Use a variety of tweet styles to create an interesting and useful resource on Twitter, but don’t make the mistake of solely posting your marketing messages. Look for ways to start and enter conversations on Twitter in polite and appropriate ways. Be part of the Twitter community rather than contribute to Twitter noise.

Communicating on Twitter may take some getting used to but so did email when we first started using it. Take your time, and don't get discouraged. Twitter isn't the only social network out there, but it is extremely popular and can be effective in better serving your existing customers and reaching new ones.

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