When Twitter first turned up people were a bit bemused by this website that only allowed people to communicate in 140 characters or less. I must admit I found it a little bemusing and amusing to tell you the truth as to what enjoyment let alone benefit would come of a site that allowed only one sentence to communicate. Now Twitter is essential for online marketing.
How wrong was I! Social media is now critical for most businesses in their marketing plans. Twitter is now used by over 75 million people across the globe. We have now seen the power of Twitter when it was used by Egyptians during their 2011 uprising, and the Queensland Police who used it to maximum effectiveness for information distribution during devastating floods and Cyclone Yasi at the beginning of 2011.
Businesses have now well and truly grasped the benefits of using Twitter and Facebook for their online marketing strategy. Most big businesses tweet and many medium sized businesses do as well. There is no reason why small business can’t use Twitter to boost credibility, find sales leads and boost their website search engine optimisation.
But as a small business, how do you use Twitter to get the full benefit?
Lets’ take a look at some rules of the game that may help:
Tweet often (at least once a day)
Use hashtags to link your tweets to specific and relevant subject areas. This means your tweets will hit a ready audience. For instance if I tweet the following “Check out these killer #onlinemarketing strategies…”.By using the hashtag onlinemarketing now becomes a hyperlink. When people click this link they will be taken to the #onlinemarketing subject page where you will find lots of other online marketing ideas.
Follow lots of people (because they will probably return the favour).
Follow your competitors. This is important because people who follow your competitors are interested in what you both have to offer so they will see you have followed someone they have followed and then they are likely to follow you. Sounds confusing but it works.
Don’t use Twitter to flog your product or service, use it to promote your industry knowledge and therefore credibility. This is all about trust marketing and relationship building.
Make sure you have your website on your profile page.
Put a picture up instead of the default Twitter avatar.
Consider using programs such as Hootsuite to schedule your tweets.
Target niche areas so you’re not competing with hundreds of other businesses.
Try to respond personally to those who are talking on Twitter about your business
These are just a few ways to use Twitter as part of an online marketing campaign for small business to boost website traffic.
With any social media strategy every small business must be aware not to spam ie direct promotion. There is a much more powerful selling tool for online selling known as Trust Marketing. Build your credibility and expertise so people can trust you. This will make direct promotion much easier down the track.