Top Ten Tips on how to use Twitter to Market Small Businesses

May 10, 2011

Businesses that “tweet” regularly may not always catch the early worm, but Twitter will certainly help you catch more worms in terms of custom and business!!

Whether we like it or not, Twitter is now part of our working lives. As is being demonstrated by the current “celebrity injunctions” row, it is highly invasive and therefore a powerful marketing tool, but at the same time that doesn’t mean that small businesses should become obsessed by it!! It is merely another option within the marketing umbrella. It can become a time consuming distraction, if you allow it to become so. So use it sparingly, and Twitter will form a source of valuable contacts and industry / market information, and an effective platform to promote your company, products and services.

I would suggest that you allocate a fixed period of time at the beginning of the working day for Twitter Time, probably at the same time as you are processing the e-mails in your inbox. As a small business, you can’t afford to waste hours, consumed by Twitter, and therefore it is important that you only follow people who are relevant to your business / industry. The received Twitter wisdom is that you should follow those that follow you, but this is not written in stone, and you should exercise discretion based on whether you think that following them will be of benefit to your business.

Here are Ten Top Tips on how to use Twitter to effectively market, benefit and enhance your small business:

1. As with all marketing branding, keep your Twitter name simple and straight forward. Give serious consideration to your Twitter identity and the image it projects, in much the same way that you gave much thought to your website domain name and your email address. Just as you box off similar website domain names, reserve similar permutations on your Twitter name, so no one else can use them.

2. If possible add your logo to your Twitter profile. There is nothing worse than the blank “egg symbol”!! It may be that the design of your logo won’t lend itself to the limited dimensions of the space allocated – in this scenario publish a suitable smaller logo or image that visually conveys what your business does. A good example of this can be found with Twitter itself. There are two logos – the full Twitter logo ( see above ) and the abbreviated “T” ( see below ). If this is not possible use an image that projects a positive statement about your business.  Also make sure that your personal and company biography and profile are completed – you are using Twitter to market your business after all!!

3. Twitter is a great platform for seeking help and advice. The great thing about social media like Twitter or Linked In, is that it is basically an online / digital networking community. Join relevant industry groups. Linked In is particularly good for discussion groups / forums.

4. Although you are a small business, follow the big boy brands. They might operate in a different stratosphere to your small business, but you can pick up tips and ideas from the blue chip brands in terms of digital marketing. Don’t just follow the blue chip brands on Twitter – follow your small business competitors to ascertain how they are interacting with their clients, customers and the Twitter community in general.

5. Follow relevant Twitter feeds with the broadcast and print journalists at your local radio stations and newspapers. Journalists / reporters are always looking for authoritative, attributed quotes. Often they will send out a Twitter feed saying, “I am looking for a quote on ‘such and such’ or I am writing an article on ‘this or that’. Can anyone help?”

6. Avoid controversial or compromising Tweets / statements: Your Twitter feed is no different from your website. Anything you publish online will be potentially indexed by Google and therefore could be registered at the top of a Google search for your company / products / services. First impressions are paramount. Throw away comments, venting your spleen over the frustrations of the working day, won’t instill confidence in your business with prospective new clients.

7. My old school motto was “Manners maketh the Man”, and it has remained with me throughout adulthood – therefore always thank those that Re-Tweet ( RTs ) your Tweets and acknowledge the Direct Messages ( DMs ) .

8. Use TwitPic to promote your products and the people in your organisation. With regard to the latter, always remember that people buy from people, and this is particularly important in an era when we sell face to face less and less and rely much more on selling online!!

9. On that note, don’t rely on online communication solely. Use Twitter to meet people face to face – for instance to set up meetings with new prospects and acquaintances; or simply to find opportunities that you can get involved with, such as networking events and seminars.

10. Last but by no means least, use Twitter to promote links to blog articles and news stories on your website. You need to promote your company, products and services any way you possibly can!!

If you are an SME ( Small / Medium Enterprise / Company ) and you require help with your PR & Marketing, we would be happy to assist you. For further information……..


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