When people get started with social media – they tend to start with Facebook. Twitter seems to be a lot of work for little return. Business owners complain that they don't have time to keep up with Twitter in real time. Depending on your business model, Twitter can be a great way to reach out and communicate with your customers.
Here are eight ways that being on Twitter can help your business.
Connecting with your Customers /Readers
Communication on Twitter tends to be more personal than on other social media outlets. This allows people to learn more about you personally than just hanging out on your Facebook fan page.. Why is this important? Because people buy from those that they know, like and trust. Sending fun and random tweets in with more business oriented tweets gives people a chance to get you know (and like) you.
Keeping Your Customers/Readers Updated.
Unlike Facebook where you are limited to a handful of posts a day — or blogs where you post daily at most, you can post more frequently with Twitter and keep your customers in the loop in real time. This is especially useful if you are dealing with something that is time sensitive or especially news worthy.
“BUILD A LIST!”
If you follow people with similar interests consistently, it is fairly easy to build a large Twitter following. Unlike e-mail – your followers can see all of your tweets (if they are on Twitter often enough). Write enticing headlines and you can bring new people to your blog and onto your e-mail list.
Pump Up the Excitement for a Product Launch or Special Event
Like an e-mail use, you can use Twitter to get people excited about a new product or event. You can start with some “foreshadowing” tweets about your new project, do surveys and polls and offering freebies and cool stuff. Over the course of the launch, you'll build trust so when you are ready to launch – a single tweet can be as effective as an e-mail blast (of course, I recommend you do both…)
Driving Traffic to Your Website
You can automate your blog and newsletter to automatically post to Twitter – sending your post to thousands of people who would not normally see it. As you retweet other people's posts, your posts will get re-tweeted more often.
Keeping in Touch with Business Contacts
When was the last time you used Instant Messenger? Twitter makes it easy to reach people quickly via direct message.
Twitter is an excellent way of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is basically harnessing the wisdom of the crowds. You can do this by posting questions on Twitter. What is your audiences biggest problem? What type of products would they like to see? It used to take thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to conduct focus groups to get the same amount of market data you can get with a few well placed tweets.
The Chance to Go Viral
Social networking sites give us a great opportunity to ‘go viral'. This means that you Tweet about something that really catches people's attention. Your followers are impressed, so they re-Tweet it. In turn, each of their followers re-Tweet it, and so on and so on, and soon your little Tweet spreads like wildfire, snowballing into a huge storm of clicks and traffic.
The thing with viral tweets is that you can't “try” to go viral because it never works — but if you keep posting things that are interesting and use catchy headlines to pique people's interest — there is a good chance that one of your tweets will spread.
How are you using Twitter in your business?