Why Does Your Small Business Need Twitter?

Certainly it is a waste of your work time to be “tweeting” and “following” on a consistent basis, right? Not exactly. According to the Digital Buzz Blog, 34% of marketers have reported leads generated through Twitter. Last year, Ask Your Target Market conducted a Twitter survey showing that 42% of Twitter followers followed brands or companies they liked. Considering there are over 20 million U.S. adults currently on Twitter, that opens up a window of opportunity for small businesses to market themselves inexpensively and with little extra effort. In fact, Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters or less, which allows you to quickly and concisely relay a message without having to dust off that old English composition book.

What is Twitter Good for?

  • Connecting/forming relationships with current and potential customers
  • Developing and promoting your business’ brand
  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert in your industry
  • Distributing content to drive traffic to your website or blog
  • Creating a buzz for new products, promotions, or events
  • Generating leads for your business
  • Gaging customer opinions on your products or services

How to Get Started with Twitter

Setting up a Twitter company account for your small business is easy. 

  1. Go to www.twitter.com.
  2. Choose the Sign up option to sign up for an account by filling out your full name, email, and a password.
  3. You will be directed to another page which asks you to create a username. This is also called a “Twitter Handle.” Your Twitter handle should be your business brand name. Avoid adding numbers, underscores, or any other unnecessary symbols. This is how your business will be represented on Twitter. When finished, click Create my account.
  4. You will then be prompted to choose people to follow, add email contacts, etc. We recommend skipping these steps for now until you have finished setting up your profile. Why? When you choose to follow someone on Twitter, they receive a message and an option to follow you back. If your account is not completely set up, you will look inactive and may lose the opportunity to get followed back. No worries, though. You can access these prompts on your toolbar after you have personalized your account.
  5. Type in your Twitter web address, http://twitter.com/BUSINESS USERNAME, to access your Twitter page. Replace BUSINESS USERNAME with the username (handle) you have chosen for your business.
  6. Click Edit Profile.
  7. Replace the avatar (photo) with an image that best represents your business by clicking Change photo, then upload photo. This is usually your logo.
  8. Add a header image by clicking Change header and browsing your files for an image. The recommended dimensions for your header are 1500 px width by 500 px height.
  9. Next, fill in your business’s name, location, website (or blog) address, and a short bio. Be sure to give a concise, targeted description of your business in the bio section. This will be visible below to all Twitter followers, and your description (or lack thereof) can determine whether or not others will follow you, so don’t be afraid to toot your own horn here. Most importantly, make sure it is clear to your audience what exactly your business does.

How to Use Twitter to Your Advantage

Now that you have completed your profile, you are ready to start tweeting. Like any other marketing tool, you will need to set up a strategy for Twitter in order to reap its benefits. Twitter moves fast, so you can never tweet too much…as long as you are tweeting valuable information and not what you had for lunch. The more tweeting, the more exposure you gain for your business. This can include your tweets, responses to followers, and conversations with others you are following. I recommend a weekly schedule that aligns with your Facebook and other social media posts. Here are some things worth tweeting about that can be included in your weekly schedule:

  • Introduce upcoming events or post status updates/photos on current happenings
  • Link to new content on your website or blog, helpful articles, webinars, and other resources
  • Introduce new products with status updates or photos
  • Post helpful tips or quotes
  • Link to content you find helpful on other sites/pages
  • Retweet valuable posts from others you are following
  • Post special offers or discounts
  • Pose questions to your audience to get valuable insight and customer perspectives

Once you have posted a couple of tweets, you can go back and start following others. You are more likely to get followed back now that others can get a good idea of what you will be tweeting about.

By using Twitter and other popular social media sites as marketing tools, you can begin to connect with current and prospective customers like never before to drive traffic to your site and increase quality leads.

Ready to go social, but not sure which social media sites will be best for your business? We can help. Contact OpenVine to find out how our social media experts in Boston can help you develop and implement a social media strategy targeted to your customer base to increase your website traffic and your profit margin.