Twitter for Business is Crucial
A key element in creating an online business is to use social media to your advantage. One crucial element in your social media toolbox is Twitter for business (http://business.twitter.com/basics/best-practices). By following the best practices procedures that Twitter lays out for you, the odds are stacked in your favor that your efforts will garner you a significant return on your investment. ROI is not always strictly direct sales either. Using Twitter for business to your advantage can often mean building a personable reputation online as you interact with your followers. If your company creates an approachable personality via its Twitter account, both customers and potential customers are far more likely to engage with you and purchase whatever product your online business is promoting. Engaging with your followers on Twitter does not mean tweeting out untold numbers of auto-posts or product data. Providing relevant and informative information to your network that they will find useful is crucial. Engaging with your audience by asking questions or offering polls will enable you to build a relationship and increase your following. Taking part in Twitter conversations that matter to your network will also help to solidify your business’ reputation online as approachable, informed, and engaged.
Use Twitter for Business Communication
One of best opportunities that Twitter provides is an immediate chance to respond directly to customer questions and complaints. By responding in a proactive way to help resolve customer issues, you cement your company’s reputation once again as an engaged firm that truly takes customer feedback seriously. When you are able to turn a potential problem into a selling point for your company, you not only save the initial customer relationship but you also leave a positive impression in the mind of anyone following your Twitter conversation. The old adage of two friends telling two friends definitely comes into play when Twitter is used as a means to resolve customer concerns and complaints successfully. The next time that your business’ name is mentioned in real life conversations, chances are good that your proactive approach to customer service will be mentioned in a positive light.
Twitter is also a fantastic tool for lead generation for your company. By using Twitter’s search function, you can instantly find conversations that are relevant to your firm. When you search for hashtags that pertain to your business, you are able to respond directly to fellow Twitter users. Whether a Twitter user is tweeting about a product like yours that they are looking for or simply bringing up your type of business in conversation, being able to contribute to the conversation already in progress gets your foot in the door. Doing so in a tactful way that provides value to the Twitter user is extremely important. You do not want to appear as if you are forcefully thrusting your business card into the conversation. Whether you use humor or an informative link to add value, the key is to be helpful without being overbearing or intrusive. No matter what type of business you are in, taking advantage of Twitter’s search function is invaluable.
Analytics for Twitter
Twitter has recently announced a private beta testing of their web analytics tool (https://dev.twitter.com/blog/introducing-twitter-web-analytics), which will provide another valuable resource to users once it is rolled out to the public. Buzz is already swirling in the Twitterverse in regard to just how useful the analytical tool will be. From seeing which of your tweets are producing the most engagement to measuring the effectiveness of your Tweet buttons, the ability of analytics to assist you in tailoring your Twitter feed will be incredibly useful.
Growing your followers, and thus your potential customer base, is another element of Twitter that cannot be overlooked. Think of Twitter as a customer service tool and not as a marketing tool. If you keep that thought foremost in your mind, your customer engagement will reflect that attitude. By focusing on serving the needs of your customers/followers, you will grow your following in a very organic way. There are all sorts of ways to increase your following in non-organic ways (Twitter bots for example) but in order to attract followers of influence you want your network to be one of value and not just of numbers. You can have thousands of followers but if those followers are not engaging with you (and you with them) in a positive way, you are not taking full advantage of the opportunities of that relationship. A terrific way to grow your network in a natural way is to use prompts in many of your business actions. Encouraging anyone that interacts with your business to tweet about it is a wonderful way to grow your following through positive word of mouth. Add prompts to your invoices, place them in your email signatures, and even occasionally tweet them yourself. By encouraging word of mouth you once again advertise to anyone within view of the Twitter conversation that you are a company that takes its customer service relationships seriously. A network that is engaged and invested socially in the success of your business is likely to be profitable and persuasive.