Many companies have learned that using Twitter for business applications holds a lot of promise. Tech support operations have implemented a twitter solution to keep customers abreast of current status of everything that is going on. For example, my web hosting company uses Twitter to alert customers of the status of a server when it goes down. They are able to immediately tell their customers what they are doing to restore service, and this reduces significant traffic to their tech support phone lines and web contacts.
Twitter For Business Marketing
But what about twitter for business marketing? Is there a beneficial use for Twitter in your business? Many people have overlooked the power of the 9th most active site on the internet (based upon Alexa rankings today). If you are willing to consider that the internet is the marketplace for the world, why wouldn’t you be active on this most-active of websites in the world?
If you are like I was just a few years ago, working in a traditional business without optimizing your presence on the internet, then you might not even know a thing about Twitter. This is a mistake that you must rectify immediately.
Think of the internet as “the mall to end all malls.” The internet is where the world is moving to engage in commerce, and the best stores in the mall are setting up to take advantage of the known traffic patterns that are emerging (just as stores in a traditional mall want to be located near the anchor tenant).
Similar to the news channels on television (today) that have a news ticker at the bottom of the screen, this mega-mall of the future (present) has a news ticker in every hallway between stores. Bursts of 140 characters scroll along with news about everything; from what Joe Manausa plans on doing this afternoon, to the latest shocking headlines coming from inside of Libya, to the newest book that has been published about Internet Marketing.
Not all of this information is reliable, but it is lightning fast and reports are much broader and far quicker than traditional news media is able to do. The prudent marketer in the mall ensures that an interest-generating news flash on his business is on the ticker often enough to gain customers, but not so often to have him blocked from the most visible news tickers.
How To Use Twitter In Business
There are three key points you need to understand about Twitter in order to implement it as part of your online business strategy. First of all, twitter is a micro-blogging site, meaning your “tweets” or comments can only be 140 characters in length. Secondly, you need to have a plan to grow a targeted twitter following, and third, you must provide information to this group to maintain loyal followers on Twitter.
Twitter Is Brief – With only 140 characters in every tweet, your content needs to be tantalizing and to the point. Think of your tweets as either quick information or as sensational headlines pointing to a link to a specific page on your company website. The key is to provide something of interest to your followers, fast! An example of this could be a tweet that says
Business leaders flocking to read The Internet Squeeze http://bit.ly/gFN0GR
Getting people to follow you on Twitter – What good is it to send out information if nobody is there to receive it. Your company needs to have many followers (some accounts have millions of followers) and these should not be just “anybody,” rather they need to be people who can relate to your company’s product or services.
Fortunately, there are some great tools that you can purchase cheaply to help you consistently gather new targeted twitter followers. I use a service called TweetAdder as it helps rapidly grow a laser targeted group of followers to my Twitter accounts. Here is a snapshot of my InternetSqueeze account on Twitter when it was just 7 days old. Notice how I have nearly 500 followers already, and each one is related to books, book publishing, or writing books, and my account has been added to 17 lists all related to book writers.
Maintaining a loyal Twitter Following
Maintaining loyal followers is all about “tweeting” things of interest to the group. That is why you don’t want to create an account with random followers, rather you want to have a laser focus when targeting people to follow (and have follow you). You also want to engage in conversations with these followers (hmmm, sounds a lot like talking to prospective customers) by occasionally checking in on their twitter stream.
A great side effect from Twitter is the multitude of backlinks that will come from twitter to your site. This has great SEO value and the more people you draw to your site, the more they are likely to link to you as an authority as well.
Getting Started With Your Twitter Business Account
The biggest mistake that I made was “waiting until I figured Twitter out.” Don’t delay, set up an account (it’s free) and start targeting the groups of users that might have an interest in your product or service. You cannot screw it up, so get started.
Also, get a demo account of TweetAdder. Set it up to target your industry and prospective groups that purchase from your industry (don’t worry, TweetAdder has great tutorials). I only wish I would have started a few years sooner. One day, you will have hundreds of thousands of followers and you will gain business from your strong Twitter identity. Now go on, get tweeting!