So I'm on Twitter. Now What?

Everyone seems to be on Twitter these days, for whatever reason or another. Twitter is a great microblogging platform that every small business should assimilate as a large part of their  social media marketing strategy. If you are running a small business, here are some ways Twitter can benefit you:

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The first step to effectively using Twitter is to create a  marketing action plan for your business. Your marketing action plan should consist of  a list of everything to tweet about; News, blog posts,  announcements, special offers,  and so on.


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The most effective Twitter profiles are those managed by people not afraid to add some creativity.  Add some  personality to your tweets. Even I’m guilty of simply sharing a link or making a quick tweet just for the sake of the act.  That’s a habit I’m currently breaking.

The last thing you want to do is jam everyone’s feed with constant spam about your business. No one likes a spammer.  In addition to your marketing action plan, you also want to take advantage of what social media is all about; creating friendships and building a community around your brand. Doing this requires two-way conversations. A good way to start is by monitoring your “mentions” and see who is talking about you.  If they are then you need to make sure and respond.  Incidentally a handy little app called TweetDeck makes that incredibly simple.  Make sure and use  the “@” symbol before their Twitter user name so that it feeds directly into their account, which makes it very easy for them to respond back. You may want to consider tweeting questions to specific people or your followers in general. Then, of course, encourage them to @ reply their responses.

Few things are worse than logging onto Twitter and seeing hundreds of tweets from the same person or business posted back-to-back within seconds of each other. I say again no one likes a spammer! DON’T DO IT!   Since twitter streams move at a rapid pace, I do recommend that you tweet often, but not too often. Best approach is have an ear and eye out for your audience’s reactions and you should adjust accordingly.

Being real for a minute, we all dream of having thousands upon thousands of followers or  adoring fans. Focusing on numbers is the equivalent of  banging on a pot with a metal spoon; yeah you’ll make a bunch of noise, but that’s about it.  Where is the substance? Focus on growing your  following organically and targeted. The best way to make this happen is to select one of your target markets and spend some time following accounts that fall within that realm.  Follow up to 50 accounts.  Give it a few days then stop following the accounts that did not follow back. The next day, repeat this process. Keep doing this with specific target markets. 

The general consensus is that Twitter is an essential tool for current small business owners and runners.  take a little bit of time tweeting each day and selectively build up a targeted following, you can give your  business a great boost. And the best thing about it…it’s free!