Promoting your business through Twitter is one of the main motivations as to why companies of all sizes use it. Just like some other Social Media tools (Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram) Twitter can be a constituent part of your social media strategy.
Twitter lets you instantly get the word out about your product, service, business, or idea. However, in order to use it effectively, I have put together some key points to help steer you towards a Twitter friendly approach for your company.
Rule 1 – Do not sell on Twitter – communicate
Every time you tweet think of it as an opportunity to be creative and interesting and not as high-pressure sales pitching. Imagine this, you are standing at the bus stop and the stranger next to you begins telling you about his/her business straight away – how would you react? Would it be more natural and appealing to you for the stranger to speak about something that might actually interest you? The same applies online.
Your goal on Twitter is to converse with people, not send them for the hills. They'll get interested in your business and products without you waving them in their faces all the time.
Rule 2 – Listen more than Tweet
This is true especially when your start off on twitter. Starting off on Twitter is akin to sitting down at a table of strangers at a wedding. The first thing to do is to find out who they are and what they’re talking about. That's the only way you can figure out how you might fit into what’s going on and make your own contribution. You don’t want to be that irritating person who dives straight into talking about himself/herself!
A good idea is to do a Twitter search in order to find people who are tweeting about topics which interest you. That way, you can learn how to use Twitter in a way that is appropriate to your interests.
Rule 3 – Appeal to your audience
When you choose to follow someone on Twitter you do so because you are interested in their expertise or because you find them engaging. Similarly, your message should stick to what you know and what your business is about. I specialise in three areas of brand promotion: public relations, social media, and consultancy. So you would expect DMpr to talk in this particular field (although sometimes I might just get involved in a conversation about the Eurovision or how annoying those Skoda ads are on the radio! Bottom line - keep your follower's expectations in mind and be sure you do not diverge (too much).
Rule 4 - Be helpful
Your tweets need to offer people something, whether it's information or entertainment. Remember too to reply to other people's tweets by answering their questions or commenting on their ideas. Helpful people are people that you want to converse with.
Rule 5 – Keep it real
Remember Twitter is like being at the bus stop – are you the real person who can converse or are you the poster on the bus shelter? You need to be there, to be participating in the conversation.
The Bottom Line
Like any other social media tool, the more you put into Twitter, the more rewarding you'll find using it. And if you follow the rules, Twitter can be an excellent promotional tool for your small business.