How to Use Twitter to Market Your Small Business

MSK-Twitter

Okay, I will admit it. I was one of the last people to jump on the social media marketing train. To be honest, I avoided it for years. Who has the time, even if tweets are limited to only 140 characters? I used to think social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, were reserved for sharing what you had for breakfast or venting about some telemarketer tragedy or inflated bill. It all seemed like a big waste of time to me. I avoided it successfully for years and would proudly state I was absent from both Facebook and Twitter.

That all changed when Kelli and I started our own business. I quickly realized that Social Media Marketing was essential to the success of our company and that Facebook and Twitter have many positive and profitable uses. Although I don’t necessarily care about the latest breakfast recipes or child meltdown pics from Tuesday night family dinner, I do care about connecting, sharing, and exchanging with our clients, potential clients, designers, developers, etc. Soon after I took to Twitter, I found a professional network in which to share information and a platform to promote my business and attract potential clients.

Now, let’s be honest. Anyone can create a Twitter account and send a tweet. But making Twitter work for your small business success takes time and effort. You need to find your target demographic and then market and create interesting content to attract followers, which drives traffic to your website and small business. That’s no easy task. Here are a few tips that will help Twitter work for you and your small business:

Send Tweets to Engage.
You have heard the phrase “content is king,” right? This is especially true in the world of social media. Whatever field your small business falls under, there are tens of thousands of people (at least) who may be sending tweets about the same topic every few seconds. So, set yourself apart. What can you and/or your small business offer that is unique? What sets you above the rest? Be sure to engage your followers with questions, like “WordPress is the BEST option for your website — your thoughts?” OR ask your followers to perform a task, like “click on my latest blog article for a few social media tips!” Engage with people in your industry, both colleagues and clients. The most valuable relationships are always reciprocal, not only in life, but also in social media.
Follow Colleagues – but not too many!
Do a search in Twitter for other small businesses like yours and connect with those with whom you’re interested in developing a relationship. You want to be specific about the market and demographic that you are targeting. Don’t follow four times as many people than you have following you. That is a red flag for others checking out your profile because it says that you are simply trying to gain as many followers as possible, rather than truly engaging with others and offering valuable information. You have a problem with your approach (and probably your content) if you are following 1000 people and only 100 are following you.
The # is Your Friend.
The hashtag is your best friend in the world of Twitter. Hashtags are common words or phrases that connect people through their tweets. If you’re tweeting about Web Design, for example, include #WebDesign within your tweet. Then, if a potential client or colleague is searching for Web Design information and enters #WebDesign in the Twitter search box, they may see your tweet among the others that also have the same hashtag. 
Answer Questions.
Oftentimes, people take to Twitter to get their questions answered. Do a Twitter search for #WebDesign and you’ll see a lot of people asking questions about projects they’re working on. Take a moment and respond to questions if you have valuable information to offer. Not only are you helping and contributing to people in your field, but you may also be connecting with a potential client or someone who may be able to help you down the road!
When Retweeting, Use the Period.
Retweeting is simply sharing someone else’s tweet with your followers. Make sure to retweet other people’s tweets when you find them helpful, interesting, or engaging. A retweet is a quick and instant thumbs-up or compliment, letting someone else know that you’re grateful for what they’re adding to the Twitter community, or perhaps specifically your business. When you see someone has retweeted your tweet (and therefore exposed your profile/info to all of their followers and expanded your reach) because they liked what you had to say, you know you’re on the right track, providing useful, helpful information. It goes without saying that these people appreciate the support and will most likely follow you back and may retweet something you offer in the future.  When you retweet (RT), make sure to include a period before the RT. This will generate a new tweet on your profile and let others know that you are retweeting a tweet by someone else. Otherwise, the tweet will be shared, but your name will only be in small characters at the top.

One last thing. Have fun using Twitter! It’s a great place to network and gather information for your small business, and clearly, a very powerful tool to market and promote your small business. We have found priceless support and great working relationships through connecting with unexpected clients and colleagues on Twitter.

Until Next Time,

Matt