Running a small business is difficult enough without having to keep up with how to market and where to market to attract new customers. There are several social media outlets out there and sometimes it may be confusing on which ones to use for your business. I always recommend 2 things: Be seen where the people are and only use as many social media channels as you are comfortable keeping up with.
So why Twitter? How could this possibly work for my business? These are very common questions and you're not alone. This is a question I often get and I hope to provide you with the value of not only starting a Twitter account, but keeping it updated. Here are 5 reasons why every self-employed business owner should use Twitter for their business
1. Connect with more people: There are 554,750,000 users on Twitter today. Of course we can't connect with all of them, but there is a good chance that there are local users that you can connect with that fit your customer demographic. Unlike Facebook, you don't have to pay to connect with complete strangers and they can follow you just by finding value in one of your tweets (posts). This allows you to expand your network even further by adding people that you did not know before. Also, if you sell products nationwide, you can reach more people than you even have before.
2. Gather information: One way I use Twitter for my business is to gather information and learn. In most industries (especially social media), if we are not up to date on the latest trends and changes, then we are no longer the expert. Instead of reaching out to several websites for education, you can have the websites come to you. For example, someone in the health industry could follow Men's Health Magazine, Women's Health Magazine and Whole Foods. Each time these companies tweet about new techniques, diets or recipes, they would be informed and can share this information with their followers. Getting new information to your customer base is vital in continuing that business relationship.
3. Your Competition is on Twitter: I can promise you, without looking, that all of the heavy hitters in business are on Twitter. The coolest part is, whether you started your business today or you own a Fortune 500 company, you can have a Twitter account. And it's FREE! This allows even the smallest self-employed business owner to compete the big players in their industry. Our competition is on Twitter which means we need to be there in order to keep up.
4. People are searching for you: Twitter has a couple of nice search options in which you can search for particular products or services. If you set your profile up correctly with the proper keywords, your Twitter profile will show up for these searches. Also, Twitter has something called hashtags (#) in which you can search for particular conversations. If you owned a healthy cooking company and someone was searching for #healthycooking they would find your tweets if you ended it with the hashtag of #healthycooking. The more we show up in popular topics or hashtags, the more likely we are to attract business.
5. More Exposure for Your Blog of Website: It is great when people just stumble upon our blog post or website, but the more traffic we can get the better. If someone has 2,000 followers on Twitter and they tweet a link to their website or blog post, that goes out to 2,000 people at once. Imagine if just half of those people enjoyed your article and Retweeted (shared) it with their followers and so on. That's when posts go viral! Twitter is great for this.
6. Advertise: Twitter is a free service, but you can also advertise with them to attract a laser targeted audience. Similar to Facebook or Google Adwords, you are paying for people to follow you or be exposed to your tweets. I highly recommend this for people that are trying to attract followers in a specific city or for businesses that are running a particular promotion or special and want to get the word out to a specific demographic. Ex: if a women's spa ran a laser hair removal special, they could run a campaign where a particular tweet for the special only went to women in their city that had specific interest.
There are probably several more reasons to use Twitter for business, but these are a few that I have found that have worked for mine. Social media is not the end all be all (we still need to get out and talk to folks), but it sure does shrink the business world down a little where we can build relationships with people that we would never have had an opportunity to meet in person. Twitter is definitely a powerful tool to reach that new audience. Please leave your comments below and use the share buttons at the top if you think someone in your network could benefit from these tips. Thanks!