When I start talking to my clients about Twitter many of them tell me they don’t understand it, and many don’t see why they should bother with it.
Twitter is commonly misconceived – it’s not like the average small business owner in the UK needs to know much about who was wearing what at the Oscars or which celebrity melt down just went ‘viral’? However, Twitter is much more than that and there are some really useful things that a business owner can get out of Twitter and it shouldn’t take up too much time or effort. So where do you start?
Step 1 – Have a go !
Quite simply, just have a go at some ‘keyword’ searches on the Twitter homepage (www.twitter.com). If you sell catering equipment try searching for ‘Catering’, or if you run a restaurant in Belfast you could try searching for ‘Belfast Food’. A huge amount of seemingly random information will be returned. But dig a little deeper and you will realise that this information are actually people’s thoughts, feelings and opinions on that subject. So if you are reading people’s thoughts about things you sell, then so are your potential customers.
Twitter is like a great big search engine for thoughts, opinions and experiences around your areas of interest. To avoid being overwhelmed, people on Twitter don’t read absolutely everyone’s stuff. Once you find someone who is regularly posting interesting things, for example, another global business selling similar products, you can choose to ‘follow’ them and read their messages. But for that you will need to create an account.
Step 2 – Get Started !
Go ahead and create your own account. Twitter is like your very own newsletter which anyone can opt into. You have 140 characters to tell people about new products, promotions or anything else that may be of interest. Once you get people following your messages (‘followers’), they can forward (‘retweet’ ) any of your messages to their followers, and so on and so on. This is what makes Twitter so special, you can reach a large target audience with very little effort. And it’s not just you broadcasting information, it’s about starting a conversation, interacting and engaging with potential customers, locally or globally. Step 3 – Join the Twitteratti ! Make Twitter a part of your daily routine. Log in daily and get used to how Twitter works. Search for interesting people to follow, add your Twitter username to your website and marketing materials and try to post something at least once a day. Try to reply to other tweets and soon you will start building up relationships and making conversations.
It takes a bit of getting used but you will soon find that it’s a fun way to communicate with your current customers, and to find new ones.
In the next article I’ll provide some specific tips on how get followers and using Twitter to in a meaningful way to promote your business.
If you need a knowledgeable expert to help you get started with a social media marketing strategy for your business then please get in touch.