How to Use Twitter for Your Business
This year the social media tool Twitter is about to turn 4 years old. This social media networking tool, which started as a way to tell others what you are doing, has turned into a valuable marketing tool
for Businesses. Although Twitter is a free tool, building a Twitter community takes time and is an investment for any business. However, as the Twitter universe continues to grow, Twitter is something you may wish to explore as a valuable tool for expanding your marketing reach and making valuable connections. Today over 100 million users worldwide are part of the Twitter community. That means you may wish to connect with some of those 100 million users to network, keep current on events or discuss technology. Last week I posted a few Twitter
tips for IBM Business Partners after hearing from you via Twitter and other Social Media tools that you are looking for Twitter Best Practices to help you build your own communities. So, here are a few more tips that I have learned to help you get started after you have set up your ID.Use Twitter to Listen and Respond to Your Customers and Monitor Your Competitors.
Beyond sending out your own messages, one of the most powerful uses for Twitter is using it as a “listening” tool. You can search Twitter just as you would search on any search engine for information. I regularly search on keywords like my company’s name , products and marketing programs. Sometimes, I find other Twitter users complaining or talking about a problem. When I find users that need more information or have issues, I want to reach out to them with a Tweet. My Tweet offers an email address or phone number to
help them resolve their issue. Providing Customer Service is one of the most valuable uses of Twitter. At IBM, we regularly post our Twitter accounts on our web pages to let readers know that they can contact us via Twitter for questions or customer service. Remember to regularly search your competitor’s products and follow their Twitter IDs. There is a wealth of information being traded via Twitter every day, and it’s all in “real time.” Make sure you are in the know. Get Your Marketing Message Out in Your Tweets:
I like to use Twitter to send out news and important promotions. Everyone can use tips on savings, marketing promotions, financing and incentives. It’s great to send out information that is helpful, just beware of sending out information that is purely “chest beating” or promotional that doesn’t help the reader. Remember to include a shortened URL
to get your readers to visit a page on your site with your sales, promotions, product launches and events. If you use a service like http://bit.ly/, you can set-up tracking for your URL to see how many people are clicking-through from your link. Free services like HootSuite also allow you to set up tracking. Part of my daily Twitter stream is sharing links to press releases and blog posts with interesting teaser titles to make people want to learn more. Have you considered offering a special discount or a free offer for your followers on Twitter? These things work and they build your Twitter community.Market your Events, Live and On the Web:
At every tradeshow I attend now, I notice people using Twitter on their mobile phones to find booths, exhibits and giveaways. When I am at a conference, I like to Tweet on sessions, and their locations to let followers know about events they may wish to attend. Twitter is a great way to tell people what is going on at your booth, or what your giveaways are to help drive live event traffic. Also, at a conference or trade show, use Twitter and then designate a hashtag for your event, or search on hastags designated by others so you can follow the news. Remember to send out virtual invites to your events on the web, or live conferences via Twitter.
Network Via Twitter:
There are many people I have meet via Twitter by searching on common interests and technologies, and then sending them a Tweet for follow-up, or introduction. I’ll look for people taking about topics I am interested in and then start following them, or messaging them. Ask Question to Engage Audience or Conduct Research:
One way to engage people on Twitter an and collect meaningful information, is by asking questions. Recently, I wanted to know how many Lotus Business Partners were using FourSquare. I was surprised to see how many people were using it for business or to make special offers to customers. The easiest way to get answers to questions is to ask them on Twitter. Want to know how people use Twitter? How many people want an Android phone? How many people use a Blackberry? Just ask via a Tweet.Connect with Bloggers
: Bloggers are some of the most important influencers in the social market place. Make sure you are aware of how they feel about your brand and what they are saying. Run a Google search to see if a particular Editor or Blogger is on Twitter, then start following them. When you have news, be sure to send it to that Editor or Blogger.
For more Twitter Tips, download our IBM Social Media Guides and Twitter Basics Guide
Are you using Twitter for your business? If you have tips you'd like to share, please leave a comment here on the blog!
You can follow me on Twitter at: Rational Partner