There is something about tweeting that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. When I started LK Editorial, a full-service editorial firm, I wasn’t exactly tweet-friendly. If you asked me a year ago if I had Twitter I would have said, “What’s the point? I’ve learned in this past year that Twitter builds awareness of your brand in a big way. As LK Editorial hits our 500 followers mark, I’ve come to network with some fascinating tweeps (twitter peoples). My network continues to grow and I’ve even snagged some clients along the way.
You still may be wondering, what’s the point. I asked Jamie Griffiths, writer for Approved Index, the UK’s leading B2B marketplace and directory, what he thought were the top 10 reasons why small businesses should use Twitter. This is what he said:
1. Keep abreast of industry news
Follow as many relevant journalists, industry leaders, colleagues, competitors and anyone else in your industry who posts thoughtful, insightful and importantly relevant information about your industry. You’re now plugged in to all the latest market developments. This is a great way to find inspiration for content that can go on your blog or website, or for PR activities.
2. Keep an eye on competitors
Monitor your rivals so that you know what they are up to. It may provide inspiration and could even help you gain a competitive advantage. If your competitors aren't on Twitter, be brave and be the first, there are 200 million users on Twitter, some of these will be existing or prospective customers, connect with them first and get building that relationship.
3. Build relationships with industry leaders
You’re an expert in your own industry. By responding to Tweets about that industry from trusted sources you’ll soon start to catch some eyes. Pretty soon they’ll be re-Tweeting your stuff to their followers, asking you to write guest posts or linking to your own website – all free, highly targeted advertising.
4. Generate sales leads
By searching for your product or service by name on Twitter you can find
out who’s talking about it and perhaps even who’s thinking about buying. Maybe
time to intervene with a special offer?
5. Gain an extra customer service channel
Look at ASOS for a great example of fast, professional and friendly customer service using Twitter. This is what makes them one of the most trusted online brands. Your business doesn't have to go to that extent but making sure you respond to inquiries and complaints that arrive via Twitter will help build that human relationship for your brand.
6. Become an industry thought leader
Many businesses fall into the trap of ego-centric tweeting during their early
Twitter days. Don't be one of them. Your potential customers are likely to be
short on time and overloaded with information, so they're really not interested
if your business has a new logo. By tweeting genuinely useful information and
providing real value in the form of advice, tips or breaking news, you can
position yourself as a thought leader within your market, even if you're a
7. Bring traffic to your website
Give people a reason to visit your website when maybe they weren't thinking of it. Announce on Twitter when you have new content or an offer that’s likely to pull
them in. If it's compelling enough they may re-Tweet your offer - and who knows
where that could end? Twitter is a quick way to enter people's consciousness,
and it can happen at any time of the day with the increased usage of
8. Monitor your brand perception
With the proliferation of social media you can now monitor when and in what context your brand name, products and organization are mentioned. Using freely available tools such as HootSuite, Tweetdeck and analytics tools such as Crowdbooster, you can monitor what works and doesn't work on Twitter, and what’s being said about you. This can be an effective way to manage your reputation and respond to the comments about your business in real-time.
9. Generate brand loyalty
Interacting with your existing customers on Twitter, whether they’ve had positive or negative experiences – and doing so professionally – makes you likely to gain
trust and brand loyalty. Everybody loves a switched on company with excellent
customer service and nobody’s afraid to recommend such a company to their
10. Start a conversation
Twitter gives you the opportunity to ask a large number of people for their thoughts, product reviews or opinions. It's a simple thought but one that can provideimportant information from the people who matter most: the customers.
How do you think Twitter can help build your business?
Have more questions or need help managing your Twitter account? Contact Loren at firstname.lastname@example.org