How To Use Twitter For BusinessBy William H. Volpe III
Of all the online social networks, Twitter is one that’s ideal for local internet marketing. In just 140 characters or less you can let your followers know about sales, special promotions, industry news, or instantly answer their questions. And when it comes to local searches, that’s what people want – instant updates and answers.
Twitter users who follow local companies are most likely accessing the site through a mobile device. They’re looking for announcements, special deals, coupons, and news updates. Having a slow night in your restaurant? Send out a Tweet. Having a spur-of-the-moment Midnight Madness sale? Send out a Tweet.
Twitter is definitely a social network but it differs from Facebook in a number of ways.
For one, it takes much less time to build a community on Twitter and you don’t have to spend as much time socializing with your followers. On Facebook, if you don’t join in the chatter occasionally you’ll disappear from the stream. On Twitter, your followers will always see your tweets, whether you take time to socialize or not.
However, getting those followers to read your tweets, follow your links, and spread the word does take a little work.
To attract local followers, be sure to use your business name when you create your Twitter account and also make sure to use a good business description in your profile. You’ll be prompted to start searching for people to follow, so use the name of your city as your keyword, first, and then look for other local businesses to follow. Don’t forget to follow family, friends, and acquaintances, too.
Once you start following people, they’ll follow you back and that’s when the fun starts, because now you have an audience for your tweets.
What should you send out to your followers? Whatever works for your business. Remember, a lot of your followers are going to be seeing your Tweets come through on a mobile device. Why not take advantage of the fact that they’re already out and about? “Re-Tweet this message and get $5 off dinner – tonight only!”
If your company has a blog, tweet links to your new blog posts. If you’re in a news-oriented business where real-time updates are important, so much the better. Twitter users love following trending topics and Twitter was originally created for just that purpose – delivering frequent news updates in short bursts of content.
The key to building a loyal community on Twitter is to make sure your tweets always provide value to your specific followers. It doesn’t matter what everyone else on Twitter enjoys. All that matters is the people who are following your company. If you’re sending out a link, make sure it’s a link you’re followers will enjoy. If you’re posting humorous content, make sure it’s not offensive. The same goes for videos and images.
When you take care of your followers, they’ll take care of you by following your links, visiting your store or office, and re-tweeting your content to their followers. Soon you’ll have a large following of people from your local community, all breathlessly waiting for your tweets because you learned how to use Twitter for business.
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