Do you remember when signing up a business for Twitter was a surprise to customers? Do you remember when it was a big deal to announce you were finally using Twitter on your door signs and billboards? It was like a gold rush in various industries to see who could get the buy in from their team first.
Today, it’s expected that your business is on Twitter. It’s still important to let your customers know you’re signing up if you don’t have an account, but it’s something that most customers expect. In fact, if you’re not there, you can bet that your customers are there talking about your product and discussing your story.
For small businesses, it’s not easy managing the day to day job of managing the business and balancing that with social media. It’s not easy, but it’s a part of running a business in todays digitally enabled world. As business owners, it’s important to recognize social interactions online as being just as valuable as those that happen in person.
Twitter presents an unfiltered communication channel between your business and customers. People are able to share their feedback on your product or services in real time. Smartphones enable them to capture photos and videos to further showcase your organization and experience. Here are a few ways that small businesses can leverage Twitter to drive success:
Develop Relationships With Local Media
Twitter has become an extremely valuable asset to small businesses looking to generate press. While it’s not a tool like Cision or Vocus that is made specifically for PR pitches, it’s a tool that can be leveraged to drive earned media.
Instead of using Twitter to simply pitch a journalist, small businesses need to use Twitter to build relationships with journalists. Retweet a reporters articles, tweets, and favourite their content on a regular basis to get on their radar. It’s these small interactions that build a soft relationship which can leveraged overtime.
Once you’ve built a soft relationship with targeted journalists, be sure to strike up conversation with them organically. If you disagree with them, ask them a question about one of their ideas or conclusions. It’s in doing this that you’re able to show you know your topic and help them see the value of having you in their network or Rolodex.
Follow & Interact With Clients & Customers
A lot of people ask whether or not their business should follow their customers and I always say yes. In small business, you need to have relationships with your customers if you’re hoping to succeed. Customers want to have a relationship with you and they want to know you care enough to follow them back on Twitter. One of the greatest benefits of Twitter is building strong meaningful relationships.
If you happen to notice it’s a Twitter follower’s birthday, say Happy Birthday. If a Twitter follower is asking about your product or service, interact with them and provide value. Do not be afraid to engage with potential or existing customers. People want you to provide them with solutions. If you have an answer to their question, they crave it.
Share Brand Specific Visuals & Video Content
If you’re in the product industry, one of the most impactful approaches to social media is sharing images of your product. Take a picture of a customer using your product or a glamorous shot that shows your product in a compelling way. Spread this content by sharing it on Twitter and allowing people to engage with your image.
Twitter is becoming more and more visual every year. Recognizing the power of visual marketing, Twitter has changed their newsfeed to show photos prior to a click. Photos are showing up in full rather than requiring a click to a link because they have noticed the trend in people sharing and engaging more readily with photos over basic text. For your business, this presents an opportunity to spread your story in a more effective way.
Retweet The Positive Tweets As Testimonials
If you have a good product, people will talk about it. In the past, the only time you would hear someone talking about your product was in your storefront or over the phone. Today, small businesses are subject to both praise and criticism on social media. When you see someone talking positively about your brand, share their content with a retweet and also thank them for their testimonial. In doing so, your followers will see their positive statement and possibly be compelled to do business with you.
The reason so many small businesses are still questioning the power of Twitter is that they’ve yet to tap into its true value. Every day, there are thousands of conversations that small businesses could turn into sales and results. Tools like LeadSift sift through the millions of conversations to deliver these potential customers directly to small business owners and marketing teams.
It’s time to capitalize on the true power of Twitter. Whether it’s through more effective social media management or social lead generation – The time is now.