To survive and prosper these days, all businesses small and large need to be aware of the tools of social media, especially Twitter. It is a form of micro-blogging that has gone from just a small user base a couple of years ago, to a household name today. However, many business owners are skeptical about whether Twitter adds any real value to their bottom line.
Here are 5 reasons why your business should be using Twitter.
1. Increased Trust. Adding a “tweet feed” to your website shows visitors that your site has a pulse. If people can see Twitter content posted by the site owners “2 days ago” it’s a pretty good sign that the site is being maintained and that there are still living, breathing people behind the scenes and it’s not just some zombie site set up and abandoned. Also, showing tweet comments from satisfied users can have a powerful “halo” effect on new visitor perceptions.
2. Brand Awareness. When Twitter is used properly, it communicates things that help your target audience. Don’t just talk about what you are doing. Point out whatever you find that will be truly beneficial to your customers. Give links to articles or videos that explain topics or introduce things you think your followers should know about. When you provide a useful service to people, you get noticed and you get remembered.
3. Customer Service. Twitter is a great tool for listening to what people are saying about you and contributing to the conversation. It can be an opportunity to counter mistruths or misconceptions before they become widespread. Disgruntled customers can also be a great opportunity. Listening to what they say and publicly answering their complaints shows your target audience that you care about them.
4. Market Research. Ask your target audience questions. Use the Twitter search tools to find out what your followers are tweeting about and build a profile of your customer demographics. Discover what your competitors are doing and what customer reactions are to them.
5. Promotional Tool. Use your Twitter fan base to publicize free offers and special promotions. Announce prizes for the first 10 people who sign up for your monthly newsletter or who leave a comment on your blog. With any luck, you’ll get retweeted and the message could become viral. Twitter should be part of this holistic approach to online promotion.
Since micro-blogging on Twitter is limited to 140 characters it doesn’t require much investment of your time. Not everybody has the opportunity, motivation or even ability to write 1000 word blog posts regularly, so Twitter is a great alternative way to be part of the online conversation stream and help your business succeed.