Is Twitter worth it for a Small Business?

That’s a great question.

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Twitter isn’t difficult, but as one of the Big 4 in social media marketing it does require a lot of care and feeding.  Regardless of the various management tools or plug-ins to facilitate social media marketing one still has to invest time in crafting messages and being engaged to make Twitter or any platform pay off.

While some think small business needs to be on all of the  Big 4 social media marketing platforms, I disagree.  Time is precious and small business owners have too many time constraints as it is.  Picking a primary and a secondary social media marketing platform should be sufficient to stimulate ROI for one’s efforts…that is, if it is done correctly.

The answer to the initial question, is Twitter worth it for a small business, depends to some degree on the type of small business in question.  I would say any small business retailer with a brick & mortar presence should be on Twitter if one’s target audience has a Twitter presence.  If your audience is 45 + in age, chances are not high that a lot of your current customers are going to be active in Twitter.  You may be better investing your time on Facebook or on other social media marketing platforms.  On the other hand, if you’re interested in expanding your audience, Twitter might work very well for you.

What about B2B (business to business)?  Linkedin is the primary social media marketing platform for B2B and it makes it easy to tweet your Linkedin postings to Twitter.  However, I don’t see a lot of business executives hanging out on Twitter and for that reason I don’t recommend it as one of the social platforms for B2B purposes.  Professionally, I think Facebook makes more sense for B2B as the secondary social media platform.

Regardless of the type of small business, you should first check to see what percentage of your current customer base is engaged on Twitter.  Let your current customers be your guide.If you decide that Twitter is worth your investment, than you want to be certain you capitalize on that effort in every way you can. Where to begin?

One of your primary objectives should be to build relationships through Twitter, .  That relationship beings with your profile and continues with your ongoing actions.   It  some work in the space provided, but it is well worth the effort.

Use the checklist of the basics below if you currently have a Twitter account to maximized it or if you’re thinking Twitter will help your marketing efforts.

13 Twitter Tweaks

  1. You have a description in your profile and it is keyword rich and written in a way that entices viewers to find out more.
  2. You’ve included a linked to your website or blog.
  3. You’ve included a geographic location in your profile so when people search for your city, town or state, they’ll be able to find you.
  4. You have added a great photo of yourself, the business owner and not your company logo.
  5. You provided key highlights and interesting details in your bio.
  6. Your Twitter username is easy to remember.
  7. You included the http:// in your url so it is live and working.
  8. You selected a white or light color for your Twitter theme so it is easy for people to read your Twitter posts.  White type on dark backgrounds is very difficult to read.
  9. You’ve created a unique Twitter background that uses your business graphics in a cleaver way.
  10. You are consistent in your usage of Twitter and stay engaged when folks send you direct messages and interesting tweets.
  11. You make it an habit to share interesting information about your industry/products that will interest your customers or other Twitter followers.
  12. You are mannerly when on Twitter…you RT interesting posts from others, you thank those who are following you, you answer questions and are engaged with your followers.
  13. Your Twitter account is included in your email signature, your business cards, your web/blog site, your Facebook page and in other.

If you decide Twitter really is for your small business, than take the basic steps necessary to make certain your Twitter account is doing the most it can for you.  I’ll be sharing more Twitter Tweaks and Tips in the following week.

P.S.  After writing a piece about Twitter, it only makes sense we connect via Twitter…don’t you think?  Connect with me and I’ll be certain to follow you in return!

 

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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