How to Maximize Twitter
Some small business owners have never wrapped their heads around Twitter and feel it is just a waste of time. True Twitter-heads are skilled in maximizing this tool is drive traffic to their website, to their brick and mortar stores and to events.
Regardless of which group may best describe your Twitter activity, if your audience is on Twitter, the bottom line is you should be too and you should be actively engaged.
I came across a great article by Charlene Kingston @ Social Media Examiner presenting 16 ideas to help you add some muscle to your Tweets. Of her list, there are three I feel deserve special emphasis because these areas seem to be specific stumbling blocks for small business owners.
Nail these three and you can always address Charlene’s other Twitter ideas at a later date.
#15: Review (and renew) your tweet topics
Charlene had this idea ranked as #15 out of 16, but I think it is so important I moved it to Numero Uno as this is one of the prime reasons small business owners tend to avoid Twitter. They just don’t know what to tweet about.
Like any communications, it works best when you have a strategy of the specific topics that will be of most value to your audience. Think of your business in terms of categories. Identify 3-5 categories of topics. Under each, identify a series of keywords that will help you structure 10 or so tweets for each category.
Example: Let’s say you are gym. Some categories might be: healthy eats, benefits of exercise, bad back exercises, low impact exercises Some keywords under “healthy eats” might include: vegetables, fruits, protein, power bars, etc.
Craft your Twitter messages, keep them handy and use them to reach and converse with your audience.
#12: Put Twitter to work solving your business challenges
Again, I rank this idea of using Twitter to address a specific business problem higher than did Charlene because without seeing specific results, small business owners are too quick to call it quits.
The only caveat is with a large Twitter following, you’ll see bigger results, but you can start small and scale this idea up as your Twitter following grows.
One area where Twitter can be put to work solving a specific business problem and one that every business owner can relate to is: slow or low sales.
Maybe Tuesday evening for your restaurant is bleak. Perhaps the month right after the Holidays for your clothing store makes you wonder why you are open. For some, it might be a specific product where the sales are historically weak.
To address these specific sales problems, use Twitter only promotions. Tweet a special code on Tuesday nights or during a slow month so Twitter followers who have the code receive a special discount or some sort of free information that is of value.
Charlene shares a couple of other ideas, but this one idea is very easy and will get your started.
The point is you need to hone your Twitter usage if you want to achieve specific results.
#9: Publicize your Twitter account
This is another area where I see many small business owners missing the boat.
If you have a Twitter account, publicize it everywhere your customers will have an opportunity to see it. This includes the obvious places – websites and business cards - and the not so obvious – email signatures, print advertising, window signs, receipts, menus, etc.
Once they follow you, reward them with some small recognition of your gratitude (e.g. e-book, discount, thank you, etc.).
You can find more about these ideas as well as others if you visit Social Media Examiner. You’ll also find more information about Twitter below in previous blog posts.
In what ways have you used Twitter that have created some bottom line success for your small business? Use the comments section below to share your successes.
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