Do small businesses need to tweet?
Many small business owners wonder whether they need to "tweet" to stay competitive. Most know what Twitter is, but many don’t personally use it. They assume that it is a great deal of work and they are really unsure of the benefits.
You don't have to tweet!
Using Twitter actively can be work if you are interacting with it frequently. You need to market your business to make the money you want to make. The marketing channels you choose are up to you. Pick a combination of marketing tools that works for you. The key to marketing is focus. Choose the marketing avenues you want to pursue and stick with them.
Twitter is powerful so use it even if you don’t tweet.
- has up-to-date information on your industry, and possibly your target market.
- can put you in touch with information sources on topics that are relevant to your business via the links shared by those you follow.
- is a collection of the latest thoughts by hundreds or thousands of people in similar industries, whom you can follow and learn from.
- is a goldmine of news which you can use or share in your own communications.
How to start:
- Set up a Twitter account. This will allow you to fully access all the features of the service. Decide whether you want to set the account up under your name or your business name. This needs to be thought through. If you set the Twitter account up using your business name and get followers but have few or no tweets, you might look silly if a prospect looked you up.
- Each week run your business’ keywords through the Twitter search to see what comes up. Click through to the sites that have been shared and save the page links for content you found useful.
- Find interesting people and browse their recent tweets. Follow those who post interesting tweets and then their tweets will come to your Twitter home page.
- Identify your competitors and gather ideas about what they are doing that appears to be working. Also take note of the things they are doing that isn't working. What are they tweeting? Do they have any followers? Are they following lots of people or businesses? Consider sending them a message asking them how Twitter is working for them.
- Check to see if your customers are active on Twitter, and follow them.
Put Twitter tweets on automatic pilot.
- Given the connectivity tools that exist today, if you blog you can tweet, because the blog becomes the tweet without you having to think about it. (The same is true for posting to a Facebook Company page, or your LinkedIn profile.)
- Choose a service that automates cross-posting of blog entries (www.tweetdeck is one example, but there are many.)
Twitter is useful, even if you use it solely as a research tool It allows very targeted research that is up to date.