Twitter For Small Business – Get Started

Are You Social Enough?

No digital marketing strategy is truly complete without even a basic social media game plan. You might have a beautiful website and great structure in place to succeed, but ignoring social in these days is madness.

There’s simply so much interaction and engagement across the various platforms we can use that there’s no better way to get your brand directly in front of the right people. Social media allows you to be part of an active community, all with similar interests and goals.

Being active socially isn’t specifically about increasing your sales, although it can definitely have that effect. Your increased outreach to all forms of stakeholders is where you’ll find benefit. Yes you might connect with clients, but building rapport in your industry is vital to long term success.

The most successful members of a marketplace are those who command the most authority. And yes, reputation goes a long way in this sense, but so does being familiar and relevant. Sustaining relationships with recognisable faces is what it’s all about.

To start, we’d like to focus on Twitter and quickly explain why it’s one of the best networking tools at your disposal. Of course Facebook, LinkedIn and others are just as important – but baby steps will make sure we leave no stone unturned.

Get tweeting, Start winning

For those who might not be aware, Twitter is a social media platform offering shorthand public posts and direct personal messaging. Interaction is focused on short, snappy and generally informal communication, being confined to 140 characters per post.

Because of its structure, posts or ‘tweets’ are quite engaging and often link to further information elsewhere. With 310 million users, it’s one of the most active platforms worldwide.

And businesses are finding a bigger place on the site each day, which the following statistics compiled by Brand Watch will prove.

Currently, 65.8% of US companies with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing. Not only that, but 80% of users have mentioned a brand in a Tweet. A huge amount of engagement is now away from the shop floor or networking, and instead increasingly going online.

Of the users Twitter have surveyed, 54% have taken action consequential of seeing a brand tweeted about. Not only that, but in the last two years there’s been x2.5 rise in customer service conversations through this medium.

Every way in which customers see you communicate dictates how your brand is perceived, it’s not just about traditional marketing. Stakeholders who see an active and personal management of social media consider such brands to be caring, pro-active and engaging.

Current and potential clients appreciate when their queries are answered – they feel valued. There is no better way to achieve this right now than interacting over Twitter.

Your First Steps

Remember, social media isn’t just about increasing your bottom line. By building your presence in an online community, access to co-operative opportunities, new markets and relationships will all increase.

So as you begin tweeting, don’t just sporadically post about sales or boast about your brand. Inform and engage at every chance you get, and gain a voice in on-going conversations. One great trick to use in this sense is the 80:20 rule.

This principle outlines that 80% of your social engagement should  focus on informing, educating and entertaining, while only 20% can directly promote your business. Being a valued member of the online community has to take priority over just actively selling to succeed on social.

And don’t worry, the sales will come! Building your authority will cause you to become a familiar face. When the time comes for a client to need services you can provide, you’re their first port of call because they recognise and value you.

Some further tips on how to get the most out of your Twitter are offered by Forbes in a recent article. They analysed how some of our biggest leaders influence on the platform. These 5 tips will take you a long way.

Tweet Like a Leader

  1. Information Sharing: Keep your stakeholders routinely updated with new information about what you’re doing. It keeps you relevant and is a great way to broadcast achievements or new projects. Twitter is your best friend to broadcast your on-going activity and keep people of interest up to date.
  2. Wisdom Sharing: Showing competence and offering good insights into a topic is a great asset for authority building. Share quotes, reports and anything you feel proves you know you’re at the forefront of your industry. By having an active role in academic engagement, you validate your experience and expertise. Aligning your content content marketing strategy to wisdom sharing will further improve results.
  3. Relationship Building: Take interest in what everybody else is doing and interact about it. Twitter is one of the most public forums in terms of one-to-one engagement – but that’s a great thing! The more you communicate with others, the further your name and brand is plastered into new timelines with retweets and replies.
  4. Cheering: It’s easy to sing your own praises, but by celebrating clients, other members of your community or marking an occasion, tweeting is a great tool. Show appreciation, and users will consider you to be incredibly personable and feel valued. This will massively improve your relationships and is fantastic for getting retweets.
  5. Recognising Results: 79% of employees who leave their jobs cite the lack of recognition as the key reason. By publicly acknowledging efforts (similar to “cheering”) you make stakeholders feel valued. Aside from increased retention and performance, public recognition will massively improve your culture and image. Do it right and soon you’ll be a company people would love to work wither for, or alongside.

Social is the Future

Get started with your social accounts right now if you haven’t yet. Twitter is a nice and easy place to start but stayed tuned to our blog series where we’ll show you how other social platforms will add even more to your arsenal.