Twitter strategies for small businesses


Twitter for business

To tweet or not to tweet … is the question facing millions of businesses around the globe. And if you are a small to medium-sized business, you need to make the decision whether Twitter is a time waster or genuine opportunity.

Time is valuable – you can’t afford to waste it on something you don’t get a return on. So, in this post, I’ll share some advice with you on how to make Twitter work for your business. You’ll find out:

As the fastest growing social network on the planet, Twitter brings people together and gives ‘real-time’ communication opportunities.

Businesses, celebs and politicians are using this micro-blogging platform as a channel to network, share news and gain publicity. Others use it to learn, do research or just for pure enjoyment…

Whether you’re a small business owner thinking of signing up to Twitter or a Twitter fledgling, you need to understand Twitter etiquette. And be aware of the dangers, as well as positive outcomes.

Hope the following ideas help. Please add your own Twitter tips later…

Good business reasons for using Twitter

  • Cut your marketing costs
  • Grow your reputation as an expert
  • Talk directly to potential customers
  • Increase your online presence
  • Keep up with industry news
  • Drive traffic to your blog or website
  • Connect with thousands of people
  • Share expertise
  • Announce upcoming promotions and discounts
  • Network with other businesses in your niche

Positive Twitter strategies

  1. Ask and answer questions
  2. Share tips and expertise
  3. Promote your latest blog post
  4. Promote others’ blogs
  5. Say thank you
  6. Be human – inject some personality into your tweets
  7. Connect with local Tweeple through Twello.
  8. Use positive language
  9. Post useful articles – always give value
  10. Engage with people; start conversations
  11. Offer coupons/discounts/freebies
  12. Use URL shortening tools such as TinyURL
  13. Get to know people. Use personal names; ask followers how they are
  14. Use the DM (direct message) tool for 1:1 messaging
  15. Use a Tweet organiser tool such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Seesmic
  16. Explore how tools such as SocialOomph can save you time
  17. Meet up with local business Tweeple (Have a Tweetup)
  18. Promote other businesses
  19. Decide when you’ll use Twitter and stick to it
  20. Show respect
  21. Listen
  22. Be yourself…

Twitter Behaviour To Avoid:

  1. Don’t use Twitter as an IM tool – banter with friends but don’t overdo it
  2. Don’t swear. You never know who’s listening
  3. Don’t post endless quotes without engaging with others
  4. Don’t stop work to keep checking Twitter every 5 minutes
  5. Don’t post inappropriate remarks you’ll regret later
  6. Don’t reveal anything too personal
  7. Don’t drink and tweet
  8. Don’t get drawn into arguments – you’ll lose more than your face
  9. Don’t mix up business and personal Twitter accounts
  10. Never spam your followers
  11. Don’t talk about yourself all the time
  12. Don’t repeatedly sell your services
  13. Don’t rely on Twitter as your only marketing tool
  14. Be aware of slander laws
  15. Don’t get hooked on reading tweets so your business suffers
  16. Don’t always talk ‘business’ – you can have fun too
  17. Don’t keep repeating the same message

Top Twitter Tip:

It takes seconds to destroy a reputation that’s taken months to build up. So, use Twitter positively, decide what you are using it for and stick to a strategy which works for you.

How do you use Twitter for business? What else could you add?

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