Why Twitter Is An Ideal Tool For Businesses

If you haven’t joined in yet, then it’s high time you did. Twitter is one of the most visited social network sites and is becoming more and more popular everyday.

twiterpage_400x400According to a report on Statistic Brain (http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics), in May 2013 Twitter now has over 554,750,000 registered users. 135,000 new users sign up every day. There are 9,100 Tweets made every second of every day.

Why should those statistics impress you? Because they make Twitter prime real estate for you and your business…..and it’s free.

If you use Twitter properly it can be the king of social media. Companies both large and small are realizing Twitter’s true potential.

You can use it to:
• Introduce new products or services
• Communicate with existing clients
• Find and add new clients
• Promote existing products
• Build your company brand
• Develop and improve products and services
• Find out what your competitors are up to

The advantages of Twitter for your business

Not everybody ‘gets’ Twitter and because they don’t understand it they are missing out. Here are some of the main reasons why your business should be active on Twitter:

Little or no capital
The only cost when starting on Twitter is your time and effort. Twitter is 100% free for anyone who wants to sign up to it, whether you are an individual or a business. So, as a business owner, opening up a Twitter account is a huge opportunity that you don’t want to miss.

Real time updates
One of the main advantages of using any social media site is that it gives you real time information and Twitter is no different. With up to date data, your followers will be able to see information about your special offers, events and other relevant information as and when you post them.

The real time updates are also excellent for customer service updates. That means your business can easily address client problems and questions as soon as they are posted, which your customers will value and appreciate.

Strengthen existing client connections
Twitter lets you get up close and personal with your existing clients. This personalization makes it much easier for businesses to cultivate trust with their customers, which will help you establish customer loyalty and produce many more sales.

Paving the way for new clients
As well as strengthening the bond with your existing clients, Twitter is equally as good at attracting brand new clients. (You can read more about how to do this further on in the article.)

Link to multiple sites
When marketing online, it is important never to use just one avenue to try and gain additional sales. That is why many companies are choosing to use Twitter since they can use it to send their followers to their official websites, blogs and Facebook profiles. By doing this, it drives traffic to sites that will enable them to close the sale and boost their profits.

Keep an eye on your competitors
Your competitors will no doubt be using Twitter too and if you let them, they can start poaching your existing and potential customers. This is why an active Twitter account is vital; it helps you to keep an eye on your competition.

You can also use Twitter to gather important information about things like as when they are having an upcoming sale, or is they seem to be using an effective marketing strategy. It will put your business in a much stronger position. If you know exactly what is happening at any given time, you can position yourself swiftly and alter your marketing to make an effective counter attack.

Target your Tweets
When using Twitter, one of the biggest mistakes many independent businesses make is to try and market to everyone. They realize how huge and popular Twitter is and try to market to every person on it. Don’t fall into this trap.

Your marketing strategy should be focused on a very specific market and not at every Twitter user. Your efforts should be aimed directly towards those who are most likely to buy your products.

For example if you sell maternity clothes then market to people who are interested in buying your product. Promoting to individuals who are unlikely to use what you sell will be a waste of your time and efforts.

Once you have identified your target audience you need to know how to structure your tweets so you can not only locate your target audience but engage with them also.

Twitter marketing strategies to help you get more sales
There are a number of marketing strategies you can use. The main goal is get visitors off Twitter and straight on to your website or sales page. Here are some of the most effective marketing strategies that will help you to do that:

Use Hashtags
Hashtags (#) are a very simple but effective way to organize popular topics. Hashtags are very useful to your business because they make it much easier for you to be found by people interested in the things you promote. They contain the main keywords that will help people find your business or know what kind of product/service you are promoting.

Build up a following
As soon as you set up your account, the first thing you need to do is to get as many followers as you can. Remember, the advice given earlier: Only try to get followers that matter. If they are unlikely to buy from you then adding them to your list will be useless and waste of time. Your aim is to build up a following of responsive buyers. If you need advice on how to do this please get in touch and we can help you.

Build on existing followers
If you already have an established list of followers from other social networks like Facebook, Pinterest or your own mailing list, then invite them to become one of your Twitter followers. By announcing the creation of your Twitter account and sending them a direct invitation, you will soon be able to attract a decent amount of followers interested in what you have to offer.

Follow the accounts your followers follow
This is one of the best marketing strategies that any business can use. Following businesses that service your target audience will help keep you abreast of what is happening with your niche and adapt your marketing accordingly.

Ask for a retweet
Don’t be shy. This is a great way to spread the word quickly. Some businesses feel embarrassed asking their followers to retweet (RT in Twitter-speak) one of their messages but it’s perfectly acceptable and is part of the Twitter culture. Don’t do it too often though, and make sure the message you are asking your followers to retweet is worth doing to justify the action.

An ideal post to ask your followers to retweet would be something like this:
“Discount Friday. Up to 50% off maternity dresses today #discountmaternity. Please RT”

Your followers would have no problem retweeting that because it is useful information. If you have 500 people retweeting your message and each one of them has at least 100 followers then you can see the potential as up to 50,000 people could see your message.

Post links
Twitter can be used both a direct and indirect tool for marketing your business. For example you could use it to try and close the sale directly to your clients and followers. Alternatively you can post links to external sales pages, such as one of your Facebook pages or your website, which could increase the possibility of more sales.

Have a schedule
Just as in any other online platform, spamming is frowned upon. Think very carefully about what you are going to post on Twitter as part of your marketing campaign. Your tweets should be planned out and you should stick to the schedule.

Look at how big brands look after their Twitter marketing accounts and emulate them. Yes, it takes extra time but the rewards will be worth it. You will be able to stay visible to prospective clients for branding but without flooding their Twitter feed with pointless messages that either don’t engage or are of no interest to them.

Providing Quality – what you should tweet
People will only pay attention to what you have to say if you give them something that they are interested in. If your posts are random and nonsensical, or if you post too often, the chances are you will be unfollowed and you will have lost a potential customer.

As we mentioned earlier, informing your clients of a sale or special offer is an ideal post but you don’t just have to make posts about discounts.

Twitter is perfect for collecting valuable feedback. Twitter followers like to be asked for their opinion so why not tell them about a specific product or service and ask them for their opinion on the matter. Include a hashtag so that their tweets will lead back to you. The question will encourage followers to reply back to you, effectively providing you with valuable feedback about your new product or service.

For example:

“New collection of summer maternity dresses launched today. What do you think? #summermaternitydress”

Another Tweet worth posting would be a contest for your business that will engage your followers. Again, the use of hashtags will be incredibly useful.

Photo contests work especially well because a picture is worth much more than the 140 characters allowed on Twitter. For this type of contest, users will have to take and upload a photo to be in with a chance to win a prize. These just tend to be small gifts or a voucher to spend with your company.

Here is an example of a contest: @LaTasca, a Spanish Tapas restaurant in the UK, recently gave away a £50 voucher for the customers who sent a Twitpic of their tapas. KFC and other restaurants and businesses use this strategy to great effect. It doesn’t take much effort for followers to do either as it can all be done in seconds on their smartphone.

Again follow successful big companies and see what kinds of things they post for inspiration.

Twitter is extremely powerful. The strategies and techniques mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg.

We hope that this has inspired you to take your business on Twitter. It is worth repeating again that even if you never go on Twitter, your competition will. You need to be on so you don’t lose all of your customers to them.

How to drive thousands of hungry customers to your front door

We have lots of advice and tips to share with you, so if you are going to take the plunge on Twitter please talk to us first.

You could go ahead and set up your own campaign right now but that could involve a lot of trial and error and you could spend many weeks or even months trying to figure out a successful marketing strategy.

Or, you could save yourself a lot of time and significantly increase your profits by letting us show you how to use this incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to drive thousands of hungry customers to your front door.