26 August 2012

How Twitter Can Benefit Your Business

Many small and medium sized businesses are still resisting to use Twitter.  Generally the questions is asked who will be responsible for keeping the social media channels up to date, who will provide the content and who will deal with queries.  Putting these questions aside, here are a number of sound business reasons to use Twitter for business.
  1. Use Twitter as a listening channel.  Using the "search" box on Twitter and type in the keywords for your own product for service. If you operate in a particlar area you can add "near:your_area" to the search.  The term "-http" generally removes marketeers active in that sector.  If you need to search to multiple search words simultaneously use the Twitter tool Tweetdeck.  This will give you a realtime listing of the tweets for your search words.
  2. Use Twitter For Inbound Marketing. Having found tweebs looking for your product/service you can actively engaged these potential customers.    Send them a direct message (DM) with your website URL.  Ask if you can answer any queries they might have.  Gather information. Sure you can let customers find you through a Google search but you'll be one of many.  Twitter goes more direct engagement.
  3. Promote Your Product Or Sevice.  Let the public know who you are, what you do and where you do it.  Bang that drum.  Use the hashtag followed by your keyword to get found on Twitter eg #socialmedia.
  4. Keep Your Customers Informed.  Twitter is the ideal tool for announcing industry updates, news or events.  Let your existing followers knows whats newsworthy. 
  5. Identify Any Unhappy Customers.  Unhappy customers cost sales.  You know the old story,  a happy customer will recommend you to 3  people and an unhappy customer will tell 11 people to steer clear of you.  Deal with them using a direct message on Twitter.
  6. Twitter Makes An Ideal PR Tool.  Promote your product or brand, keeping customers informed and dealing with unhappy customers all fall into the area of public relations.  But does your PR department use Twitter?  Manage your communications with Twitter.  Communicate your company's successes without bragging or giving too much away.  Its all good for business.
  7. Communicate With Employees.  Many companies have email free days and use Twitter to communicate instead.  Got something urgent use Twitter.
  8. Recruit Employees Through Twitter.  Employment agencies use Twitter to annouce any vacancies.  Its a low cost way of getting the word out there.
  9. Built Your Network.  Your "followers" are part of your network, build on them.  Be reciprocal with your followers' tweets and retweet them to help spread their message.  This will be appreciated. 
  10. Virally Spread Your Message.  Likewise ask your follows to "Pls RT" or retweet your message to increase its reach.
  11. Order Taking.  Some companies are equipped to take your order my tweet.  This is an automated error free way of doing business.
 
That should be enough to get you started using Twitter.