This is the 1st part of our 3 part series on Twitter for businesses. In this part we are going to talk about Twitter basics such as:
- What is Twitter?
- How Can Twitter Help My Business?
- Why is Social Networking Important to my business?
- How do I get started on Twitter?
These are the absolute basics for people who know very little about Twitter, but are wondering if it is right for them. The next part will delve a bit deeper into some of the more intermediate features, such as finding people, getting followers, retweets, direct messages, and a couple of the other features that Twitter offers.
The final part of the series will cover the more advanced features including third party services, and how to manage your twitter account efficiently. Now, let’s move onto part 1 of using Twitter for your business!
What Is Twitter?
Twitter is classified as a micro-blogging platform. This is a fancy term that means a place that you post short messages to your followers. The posts can only be 140 characters long, which means you have to be extremely concise.
Twitter allows you to “Follow” the tweets (messages) of people that you like, admire, or find interesting. It also allows people to follow you. The tweets of people that you follow will appear on your main page for you to see, and any tweets that you send out will appear on the main page of the people following you.
Twitter also offers more advanced features such as direct messaging, hash tags, and at-ing. We’ll talk about these further later in this series.
Can Twitter Help My Business?
Twitter is free, which means that you should at least claim your business’ name at the very least. This will at least help protect your business from fakers, and fraudsters. Protecting your brand aside, Twitter will allow you to connect on a more personal level with your followers and customers.
The greatest strength of Twitter is being able to connect with your customers, but Twitter also helps to make you look more tech savvy. In my eyes, a business looks extremely unprofessional when I can’t find a website for them, and this is starting to become the case with Twitter accounts.
I am less apt to tweet about a business that doesn’t have a Twitter account, unless the business made me really upset. If you make me a happy customer, and you have a Twitter account, I’ll probably mention you.
What this should tell you is that more people will be more willing to mention you on Twitter, if you have a Twitter account. If you don’t, then you may be missing out on free, positive word-of-mouth advertisement!
Twitter: The Importance of Being Social
As I said earlier, the most important thing Twitter makes possible is your ability to connect with customers. It’s hard to stress how important connecting with your customers on a personal level is. There are at least 2 different people that I am friends with who make the majority of their store sales by posting on Twitter.
The trick is, they don’t just post advertisements all day. In fact, the largest portion of their tweets are interactions (goofing off) with their customers! They genuinely have fun, and you can see it in the tweets they send out.
Another important thing to understand about being social is that you aren’t the only one with a voice. Don’t let Twitter become a one-way communication channel. Respond to other people’s tweets, and ask questions. Twitter can be a conversation, or it can be a lecture, and people generally don’t like lectures.
You could be driving more sales by interacting with your customers, and that is the importance of being social. Not only can you drive more sales, but you can also learn more about what your customers want and need.
Twitter: Getting My Business Started
Now that you see the value that Twitter can add to your business, you should probably consider signing up. Signing up is easy, and no different than any other website out there. Just go to Twitter.com, click sign up, follow the prompts and you’ll be ready in no time.
There are some customizations you can do to spruce up your Twitter page, but we won’t cover that in this article. The most important part is to spend time building your profile. Fill out all of the applicable fields, as this can make it easier for people and customers to locate you.
In part 2, we are going to talk about some of the more intermediate parts of Twitter such as following people, getting followers, and using the different methods of communication such as retweeting, direct messaging, and more!