I am often asked by small business owners and entrepreneurs if they should be using Twitter for their business. They seldom like my answer, mainly because I respond with a series of questions.
“What is your goal for using social media?”
“Who are you trying to reach?”
“How much time are you willing to spend each day on social media?”
“Do you want to use Twitter, or feel like you ‘should’ use Twitter?”
“Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone and make a commitment?”
Until these questions can be answered, Twitter and other social media sites would be a waste of time. Chances are, the business owner would get frustrated with the results because of unrealistic expectations, and give up, but not after spending countless hours online without a clear voice or message to promote about themselves or their business. Sometimes sending mixed signals is worse than being silent, and the same holds true when entering the world of social media.
For businesses that are ready to make the commitment to social media, Twitter is a great tool for quickly sharing information, gathering real-time feedback and establishing relationships and building a buzz.
A recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and Imoderate Technologies found 67 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to buy at least one brand since becoming a follower and 79 percent of followers are more likely to recommend at least one brand since becoming a follower.
The study also found Twitter followers want to be “Brand Insiders,” with “to receive discounts and promotions” and “to be the first to know information about the brand” as the primary reasons they follow a brand on Twitter.
Followers have shown their loyalty and willingness to spread the word about your business, so it makes sense they want to be rewarded for their support. Who doesn’t want to be considered an insider, receive preferential treatment or save money?
Here are some tips for using Twitter to
create a buzz for your business (or book):
1. Offer inside scoops, special, discounts, coupons and other incentives exclusively to you followers
2. Ask for help or ideas
3. Solicit ideas or solutions to challenges
4. Publish solutions, useful tips and fun facts
5. Comment and retweet to recognize and acknowledge followers
6. Answer tweets, but resist the urge to sell
7. Participate in conversations
8. Thank people for following
9. Join Twitter chats to be seen as a leader in your field and learn from other experts
Incorporating just a few of these tips will greatly increase the amount of buzz generated about your business. Just remember to be consistent and have patience. Most of all, be yourself and have fun.
(c) 2010 Kristina Shands and Authentic Communications
Kristina Shands is the owner of Authentic Communications, a communications and marketing firm specializing in telling stories that move people to action. Authentic Communications collaborates with small businesses and entrepreneurs to spark interest, create a buzz, build connections, increase loyalty and inspire action in order to attract new clients and increase visibility. Download a special report, “Six Questions to Develop Your Business Story (and set yourself apart from the crowd),” at http://authentic-communications.com. Contact Kristina at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter (@authenticbuzz).
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