“Tweeting”, once an unknown concept is now considered normal speech used in day-to-day language mainly amongst teenagers in school but this term has now invaded the business world and is taking it by storm. Don’t assume that Twitter is only for kids that find the need to discuss their every move with their peers, talk about their love life, teachers and parents. This is a mistake the majority make as there is more to this valuable tool than meets the eye.
So what exactly is Twitter? For those who perhaps are unaware Twitter is a social networking and micro blogging service that allows you to send short messages of up to 140 characters to basically answer the question, “What are you doing?” to fellow Tweeters. This innovative idea can generate your company more publicity than the most well thought out marketing plan.
The latest estimate for Twitter users is around the 175 million mark although the company itself does not really reveal the exact numbers. It’s quick to say but look at it again and you’ll see how staggering that figure really is. Picture this; every time you post a message on Twitter, you have the possibility of reaching 175 million users and potential clients for your business. Realistically you will not literally be heard or “read” if you will by that amount of people but the marketing capabilities are mind-blowing.
By tweeting, other people in the same industry as you or an interest in the topics you discuss can “follow” your every tweet and if what you say is of particular value they can “retweet” this information themselves giving you access to all the people who are following them also.
This San Francisco based company is now available in almost every country but had modest beginnings. Twitter was born in 2006, invented by Jack Dorsey and a group of colleagues and has had unprecedented success since then with over 175 million users as previously discussed and more than 190 million tweets per day according to recent statistics. New features and resources are constantly being added to make the site more user-friendly and modern (uploading videos etc) to reach even more people.
Twitter if used correctly can enhance your business in ways that no other online resource can. We touched on it briefly in a past article entitled Market Strategy but here we will outline just a few innovating moves that can make your business visible to the world.
1.- EXPAND YOUR NETWORK: With Twitter you can establish customer relations by means of real-time information sharing. You can also join groups relating to your business field which gives you access to a wealth of information, new ideas and the possibility of gaining partners, investors and the like. How many influential people in your industry also have a Twitter account? You can search them out and establish contact with them, affording you amazing opportunities to further grow your business.
2.- BOOSTING YOUR WEBSITE: You can consider Twitter as an extension to your company website with the ability to literally drive more traffic directly to you by including links to your site or blog within your tweets. Tweeting keyword rich phrases can enhance search-engine optimization making your business easier to find on the Internet due to higher ranking. Those who find your tweets of interest are more likely to go to your website offering yet another golden opportunity to gain a new client.
3.- ESTABLISH A BRAND: You can take advantage of Twitter by tweeting messages that make you seem approachable. You have your website for the more serious side of your business but Twitter is more sociable in the sense you are in direct contact with real people in real-time and the nature of tweets are generally less formal than statements you would make elsewhere drawing yet more people in.
4.- POSITIVE PUBLICITY: If your company holds workshops, virtual meetings or seminars, you can inform people of the topics to be discussed and the dates in which the event will be held. You can also deliver press releases and post company news. Twitter is a great way to advise people of any event you have but you can also use it to share tips with others who may be starting out in your area of expertise which will inevitably attract a lot of attention.
5.- PROMOTIONS AND SPECIAL OFFERS: Depending on the type of business you have, it may be beneficial to post any promotions you may be offering at any particular time. It is a new way of generating interest, attracting newcomers and ensuring repeat business.
6.- KEEP CLOSE TABS ON YOUR COMPETITION: Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer! Never has it been so easy to know what is occurring in your competitor’s camp. You can catch up on their tweets, analyze their strategies and results, product ideas and use them for your own gain. It is also a practical way in which you can foresee possible future issues within your industry and be aware of what others really think of your business.
As you can see, there are numerous ways in which you can make Twitter work for you but you are probably wondering if well known brands are doing the same. There are many familiar names that have jumped on the bandwagon and are active Twitter users as you will note in the following list:
- Dell computers
- Samsung mobiles
- Marriot International Hotels and Resorts
- Chicago Bulls
- Burger King
This is just an example of how even top international brands feel the need to use Twitter to create publicity and marketing opportunities, how much more so in your case.
Even though Twitter is technically free, it does take much time and effort to maintain your account as you must tweet regularly otherwise you will only end up losing the followers you worked so hard to in the first place. It doesn’t replace other marketing strategies you already make use of, rather it enhances them as an alternative campaign.
Aside from the professional benefits there is also a personal or social element to Twitter as it promotes interaction with others of similar interests, allows you to voice your modest opinion on social causes, current events and follow people or celebrities that appeal to you so whether your interest in Twitter is for work or play, you have stumbled across a contemporary way in which to reach countless people and have an impact in the world, 140 characters at a time of course…