With around 200 million users sending out the same number of micro-blogs (approximately) every day, Twitter is certainly an effective channel for communication. However, this social networking site is not just for teenagers or celebrities tweeting about their daily activities. The power of Twitter as a marketing tool has been realized by many small business owners, who are using it to help their businesses grow. Considering that it costs very little to market a product on Twitter, small businesses should definitely use this tool for boosting their internet marketing activities.
How Twitter can help small businesses
Here are a few factors that emphasize why Twitter is important for small businesses and how they can benefit from it.
Connect to customers
Twitter has millions of users and more people are joining it every day, which makes it one of the best places to look for potential customers. Small businesses catering to a niche market or people from a certain location can use Twitter to connect with them. Not just that, businesses can also connect with their existing customers and interact with them to know more about how the business or brand is being perceived in the market.
Once you have followers on Twitter, you should try to build a positive relationship with them to grow your business. For this, you should make an effort to post updates and tweets that your customers find interesting and useful. Keep your direct marketing posts about a sale or promotion to a minimum, as too many marketing ads can hamper your efforts of building a positive image. Also, avoid sending out too many tweets in a particular span, as such an activity could be considered as spam.
Create brand awareness
Big brands need no introduction to get followers. But small business owners, who want more people to know about their product line or brand, should use Twitter to build their brand. People usually prefer to interact with a person than with a logo, unless it is well-known. So, if you own a small business that is still in its early stages, it is better to create a personal profile first and then create a profile for your company. Once you gain the trust of your followers, you could introduce them to your brand and create a profile to create awareness about it.
Marketing new products
The main reason that businesses should use Twitter is to connect with potential customers and market their products. Once you have created a profile for your company, you can use the Twitter account to introduce new products under that brand or product line. New products, especially those that your customers find interesting, gain more popularity through such social networking sites than they would through the traditional advertising channels.
News travels faster online than it does through radio or TV. You can use your Twitter account to make important announcements and share any news that your customers ought to know. While a TV or radio announcement can do the same job for you, Twitter is cheaper and the message will get carried to millions of people in little time.
Survey and feedback
Twitter can be a great tool for interacting with customers and market your goods. But it is an equally efficient tool for collecting customer feedback and their opinions about your company’s products and services. All you need to do is follow the conversations about your company products and you will get your answers without even asking. If you have anything specific to learn, you can do so by asking the customers directly or by conducting a poll through your account.
Manage online reputation
Besides gaining customer feedback, you can also use Twitter to learn and monitor what is being said about your products and company in general. Many people use Twitter to communicate what they do and how they feel about everything and anything. So there is every possibility that a dissatisfied customer or a competitor could be using the micro-blogging site to create negative publicity for your products. Keeping a tab on Twitter conversations involving your brand can help you tackle such situations and manage your online reputation in a professional manner.
Boost sales with special offers and discounts
Whether you are a big brand or a small company, free discount coupon or freebie always attract more people. One of the best ways to tell your customers about any special discounts and promotional offers being run by your company is to post a tweet about it. Giving away coupon codes and special deals to users following your profile can also be a great way to attract more customers and build an online reputation for your brand.
Keep an eye on competition
Using tools like Twitter Search can be a great way not just to track your reputation on Twitter, but also to keep a tab on your competitors’ activities and their reputation. Learning about your competitors can help you plan your marketing strategies and also avoid mistakes that could affect your business.
Twitter can be viral
Once you gain popularity on Twitter, you will be able to enjoy the benefit of your tweets going viral. A Twitter message can be retweeted any number of times, which means any useful or interesting message you post can be passed on to a number of Twitter users in very little time. This strategy when applied to your marketing or promotional tweets can bring in great results.
Promote your company blog
If you have a company blog as a part of your SEO strategies, the best way to promote it is through Twitter. If you feel that the information provided in the blog would be appreciated by your followers, just tweet the link to share the blog. This not only diverts traffic to your blog, but also makes your message viral if your customers find the content useful.
The best part about Twitter is that it is free, which makes it the ideal marketing solution for small businesses. In any case, care should taken to make sure that you use this powerful tool in the right manner, to avoid it from backfiring on your profits and also reputation.