When it’s used effectively, Twitter can be an amazing asset to your business. When it’s not, it can be confusing, overwhelming and extremely time-consuming.
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You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Speak to Your Target Market
Your next clients are looking for you! Does your Twitter profile reflect who they are and how they can reach you the quickest? Will your ideal clients view your Twitter posts as relevant to them? Those are questions for you to answer while you attract an audience of Twitter followers that will serve you the best.
2. Utilize the Roar of the Crowd
If you're ever stuck on formulating an idea, strategy or even if you're blocked when writing a blog post, Twitter is a great place to crowd source. Ask your followers a question--seek their advice. You'll find that your core followers are usually people who know the most about your business and will be the best resource.
3. Get in on the Q&A Conversation
With the emergence of Quora and StackExchange, the Q&A format & applications online are becoming the latest form of connecting and displaying one's "expert status"...For Twitter, I highly recommend using a new app called InboxQ, as it directly links to you questions concerning a specific campaign that you set.
For example: as a Fashion business, on Twitter, you'll be able to answer the most recent Questions concerning "fashion" using InboxQ in real time.
Get in on the Q&A movement!
4. Tweet 4 Fun & $$$$
Twitter should dovetail with your overall marketing plans and objectives. Too many people have crossed the line from business to personal conversations in their tweets and thus, have led to the denigration of the overall brand. Tweets for business should be a way to add value and should be another crucial touch point for the brand. Use it as a tool to point people towards more in depth articles, blogs & corporate videos. In short, make it a tool for success, not just another way to make noise.
5. Use Twitter to Build Community
Start a Tweetchat to create community. I conduct #Smallbizchat every Wed. for emerging small business owners. It's a great way to give Twitter love to other experts. Promoting someone's content is a great way to make a friend and build partnerships.
6. Get Some Feedback
You can crowd-source feedback when you're on Twitter, because your following is available to help support you as a business. And it's not entirely a selfless thing, since people love being heard, because they know that their voice will help you improve your business for their benefit.
7. Spotlight Events with Twitter
1. Create a hashtag for your event by adding # to letters such as #CRoth, and then invite your speakers and affiliates to use it when posting promo tweets.
2. Hold a TweetChat session for pre-event and post-event connection. When you are in the session, the followers of everyone in the room will see the posts to stimulate curiosity and draw them to see what's going on.
3. During the event, give out the hashtag, so those in the room can post tidbits to show the value they are getting.
To build business on Twitter and get people talking about your company, it is important to interact with them, whether through asking followers questions, giving them answers, providing cool or interesting links to other sites, giving tips, etc. If people are not interested to keep up to date with your Twitter feed, then they will not be inclined to follow you anywhere else. Therefore, engagement is key for businesses on Twitter.
The method still works for many things, but for Twitter usage for business, it is definitely true. With a 140 character count, simplicity is vital to overall success. Two key focus areas for business messages would be sharing information or creating a call to action. As with any marketing strategy, there should be a reason and rationale for what you do. So, start by offering something and then follow-up with a call to action. Repeat this process and KISS (Keep It Simple).
10. What You Share Defines You
Curate and share only the best content that relates to the segment of business that you want to be identified with. Always cite the person @caroljsroth who wrote the article, not the publication via unsolicited business advice, particularly if you can find that person's Twitter name. That single citation can lead to a new business relationship.
11. Tweet a Free Offer
I use Twitter to build my opt-in list. I have gained over 3,000 followers in a few months by giving away a free download of one of my career advice books.
Here is one of the tweets I use to capture subscriber names and emails...
Great career success advice from @BudBilanich. Download his free eBook, "Success Tweets," http://www.SuccessTweets.com
That's 119 characters -- makes it easy for people to retweet.
Twitter is powerful -- if you use it correctly.
12. Respect Your Audience
It's easy for individuals to abuse Twitter, posting the same link multiple times, changing just a few words.
Just because a message is short, doesn't mean I (the receiver) want to read it more than once.
Respect your audience. Make what you say meaningful. Say it just once. Treat your targets as smart, business professionals, rather than idiots. Followers will recognize the value of what you post, rather than skipping over it.
More is often More Chaos and Less Value.
13. Marketing in the Twitter-verse
Posting new business updates, news, and helpful tips as an expert resource promotes your core competencies and helps your company connect with a target audience. Be sure to include keywords or search terms when possible or relevant, and include a link to your firm's website, your online article or other pertinent item. In my marketing work for clients, I use Twitter to mention their wins, placements, news or talk about their new services or promotions, which also markets my business.
14. Blog, Tweet, Sale!
The power of Twitter, like Facebook, is reach, consistency and cross-pollination. You want to reach a big audience often and in as many contexts as possible. Thus, don't just Tweet, link Twitter to your blog, to Facebook and leverage the trifecta of social media. But it's important you don't blog - and ultimately use Twitter and Facebook - for just promotion. Use your blog to entertain and inspire. You can introduce your business well with just "theme nuggets" - relevant, short, fun insights.
15. Tweet Often, But With Purpose
Tweet often, at a minimum 3 times per week. Make the tweet relevant to your business and target audience. Make sure you include a link back to your website, marketing materials or article in your tweet. Don't just tweet to tweet. Tweet with purpose. No one cares where you are, what you are eating, or what you are doing after work. Post tweets with purpose - ones that share news about your industry, your products, and your customers.
It's astounding how many Twitter users fail to engage. I'm not referring to the frequency with which they post tweets. Activity is not the same thing as engagement. When using Twitter for business, recognize that social media and face-to-face communication are similar. If you were to pose a question during a face-to-face conversation, you wouldn't then walk away without acknowledging the reply. Twitter's no different. If you pose a question to your community and a follower responds, engage!
17. Welcome to the Cocktail Party
View twitter as a cocktail party. It's loud, fast and confusing to the newcomer. Watch the stream and find where you feel most comfortable jumping in. Build relationships through re-tweets of posts, sending a direct mail response and eventually, reaching out to someone to engage in a conversation. Like all other marketing approaches, it is about the know, like and trust factor, which is going to make a difference.
18. Join the Conversation
I've never been tremendously comfortable tooting my own horn, but as a solopreneur, promoting oneself is imperative. Twitter is a great tool that allows you to gain followers and leverage by joining the conversation. On Twitter, you can network, prove your credibility and improve business by simply being authentic.
19. Be Creatively Relevant
The big challenge is how to be deemed relevant, interesting, and worth being read (and ideally followed) by your target audience - and to do so in 140 characters or less. I believe that all of my tweets need to be something that my clients/potential clients will want to know. I assist them by tweeting about unusual business trends, new key insights, and macro forces that could have a big impact. Many people tweet about minutiae, much of it obvious. Be unusual, creative, ironic, and humorous.
20. Tweet-Meet Journalists
Journalists, for the most part, have expressed the desire not to be directly pitched story ideas via Twitter from unknown sources, but they are open to converse via Twitter. Thus, it becomes a great way to provide a tip, unrelated to your business, to a journalist to build your win-win relationship with them, and to get to know what they are writing about and working on via their tweets, so you can better approach them when the timing is right.
Paul Shrater of Minimus
21. Tweak Your Tweets
Twitter is one of the best SMM platforms, as it engages people to PARTICIPATE, increases VISIBILITY and TRAFFIC and enables effective SEO. Use it to drive folks to your articles, slideshares, and websites with tags and hash marks.
22. Leading the Business!
The best use of Twitter is simply that it can serve as the foundation of a total Social Network Strategy. Integrating Twitter with Facebook, Myspace, etc. gives you an efficient way to communicate with customers, prospective customers, suppliers and others and put forward a message that you might not otherwise be able to get out. It's the ultimate non-intrusive way to communicate with your market, and gain information about your competition!
Twitter is a fantastic way to meet and connect with an entirely different universe of colleagues, referral sources and potential clients. By posting pertinent and interesting information on a regular basis, you can quickly create a group of like-minded followers. The beauty is when you can take the relationship outside of Twitter and meet in person or via the phone, and turn them into active clients. It can be done!
24. Twitter: List, Boost & Engage
Drowning in the Twitter news feed? These tips facilitate a strategic focus.
Use Lists: Twitter lists curate tweets into meaningful sets. Named in complementary fashion, i.e. “Thought Leaders”, they can be an ego boost to those listed!
Stream: Stream lists in an integrator like Hootsuite, next to "Mentions". This creates a simple dashboard view of critical engagement touch-points.
Engage: Use 10 minutes daily to appreciate mentions, add value, and foster strategic connections.
25. Tweet Your Way to National PR!
Jimmy Fallon has a weekly segment where he gives a theme for a hashtag comment on Twitter - He gives the topic - you send in the tweet - then he reads & shows your tweet name on TV - great free publicity- but you have to be clever - topics are random - anywhere from worst pick up lines to new action movie quotes. If you're entry is creative enough - you'll get tons of publicity!
26. Use Twitter Searches Wisely
To get more from Twitter as a business tool, start by using TweetDeck, a free tool found at http://www.tweetdeck.com/
Then set up searches for your name, business name and niche (e.g. small business, for example).
Monitor your searches occasionally throughout the day. If a mention of your name or company name shows up, respond, thanking them for the mention.
If a mention of your niche emerges, educate and point to content that adds value to the conversation.
27. Direct Mail!
That is, Twitter is a good electronic version of direct mail. Using Twitter to push blog content, etc. makes good sense. Obviously, there is more to the use of Twitter than that, but for us, it all begins there. Using Twitter to drive traffic to your website is good for SEO too.
Monitoring what happens to these Tweets is next, then conversing with interested parties. This is akin to good follow up. Monitoring and conversing is often neglected in social media marketing - don't make that mistake.
28. Twitter Friends Influence All
The best way I use Twitter is to promote others. Because when you do that, they promote you, because they learn to trust that you're not just in this game for yourself. Promoting others looks like sharing a link on their blog, letting your followers know about a product they are doing, etc. When your friends see you Tweeting about their stuff, you'll be amazed at what they will do for you when you least expect it.
29. Researching Through Twitter
The best use for me has been a research tool. For example, it's a great place to find media contacts. By following and listing media contacts, I have a large list of direct connections to follow through on for radio/magazine/tv interviews on books or other services. This is great publicity and free! Determine what information you want, use the search to find connections, and then use the list feature to sort them for later. You have their web site and contact info and can contact them directly.
30. Three Proven Steps
My ONE best tip for using twitter for business is to provide tweet links with very catchy titles, especially since there is only limited space. Of course, you want the information that you are providing to be interesting, so that once people click on your link, it would cause them to want to follow you. Next, when someone does choose to follow you, immediately send them a "Thank You" message. Lastly, you want to try to establish a genuine relationship with those who follow you as much as you can.
31. I'm a Media Tweeter
Apparently 95% of tweets are never even read. With that in mind, I tweet to the media. I search them out and have them in mind. I figure that if my tweets get the attention of big media, then I have a chance at even greater exposure. Who is the media? The obvious big guys and major bloggers.
32. Strategic Lists & Links
Followers evaluate twitter streams by the quality of what we share and how we engage. A quick way to find and share the best content is to set up a list called 'leaders' or 'voices', where you add people that inspire you. Then, go to http://onlythelinks.com/ and sign up with your twitter account. You'll see only the links and it's quick to choose what to share or favorite. Also, set up a twitter feed of your favorites on your website to gain more followers via your website.
33. Tweet Knowledge, Not Deals
Twitter is for building relationships. Share tips, tricks, tools, factoids and other pieces of information. Become the "go to" person in your industry that is willing to help or answer questions. You may need to set up direct contact to answer some questions or deal with problems that take more than 140 characters. You can also have some fun. It doesn't need to be 'dry' information. Let some personality shine through. You are, after all, a live human being, not a computer.
34. InterTweepsonal Relationships
You gotta get to know your Tweeps, man. It's about connections, so...be yourself. Talk about what's happening around you, talk about new stuff, offer useful info & THEN, talk about how it all ties in with your biz. If you want anybody to care, you have to be multi-dimensional in order to stir up interest. It's like any real relationship, before you can "close the deal," you have to have “the nuts”...so, show us your cards and many Tweeps will hop on board.
35. Interaction Tool
Twitter has been proven to be a great tool for interacting with customers and employees. This is especially true for eCommerce businesses, where customers and visitors can ask questions, post comments, complain about a purchase, and seek service. It is almost like a Live Chat tool, except here it is public, can go viral, and has the potential of getting your business more visitors and exposure.
36. Information Mining
Twitter can be used effectively to search and watch what people are talking about in relation to your industry. Using Twitter as a resource for "buzz" discussions, you can learn what products and services to focus on and how to improve your business offerings.
One can also post survey and poll links in order to gather information from Twitter users on aspects of your industry and market. Go ahead and use the goldmine of information that Twitter provides.
I admit to not being the most creative twitter user, but I have amassed nearly 500 followers by tweeting my BLOG. As someone who is considered a thought leader, I make sure all of my thoughts go on my BLOG and that my BLOG is tweeted and re-tweeted to my fans. It works!
38. Twit Tag
The best tip I can give business owners is to hash tag your twitter announcements. Tagging your announcements, events etc. will make it easy for people to find you when they search for you or your business.
39. Condense Your Thoughts
Twitter provides the ideal platform to deliver short, catchy phrases that effectively deliver your message. By forcing you to be efficient in your word choices, there is no room for indecisiveness or weasel words. You simply declare your ideas and move on. Remember to include the key words that would direct a search to your site or posting.
40. Best Use of Twitter
I believe the best use of Twitter, which applies to all the social network websites, is absolute, relentless, consistent, quality messages and/or comments that will garner eyeballs and stimulate responses, which become potential customers. This is a very cost effective and creative marketing tool in branding oneself and/or his/her company. The bi-product of using twitter et al is SEO ranking, as the crawler picks up the Internet interaction.
41. Focus on What's Important!
When using Twitter for business, the original character limit makes you keep your message short, punchy and FOCUSED. While the new utilities and services that let you send longer tweets are fun and interesting, how many people actually click through to the longer message? Better to have the essential information included in the first 140 characters to ensure that the short attention span native to Twitter doesn't cause your market to miss the message you're trying to get across.
42. Learn Something New Each Day
While many businesses think of Twitter exclusively as a vehicle to help them spread their message, it’s often more valuable as an information feed that can help them stay on top of their industry. Use Twitter’s “list” function to group together a small number of thought leaders in your field, and you’ll have access to a steady stream of practical articles, advice and opinions. Try using Twitter with the daily goal of quickly learning something new that will help you do your job better.
43. Twitter Them into Your Chair!
We check our appointments in the mornings. If we have vacant appointment times, we twitter clients to take advantage of the appointment time, and offer them a discount to make it more enticing...
44. Twitter Devours Blogs
Having your blog feed directly to Twitter has a profound impact on awareness and business, especially when people retweet your posts. Retweeting implies you are someone of knowledge and experience and others trust and appreciate your insights. On average, a blog post will lead to a potential client and will end up as a project with us about 10% of the time. While 10% may not sound like much, few of our other marketing and advertising methods ever returned better than 1%.
45. TARGET LOCKED...
Twitter can best be leveraged to grow and garner more sales, network and improve business in general by offering expert excerpts, tantalizing tips and vivacious video clips consistently.
46. Building Trust
Promote others you want to connect with. But don't just RT them. Add your thoughts and/or comments. Always include a link to their site. Always be sure you include their twitter name (how will they know you did this great thing if you don't?). And never self promote yourself at the same time. If it doesn't work the first time, try again. Trust is built over time.
47. Online Appointment-Scheduling
One way service-based small businesses are leveraging their Twitter pages to generate more sales and keep their calendars full is by offering online appointment-scheduling right through a Twitter post. They can announce discounts, specials and promotions, then make it easy for customers to schedule right then and there, instead of having them navigate to their Web site or, worse yet, pick up the phone and call in an appointment. It's a benefit for both businesses and their customers.
48. Twitter for Lunch
As a home builder, we use Twitter to remind Realtors about lunch events held in different model homes. The Tweets are timed to arrive about two hours before the (free!) lunches. Realtors are always on the move and Tweets reach them wherever they are. We use them with our other electronic communications.
49. Be Authentic, Not Salesy
The key to Twitter in business is to remember that if you annoy people, they leave. Instead of pitching frequently, retweet interesting stuff, follow people of influence, announce events of interest, and participate in the conversation. And yes, pitch once every 20 tweets or so.
50. A ? Is Worth A Thousand Clicks
Sometimes it's not what you say, but the questions you ask that make the most lasting impression. Great coaches know how to ask powerful questions to motivate clients to action. Using Twitter to ask a question that interests your target audience is a great way to establish interest and enticement to get people to click over.
What do you need?
What are you interested in?
What do you want?
Where is your pain?
Seeking to understand before being understood is a winning Twitter formula!
You can best leverage Twitter to grow, garner more sales, network and improve business by being a help to others in your field. Use third-party monitoring tools to determine when a question about your industry is mentioned, and offer information that answers the other person's question, simply. Your generosity and expertise will be revealed in this type of communication, and it will be a tool to leverage when it comes to showing potential clients that you're easily accessible.
52. Twitter is Like Real Life
If you want to be effective on twitter treat it like real life. Be warm, friendly and sincere when networking. Leave your ego in the closet and relate equally to everyone. Real relationships are the only ones that grow your business and improve the quality of your life.
53. Auto Pilot = Automatic Clients
My best Twitter strategy is sending a DM to new followers. I thank them for following & offer a free download of my ebook (also includes an ezine subscription). They provide their email address for the download & when they receive the ebook, I offer them a complimentary Marketing Strategy Session. This Twitter strategy has added several hundred people to my list, with many of them becoming new coaching clients – all from a passive DM message!
54. Build an Infrastructure
Open a Twitter account and follow people of value to your life. Download the Tweetdeck software to your computer. Use it to efficiently manage your tweeting. Join the Facebook and Foursquare networks, as they are also tied to Twitter.
Think "better together." Do your tweeting just once-a-week with Socialoomph delayed tweets. Listen, your most valuable non-renewable resource is time. By using Twitter with its many tools and relationships, you can maximize your time online. Go for it!
55. Twitter: It's Not About You
A lot of businesses use Twitter like a bullhorn - posting tweets that promote the business, using caps to catch their audience’s eye and sending auto direct messages encouraging new followers to visit their websites. You’re doomed to Twitter failure using this approach.
If you’re looking to connect with your customers, talk to them – not at them. Watch their tweets – what are they talking about? Now, join the conversation.
56. Tweet to Your Target Media
Twitter is a powerful way to gain insights into the journalists that write about your industry. Follow them and then start interacting with their tweets, using @replies to ask questions, compliment their insights and share helpful links with them. Monitor their specific interests, so you can tailor your pitches to them. More than 90 percent of journalists still prefer getting email pitches, but Twitter can be a great way to build relationships with media and help land you big-time coverage.
57. Everybody Loves a Contest
Using Twitter effectively for business means first creating a Twitter following. Start by offering something of value in the form of a contest, giveaway, or promotion. For example, office-supply stores might offer a chance to win an iPad. Restaurants might promote a free appetizer to anyone willing to retweet the contest tweet (Note: Retweets can be tracked easily using a Twitter dashboard such as TweetDeck.) Once you've hooked them with your promo, be sure to keep the value coming!
58. Tweeting For Leads?
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Get on Twitter now! Those of us that have been in business for awhile and may be a bit older have to let loose. Twitter is the new leads club (remember those?). You no longer have to get dressed and go to those early meetings to tell people how great you are. Develop a username and let the universe know via Twitter that you are a leader. You will be able to network with people that you may never meet in person. Location is not a barrier. The world is yours via Twitter.
59. Implement a "Follow" Strategy
Identify several top tier influencers on Twitter. These should be prominent individuals in your industry who you want to engage with. Once you start following them, send a carefully crafted @ mention specific to each person. Address them by name and share why you’re keen to connect with them on Twitter or what interests you about their tweets. The key is to do a little bit at a time. Follow 1 or 2 people every few days and spread out each @ mention you send to ensure that you don’t appear spammy.
60. Tweet to Grow Your Brand
Use Twitter to build your personal brand as an expert and never to sell. To accomplish personal brand building, users must have a Twitter marketing plan. If you do not have a plan, create one now or stop using Twitter all together. Without a plan, failure is certain and way too much time will be spent never achieving ROI. The goal of a Twitter marketing plan should be to become an influencer, someone who people look to for expertise, leadership and eventually, for a business relationship.
61. It's About the Relationships
Use Twitter to meet others, including prominent people, in your industry and create RELATIONSHIPS with them. Interact with them because you have an honest interest, not because you want something from them. People often see Twitter as a chance to meet someone famous and ask them for something. Simply going in as a peer and offering quality conversation will get you a lot further. It may not directly increase your sales, but it will position you to create great partnerships and future leverage.
62. My 3-Step Twitter Strategy
My most successful Twitter strategy is a three-step process: 1) I set up a page on my blog where I offer my visitors an assortment of free special reports and e-courses they can get in exchange for subscribing to my list. 2) I tweet about those freebies to my Twitter followers. 3) In addition, I hire people from Fiverr.com who tweet about it to THEIR followers. This combination gives me a steady stream of targeted new subscribers who are interested in my products and services.
Do you know another tip that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to PEEPS AND COMPANY® and everyone that contributed to this article! To learn more about PEEPS AND COMPANY® and shop their online store, click here.