Research shows that social sites are being used to find local businesses. Learn five
twitter tips that can help you build your small business and find those potential
eMarketer recently reported that many of the smallest
businesses in the United States don't believe that their customers can be marketed to on
social networking sites.
Yet research also shows that social sites are being used to
find local businesses, especially by younger customers.
So how should a small business approach Twitter? These are
my top tips:
1. Do Use It For Research, Not Just Marketing You're
probably already using Google News Alerts to keep up with the latest on your clients and
areas of expertise (if you're not, you should be!)
Twitter is great for tapping into the chatter on these
things too. Apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite allow you to set up search columns which
automatically display the most recent tweets on any subject of your choice. See the latest
buzz, and keep an eye on the competition!
2. Do Time Your Tweets 92% of retweets occur within the
first hour. So the time at which your tweets go out is pretty important.
Think about the "peak viewing time" of your
target audience(s) - are they business people or busy moms? Which time zones are they in?
Use an application such as Hootsuite to send out your
pre-written tweets at optimal times. You can send out the same tweet more than once to hit
different markets, but don't continuously recycle the same message - you'll get flagged
3. Do Track Your Results Any tweet that you want to bring
traffic to your website, generate sales or leads, etc. must contain a clickable link (too
many folks forget to include this call to action and lose out on opportunities).
It's really important to track what you're doing to
evaluate results - you want to know what types of tweets work for you, and what times of
day are best to send them.
So, you also want to keep an eye on your Web traffic
reports to evaluate your Twitter success. Do visitors from Twitter mostly leave your site
immediately, or do they produce the outcomes that you want?
Since you're restricted to 140 characters, using a free URL
shortening service like Bit.ly is very helpful - and it also gives you automatic
click-through tracking for every link.
And Two Don'ts:
4. Don't Be Seduced By Big Numbers It's a wonderful ego
boost to have hundreds or thousands of followers. In fact, Peter Shankman recently
referred to this as "the new penis envy!"
But bear in mind that lots of people follow you because
they expect you to follow them back as the accepted convention. So they don't necessarily
care that much about what you write . . .
Notice who does respond or retweet your postings and
celebrate your loyal followers. Just remember that quantity doesn't guarantee quality on
5. Don't Have Unrealistic Expectations A recent survey
found that over 70% of tweets get no response at all, and an average of only 6% are
Think about it - how many people are you following? How
many tweets do you actively read every day, let alone click on any links, retweet or reply
. . .
Of course, it only takes one response that's exactly the
right one to make a huge impact on your business.
But don't expect every tweet that you send to be life (or
© 2010, Philippa Gamse.