While small business owners can easily find and sign up for social media accounts, they often struggle with what kind of messages to post once they are there. This is particularly challenging with Twitter since Tweets are limited to 140 characters. Finding the right ways to use the power and reach of social media ensures that business owners don’t miss out on a potentially profitable marketing channel.
There are a number of simple tips you can use to get started and build a following on Twitter:
- Ask questions. This is the easiest and most obvious way to begin engaging customers. This shows followers that their opinions are valued and can elicit more than a one-word response. For example, you can ask for recommendations on others to follow in the industry, product ideas, or anything else relevant to your business. Some business owners choose to occasionally ask non-business related questions just to keep things fresh and insert a bit of personality. Asking questions is a trial-and-error process, but you will quickly learn what works best for you.
- Share news and stories. Twitter is great for sharing information that businesses may think is valuable to customers, whether or not it’s directly related to the company. This is also one of the easiest ways to use Twitter and can help to start conversations and attract new followers. Eventually followers will begin to view the business as a valuable source of quality content, and a beneficial contributor to their Twitter stream.
- Promote links. You can also post links to your own site. Posting links to new blog posts or current promotions you are running is a great way to drive traffic to your company’s website and build interest among customers. This type of promotion should be balanced with other types of Tweets, since promotions can quickly cause followers to “unfollow” if overdone.
- Join conversations. There are millions of conversations going on all the time on Twitter. You should join in and begin to form relationships with other users. This can help make the impression that your business is part of and interested in the larger community.
- Retweeting. While you may not have much to say at certain times, retweeting valuable information from quality sources within an industry is recommended. It helps to keep a business’s account active, and continue the flow of quality content to its followers.
These are just a few ways small businesses can jumpstart their Twitter presence by engaging followers. Carefully integrating these techniques into your Tweets will help your business grow solid followings that can lead to improved sales and customer relationships.
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