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Use Twitter the right way to promote your business

Twitter is such a great tool to help businesses promote themselves and interact with their customers. My problem with Twitter is that people are not using it right. A lot of people I speak to about how to promote their business online think twitter requires constant work, 100s or 1000s of followers and a brain full of technical or secret SEO techniques.

The truth of how useful and easy it is to use Twitter is amazing. If you know how to send a Tweet and how to do a Search on twitter then you are all set. There are 3 main areas to twitter. Tweeting, Followers & Searching.

Tweeting – Send the right message

Sending a tweet or message is very quick and straight forward. The big mistake so many businesses make when tweeting is they tell people how great their company is, what a great special offer they have on this week or something else about themselves with a link back to their site. This kind of self centered stuff works fine in a shop with customers who come in the door as they walked in with intention to buy something and are happy to get this info about your deals.

The difference with twitter is that most people who are following you may not actually be looking for what you sell today. They don’t want to know every single hour what new offer you have on. They may want to do business someday though. This is why twitter is very useful for keeping you in peoples minds.

Keep you or your business in their minds in a good way rather than a “not this fella with all his sales jargon again” way. You need to tweet about things which are relevant to the people following you.

Add extra value to what you do. If you are going to do special offers or discounts give your twitter followers an exclusive offer. Let them know it is just for them.
Show you’re an expert in your field. Comment about news relating to your industry. Put up links to relevant blogs or information on the net which may be of interest and can explain more about what you do. It can be much more powerful linking to someones else’s site who talks about how useful your product or service is rather than you telling them how good you are.
Give your customers something more. Strike deals or send links to offers from complimentary services rather than just your own. I for example have deals in place with printing companies in Dublin who will give my clients exclusive discounts. I design a lot of print work for my clients so it goes without saying that they will need it printed. I have done the leg work meeting these printers, building relationships, getting good deals. All this benefits my customers and saves them time and money.
Reply to people. If someone comments on something you said on twitter you should reply whether it is good or bad. People need to know there is someone on the other end listening to them.

Followers – Connect with people who will help your business grow

Some people look at social media as a quest to get as many followers as you can. They want to play the law of averages game. The thinking is if you build up 10,000 followers and send them a message selling something the chances are a few of them may be interested enough to look. I hate this attitude as it is the exact same as junk mail in the door.

I think a better approach is to build up a list of people who are interested in your industry or may have connections who could be. I get added by people on twitter everyday. The first thing I do is look at how many people they are following, then how many tweets they have put out. If they are following 3000 people but have only 10 tweets then it is obvious they are just out to build up lists of people to spam. If they are following 500 people and have 1000 tweets then they look like someone who actually wants to connect online.

Searching – Find people looking to do business

People forget how powerful search is in twitter. The thing about tweeting is it only goes out to the people already following you. So if you have 100 people following you and you send a message out then only these 100 people will see it. With search you can search every single user on twitter and find out who is saying what.

For example I may do a search for “Looking for Web Designer in Dublin”. This shows me anyone (not just my followers) who has tweeted this on twitter recently. I can then send that person a message saying I am a web designer based in Dublin and give them a link to my site. They should be quiet happy to get my message as this was what they were looking for when they tweeted. This is like sending a flyer through only the doors of people actually looking for your service or product.

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