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How to use Twitter to grow your small business

If you’re not already using Twitter to promote and grow your business, it’s a safe bet your competitors are. Fortunately, entering the world of Twitter is easy. Even if you fear giving up some of your precious time, you’ll see the benefits and the attention it can bring to your business. With Twitter you can: Maintain a constant stream of communication with your followers Direct questions to your target audience Promote special offers, a new product launch, or share news relating to your business Generate leads and convert prospects Give your business a human feel Any of these activities alone provide sufficient reason to explore Twitter opportunities. The possible combination of benefits means you shouldn’t wait any longer to get on board.
Getting started
How do you want your brand defined on Twitter? Some businesses direct their efforts at a specific niche, while others aim for a broader target audience. The tone of your tweets can be straightforward and informative, a little off-the-wall, or outright funny-it all depends on how you want people to think about you and your brand. If your goal is to promote a product or service, plan to spend time establishing credibility by tweeting great content and becoming engaged with your followers. Some businesses prefer to take a more passive role, using Twitter to keep abreast of industry trends and listening in on changes in customer preference. This option would require less activity on your part, though for Twitter to be effective, you must still carve out a distinctive presence. Your Twitter handle is how people will know you. It’s the name they’ll use when they tag you in their tweets-so choose a name that’s a good fit with your business. The same goes for the picture you select for your profile page (which also appears alongside your tweets). Make it warm and personable, reflecting the human side of your business. The Google Keyword Planner can help identify keywords of most relevance to your market or industry. These are words and phrases to include in your tweets, thus entering into the flow of Twitter traffic with the greatest potential benefit to your business. Another tip: Use keywords to optimize your profile, making it easy for others to find you. Hashtags are a useful tool for seeking specific key words and getting in on trending conversations. Create a hashtag by placing # before a word and employ them strategically to promote forthcoming webinars or online events. Still looking for more answers on social media? Visit our Bop Library for free resources on social media, including benefits, strategy and new features. Twitter isn’t just for celebrities and teenagers. It’s become an effective tool for promoting and growing a small business-some might say an essential tool. Here are more tips on making Twitter work for you.
Create content that matters
After taking care of the preliminaries, it’s time to think about what you want to say in your Twitter posts. Great content informs and entertains. It answers questions, comments on developments in the marketplace and keeps a trending topic going-all in messages of 140 characters or less. (In fact, tweets are best left limited to roughly 100 characters, with space left over for links and hashtags and so others can easily retweet your posts.) People quickly scan Twitter posts, so the headline you create must grab attention. Craft a headline that relates to your business, but also promises value to others. For example, if you’re in the house-painting business, tweet “5 Reasons to Paint Your House in the Summer,” with a link to a blog post or article either on your own website or elsewhere. “How to” titles are also very popular. Use your Twitter feed to ask a question, sponsor a contest, initiate a hashtagged discussion thread. Tweeting news about your business is fine, but mostly in small doses. The broader strategy should be to establish your presence as an industry leader and as a sharing, enthusiastic member of the Twitter community. And when you come upon great content from others, do your followers a favor and retweet it. Develop a schedule
Like anything else online, it’s easy to get sucked into spending long periods of time writing and following others on Twitter. For the activity to be time- and cost-effective, test different times and days until you find a schedule for reading and writing tweets that works best for you. Whatever schedule you choose, you must commit to active participations-if not every day, then as often as possible. Going days or even weeks without posting means losing touch with your followers.
Build your community
Rather than click “Follow” on every tweet you see, adopt a strategy aligned with your Twitter strategy. Make a point of following people who influence your industry, who employ your targeted keywords, as well as customers and professional colleagues. It’s considered good etiquette to follow someone who’s chosen to follow you, but it’s not mandatory. You can also click “Favorite” on someone’s tweet, which frequently means they’ll choose to follow you. For small businesses, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to followers.
Promote your presence
Include your Twitter handle on your website, in your email signature, and in your marketing materials. It’s also a good idea to re-post your tweets elsewhere online (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Some businesses opt to create a dedicated landing page for their tweets as a way to snag new lead information.
Track your activity
With tools like Google Analytics or TweetReach, you can track and measure activity on Twitter. This helps you refine your efforts, based on the types of communications that prove to be most effective, and when they’re sent. The social media management dashboard Hootsuite enables you to monitor tweets using particular keywords and phrases-another valuable resource for sifting through the vast jungle of tweets for the information of most interest to you. Looking for Part 1? Visit our Bop Blog for Twitter basics. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeremy_Durant