How to Use Twitter to Market Your Business

April 29, 2011

In just a few years, Twitter has profoundly altered the way people communicate and share information. There are over 250 million people using Twitter, and that number continues to climb every month.
In 140 characters or less, people share instant news about what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis. As a result, Twitter offers businesses a tremendous marketing resource.
If you can harness the power of Twitter, you can dramatically increase your online exposure to get found by potential customers looking for your products or services.

But how should you use Twitter for your business?

Remember that using Twitter is all about creating leads and sales for your business. The way this works is you engage with people on a personal and casual level and become part of an engaging online community. Once you’ve used Twitter to alert more people of who you are, you want to try and get these people to learn about your business and consider becoming your customer. It’s a sophisticated process that takes a bit of time and patience. Done right, though, it can really grow your business.
Here are the best ways to use Twitter to market yourself.

1. When you sign up for an account, create a personal handle. Ideally, you don’t want to use your company’s name. The more you can personalize your Twitter account, the more you’ll ingratiate yourself with the online community. This is all about brand promotion. Marketing your business on Twitter is all about boosting your own profile, so you want to make sure people think of your business when they read your tweets. Social media is all about promoting your own personal brand as an extension of your business.

2. Tweet early and often. Social media moves fast. To communicate with potential customers, you need to interact with the online community each and every day. So try and tweet often. On the other hand, tweeting 40 times a day will annoy people and lose you followers. Tweet 1 to 3 times a day, no more.

3. Cultivate a fun and casual Twitter profile. Sure, you want to promote your company and give people news and information about your business. But the key to social media is the soft sell. So you want to grow your Twitter audience. And the key to that is interacting with the Twitter community in an irreverent and fun way. Share jokes, thoughts and news from around the web that you think would interest your followers. Don’t only tweet about your business!

4. Share, don’t inundate. Twitter is all about having a conversation. So you should try and genuinely interact with your followers and their followers.

5. Check your @mentions and retweets (RTs)! The more people are retweeting what you write and responding you with @mentions, the better. This means you’re stimulating conversation and boosting your company’s profile. But you need to encourage participation by responding to people who are interacting with you.

6. Follow lots of people! Except for celebrities, most people you follow on Twitter will follow you back. That’s the culture. So if you want to get more followers, you should follow lots of people. Besides, you want to follow dynamic Twitterers so you’re part of the Twitter community in a more powerful way. Also, search for people who have similar interests or are in a similar industry and follow them.

7. Use hashtags! The hashtag is the # sign. On Twitter, this is used as a search device. Whenever you’re using a word that you think would get a lot of traffic, but a hashtag in front of it and then write the word (with NO space between the hashtag and the word!). This indexes your tweets by the search keyword. It’s a great way to drive more traffic to your Twitter account.

8. Integrate Twitter with your company website and other social media sites. Once you’ve started to build a following on Twitter, you really want to promote your business. This means that you want to send tweets that link back to your company website and Facebook page.

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