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How can small businesses use Twitter?

Twitter can be a powerful way for small businesses to connect with their target audiences, and reach both established and new potential customers.

It’s easy for business owners to dismiss Twitter as just another social network, but it has the potential to allow smaller businesses to compete with bigger brands.

In today’s article, we’ll look at some ways Twitter can be used to help your small business grow and what you can do to harness its power to strengthen your brand.

1. Build relationships with your followers

Social media is meant to be just that, social, but too many brands use it in ‘broadcast mode’ by sending out tweets but never responding or interacting with other users.

Just 1% of brands engage with influencers and advocates on social media. But if you take the time to like, retweet and reply to relevant tweets and engage with users, you’ll see that you can use Twitter to promote the positive feelings about your brand, improve customer satisfaction and encourage purchases.

85% of consumers say they feel more connected with a brand after following them on social media. So, a friendly response to your followers can go a long way to create a human connection.

2. Use relevant hashtags

When you include a hashtag in front of a word in a tweet it turns into a hyperlink that can take you to a list of all the other tweets using that hashtag on the same topic.

Using the right (and relevant) hashtags can put your business in front of a large audience, which could help increase your followers and raise brand awareness.

A good example is tweeting during a popular TV show related to your business, and is known in popular parlance as a ‘tweetathon’. It involves sitting in front of the television and tweeting your thoughts and comments on what’s happening during the programme using the official hashtag for the show.

Hashtags can be used to contribute to conversations on everything from sporting events to news stories. The important things to remember are to keep relevant to your business and treat Twitter the same as a real-life conversation by interacting with people.

3. Use lists to follow audiences

Twitter can be used to research what your target audience is talking about on the social platform as well as offering a way to build relationships with relevant influencers.

If you’re following lots of people on Twitter it can be difficult to keep on top of the sheer number of tweets, and to work out which demographics are saying what. This is where lists come in, so you can sort people you follow to make sense of what different groups of people are saying.

For example, a restaurant could use one list for people in the local area and another for food bloggers and critics or top chefs.

This will also help you pick out great tweets that you could retweet or even reply to, all helping to grow relationships with those whose attention you want to attract.

4. Connect with influencers

Twitter can be a great platform to build relationships with bloggers, celebrities and other influencers, who could put your brand in front of their large and established follower base.

Some brands send a free product to influencers in return for a review or mention, so perhaps you could investigate doing this too. Top tip – take the time to get to know them so they become familiar with your brand rather than simply approaching them cold about working with you straight away.

5. Drive traffic to your website

Twitter is also a great way to encourage people to visit your website. So, if you’ve just launched a new product tell your followers with a link to the product page on your website.

Or, if you’ve written a blog, make sure you share the link with your Twitter followers. Just remember to make your introductory snippet of text as enticing as possible to catch your followers interest and encourage them to click through to your website.

6. Monitor mentions of your brand

You can find out what people are saying about your brand and if they are mentioning your Twitter handle by using the search function.

You can then jump into conversations and thank people who are saying positive things about your brand. Or, you can quickly address any complaints or questions people are asking.

The search function can also be used to find and monitor tweets from and about your competitors, or more generically about similar products or services, so you can contribute to these conversations.  

7. Tweet what people would like to share   

To grow your followers and raise brand awareness, you’ll need to tweet things that people want to share.

Every time someone retweets one of your posts, it gets shown to all their followers, so you can see how this could increase your reach exponentially. Great images, a touch of humour and inspiring posts are all good at encouraging retweets and likes, so try and find relevant topics and use the right hashtags to expand your reach even further.

8. Offer exclusive discounts and competitions

Although Twitter shouldn’t solely be used as a sales tool, you can use it to offer exclusive offers and competitions to your followers so they feel they’re getting something extra from you.

You could offer a special Twitter discount code which can be used when they visit you instore or order your product online.

Many brands give away products in return for retweets, followers and likes with competitions working well to gain more followers and get some immediate publicity.

9. Move the conversation offline

Another way of connecting with local followers is to organise special offline events, often known as ‘tweetups’. This could be a networking event, product launch or an evening masterclass – you name it. A special hashtag for the event can even be created to encourage attendees to tweet about it.

The idea behind this is to encourage local people to talk about your business to help raise brand awareness and strengthen relationships with followers and customers.

Hopefully you now have some great ideas on how you can use Twitter to help raise your brand profile. The more you put into the social platform, the more you’ll get out of it – so start by setting aside some time to spend on Twitter and start jumping into a few conversations.

This post was written by Jayne Kendall, Product Marketing Manager for www.ourhomeonline.wales - powered by Nominet who also run www.theukdomain.uk.



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