Guest Blog Post: Stephanie Wagner is a freelance writer who covers small business, marketing and branding. She is not connected to Roominate Marketing or Deluxe for Business, but does recommend its business services to those seeking help with online marketing.
Six years ago, the world had no idea that posting 140 text-based posts, known as “tweets”, would change the world. This digital phenomenon, known as Twitter, has greatly improved the way business is carried out. Twitter is a catalyst for boosting bottom lines and encouraging consumer engagement. Business professionals, in particular, are some of the main beneficiaries of Twitter.
If your business decides to use Twitter as part of its communications plan, you should be measuring your usage. Look into analytics and measurement tools such as “The Archivist”, Portwiture, MentionMap, Trendistic, etc. These tools allow your company to see how Twitter is benefiting your business.
Twitter not only facilitates real-time businesses-to-consumer communication, but it also facilitates business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer communication. Twitter has transformed the platform of business communication.
The following list pinpoints the top ten reasons to include microblogging applications, such as Twitter in your business communications strategy.
- Converse. Twitter encourages open dialogue, therefore it’s the perfect opportunity for open discussion and Q&A sessions. If your audience needs to know information Johnny on the spot, you should be responding to their inquiries just as fast. Twitter’s direct messaging feature allows you to further connect with your followers by directly messaging them. Following the conversation, ask your consumers/followers how they think your business is doing, how well do they serve their individual needs and if anything could be done different, what would it be?
- Scope the competition. Follow other organizations within your industry and see how your strategies and efforts compare, contrast and share similarities with them. It could possibly lead to a joint venture or keep you abreast of what they’re doing in order to stay two steps ahead.
- Inform. All business tweets should be strategic. Draw in consumers by disclosing useful information such as facts or anything that they can benefit from, including savings. Also, if your business has a blog, invite your followers to visit and extend the connection by your posts, which will encourage “retweets” or RT for even more exposure.
- Share. Let your followers see that there’s humility in your business. Share photos, videos and other activities your business has participated in and encourage your readers to attend your next function.
- Promote. Promote yourself. Let the world know what your business is doing. When sharing certain information with the public, there’s a good chance your audience will feel involved. When your audience feels involved, it results in a call to action. A consumer call to action is a grand opportunity to promote, market, share, inform, and publicize what you want them to know about your company. Whether you’re recruiting new hires, promoting a new campaign, introducing a new venture, etc., promote it!
- Listen, observe. Use third party services such as “Twitter Search” to see who’s mentioning your company and join the conversation! As long as you’re being mentioned, you’re relevant.
- Use it because it's free.
- Communicate internally. Redirect your focus from external to internal. Using Twitter will give you flexibility in the way you engage with employees. Twitter can be a tool utilized to organize meetups (tweetups), create opinion polls, and make announcements. Allow employees to use Twitter as a forum, communicating needs, ideas, creativity or anything constructive that will increase productivity and profits constructively.
- Serve your customers. Twitter can augment customer relations. Helping those who have problems or questions of all sorts about your company, products and/or services can be an amazing way to generate new leads. Solving customer problems via Twitter also builds goodwill for your brand, reduces costs and improves brand image.
- Generate traffic. Give people a reason to visit your website when maybe they weren't thinking of it. Announce on Twitter when you have new content or an offer. If it's compelling enough they may re-tweet it. Twitter is a quick way to enter people's consciousness and it can happen at any time of the day with the increased usage of smartphones and digital mobile devices.