Tips for Using Twitter with Your Small Business

As many as 288 million people are actively doing it right now—and some of them are your customers. Just what are they doing? They’re checking Twitter to find out what’s happening. Should you be on it too? 83% of businesses that use it now say you should. Here are some tips to help you decide if Twitter is right for your small business and how to get started if it is.

Is It Right For Your Small Business?

Today’s consumers are changing the way they buy. Rather than being “sold” something, they’re looking for information first. Social media sites, like Twitter, are one way they get it.

Businesses can get involved by providing helpful information. For example, a local hardware store might post a video on how to repair a leaky faucet. Consumers who find it useful engage with the business. They come to regard it as a trusted expert. So when they’re ready to buy, it’s that business that comes to mind first.

Here are some questions to help you determine if Twitter is right for your business:

  • Are your customers using it? Twitter tends to attract those under 50, college educated and household incomes of $50,000 or more. Nearly 40 percent of users are in suburban and rural areas.
  • How will you use it? Some businesses use Twitter to listen to what customers are saying about their company. In fact, many use it to reply to customer service issues. They can also learn more about what competitors are doing. Others use it to drive awareness and build their network.
  • Can you devote time to it? Getting set up on Twitter is fairly easy. But you’ll want to devote enough time to get the full benefit from it. Twitter is real-time communication so you’ll want to monitor it often and respond quickly. If you want to push information out, you’ll need to plan how often and which topics you want to include.

Getting Started

Assuming Twitter is a good match for your business, here are two resources to help you get started:

  • Start with the Checklist – Download Twitter’s checklist. It will help you create a profile and give your customers a reason to follow your account. You’ll also learn about tools like “hashtags” that will help others discover you.
  • Learn the Lingo – Twitter has a language all its own. For example, there are tweets, retweets, mentions and favorites. Here’s a list of five common terms that form the building blocks of Twitter.

Twitter can be a great tool for your small business. It taps into how today’s consumers buy products and services. Consider whether it’s right for you and then get started by downloading Twitter’s helpful checklist.

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