By: Andrea Parker
on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
While Twitter has become an integral part of any small business’ social media strategy, one has to be sure it is being used correctly. Is you brand getting positive exposure while engaging potential customers? Are you sending out the right kinds of tweets? Are you responding correctly to those who aren’t your biggest fans?
Follow the five steps below to optimize your use on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms and find yourself with more followers.
1. Become Likeable Without Overdoing It
While those who love your small business want to hear your thoughts on a variety of topics, you have to be aware that your small business is not one dimensional. This means that you can benefit from sharing the thoughts of others by retweeting. Retweeting gives you an opportunity to express your own opinion but through the words of another in 140 characters or less. It also gives your business a little more personality by showing the Twittersphere what you find enjoyable, engaging, funny and relative.
2. Make It a Two-Way Conversation
No one ever enjoys being “talked at.” This means you need to have a little back-and-forth between your followers and Twitter provides the opportunity to interact by allowing you to give @-replies. Say one of your followers has given your company a shout out on Twitter. You want to engage with that follower by giving them a public @-reply that thanks him or her for their praise or engages them in a whole new conversation. This makes a follower feel like your company cares when you acknowledge them and it shows others that you aren’t unreachable.
3. Respond to Your Critics
Haters exist and their comments are the bane of every small business owner – especially on a platform as public as Twitter. One needs to carefully approach a detractor, despite a desire to turn the other way, because even these people require recognition. If someone has a bone to pick with your company, it’s best to hear them out because customer feedback is the foundation of improvement. It is also important to @-reply to publicly show that your business is concerned with the customer experience and the way your company affects them, as well as show other followers that your company truly does care.
4. Share an Exclusive Just for Followers
A person gets used to hearing the same marketing message over and over, despite the way it is packaged, so it’s nice to change it up every once in a while and hear some personal insight, an anecdote about a business, or an exclusive picture. Fans and followers LOVE this insider information! By sharing with them something out of the ordinary, like a preview of a new product, followers feel as though they’re getting exclusive access to what makes your small business unique. If your tweet is something particularly intriguing, you raise the possibility of retweets and a whole host of new followers. Lead generation at its finest, thanks to that little nugget of information your small business shared!
5. Be Modest and Praise Others
Your small business would not have seen some measurable amount of success (all relative!) without the support of others and inspiration from a variety of brands, people and places. Give a nod to those people and things through Twitter. Give shout outs, be thankful, be inspiring yourself. No one wants to read a string of self-promotional tweets every time they open their Twitter feed, so pepper your tweets with a variety of messages, whether they be gracious, humorous or motivating. Nothing is more endearing to a consumer than seeing a business genuinely appreciate customers, as well as the process it took to get there; Tweet thanks with gusto!