Put your best tweet forward! Twitter is an excellent source for getting your message out to a broad audience, using very focused content. The functionality available with the hashtag# allows you to gain momentum for your marketing message, even if you do not have a large following. the key to successful Twitter engagement is the content you offer.
Here’s a small business success story to get you started and then we share 15 more creative ways.
This small business success story highlights a community bookstore. The owner used Twitter to drive demand to their store. The takeaway from this example is to use creative content and leverage it with the power of community and the viral capacity of Twitter.
15 more ways to use Twitter with your business.
- Incorporate hashtags in your updates but limit your usage to just one. With Twitter, only your followers see your tweets. By including a hashtag (#), your tweet is categorized by the word or phrase you hastagged and will result in the searches for that word or phrase. For example, if you are a clothing designer and you just launched a new evening gown, you might announce it on Twitter and use #eveninggown (no spaces) in your tweet, so that others searching for information on an evening gown will see your tweet.
- Use Twitter to recognize your company’s business partners. Give a shout out to your partners an include the hashtag or their Twitter ID, so that their followers also see your recognition.
- In your Tweets, include links to useful information. Links should not just be about your product or service, but rather included in your blog, your website, or on another social media channel. Your tweet also should explain why it would be of interest to your audience. Ex: A home insurance company may tweet about home safety precautions in advance of a hurricane and link to their website for a more detailed article.
- We don’t recommend using any synchronizing programs where a tweet automatically posts to your Facebook or other social media channels too. Social media is personal and for us, that makes it extremely impersonal.
- Use the retweet function with Twitter. It demonstrates your respect for others’ content and allows you to give credit for the information to the rightful author. Plus, it helps you build relationships with your audience while building your reputation as a respectable marketer.
- Twitter is an excellent tool for showcasing an event. Ask guests to check in using their Twitter account and give them a #hashtag word to tweet about during the event. Here’s a clever example: During your event hold prize drawings and ask the audience to tweet about the winners using the hashtag word you designated. At the end of the event select one lucky Twitter follower to win a prize. Many Twitter followers review the information that is trending on Twitter. If your business is a hot topic, you are drawing some new eyes to your business. Twitter also offers widgets to help with Twitter streaming during the event.
- Build your Twitter following by offering exclusive promotions. This is another reason not to use the synchronizing platforms. Twitter is an excellent source for small businesses that have a storefront. For example, a coffee shop owner can offer a special at any given time when business is slow and send it out to their Twitter followers. This gives users a reason to follow you. This is a great strategy for online sales too because online buyers can follow you from anywhere and a Twitter promotion can drive them to your website.
- Consider creating generic Twitter IDs for recurring special events in your company. For example, a coffee shop may have a celebrity barista on Tuesday’s where a percentage of the proceeds go to a local charity. The celebrity barista may be a person of influence in the community, like the mayor, or a staff member of the charity. Creating a generic ID gives the opportunity to build a following of the promotion.
- Use Twitter to post clues to a Scavenger Hunt promoting your business, a new product launch or new service. This is also a great strategy for new employee orientation where a group of new employees are sent on a Scavenger Hunt as a means of learning about the local community and different departments within the company.
- Don’t use your personal Twitter account for business. With social media, we should try to personalize our content but not too personal. Your clients don’t want to know things you normally wouldn’t tell them like “I’m going to the dance club Friday.” Unless you are a club promoter, this is not appropriate content.
- Use Twitter to partner with other local small businesses to drive business to your location. Is your storefront located in a shopping plaza or close to other businesses? Talk to the owners about simultaneously promoting your businesses on a given day. Choose a day of the week that is typically slow for everyone.
- Use Twitter as a social media resource for human resource efforts. We are in no way proponents of demanding a job candidate’s password so you can search their private online profile. But public profiles are a valuable resource. We have a client who did a simple search on a prospective candidate and reviewed the candidate’s public Twitter profile. The second tweet in the candidate’s feed read, “I hate my boss. I can’t wait to get out of this dump.” Is this someone you want working at your company?
- Use Twitter as a platform for use with Corporate Social Responsibility. Companies today are now more than ever engaging in important social issues. If your company supports a cause or even a local charity, Twitter is a great platform to create awareness about the issue. Hold a hashtag contest where you invite followers to come up with a hashtag that supports the cause and creates awareness. Promote the winner on other social media channels like Facebook and YouTube or even tie it to a special event you hold in partnership with the charity.
- Use your Twitter background space to showcase your company’s personality or awesome employees. Twitter only allows enhanced profile pages for specific partners but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your background space in unique and creative ways. Check out our cool background here. Learn how to insert a background image here or hire us to do it for you.
- Use Twitter in a hide-n-seek event. Perfect for a new product or service launch. Recruit a community celebrity, like the mayor or other well-know business person, to participate in an event showcasing your products. Your celebrity visits storefronts that offer your products and gives a hint about where he/she is located. Once someone guesses, he moves on to the next location. Your fans can follow the celebrity or try to track them down to a final event location.