Almost everyone uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Myspace to keep in touch with their loved ones, business colleagues, and friends. But social media can be tasked for business too, whether you work online, in a brick and mortar business, or a hybrid. Twitter is the new kid on the block, and a lot of people don’t get it. We’ve written about that aspect elsewhere. Here, we’re just going to give you ideas.
Create Live Updates on Product or Service Launches: A great way to let the world know about a product’s progress, or a new service as you are building it, is tweeting about it. Small business owners can consistently post their challenges, as they encounter them, give progress reports, and ask people for input. The latter is called crowdsourcing, and it’s a great way to tap the public for advice, rather than just build it and hope for a positive response.
2. Get Quick Feedback: Again, crowdsourcing. One of the many reasons why some product launches fail is because of a lack of feedback from the intended customers. Who knows better about Jimmy Choo shoes or makeup than women? So, if you want decent feedback on your products’ satisfaction or non-satisfaction, you need the customers to consistently give you feedback. Email correspondence might do it, but nothing is better than just scrolling through a list of real time responses that you can reference and attend to immediately.
3. Post Recent Rates and Costs: In certain businesses, the rates and prices of services, products and commodities vary on a daily basis. For instance, a stock broking company can consistently give a stream of real time estimates and prices of each company’s stock prices, a mortgage broker can easily post daily rates and so on.
4. Product or Service Development Research: Twitter accounts with large numbers of followers are often a potential source of crowdsourced information and testing samples when developing new products or services. Sometimes, a company can just take a look at the frequently asked questions to determine which problems are recurrent and then provide a solution for that problem. It’s not just about posting tweets – it’s also about reading them.
5. Networking: You can build or develop a whole network of likeminded individuals, make new contacts, share ideas and generally, make more profits from your partnerships. If you’re not a big believer in networking in general, you won’t ever relate to social media. In some ways, social media is really the new Rotary Club, coffee hour, or social organization. Where is everyone when you go those, now? They’re in social media.
6. Attract More Clients: Things that happen on twitter often spread like wildfire. Businesses can create a contest, a giveaway, a virtual event, and spread the word via Twitter. Not only will it catch the attention of the relevant people, it will also bring in more clients and give more exposure.
7. Upcoming Live Events and Conferences: Besides virtual events, upcoming live attendance events and conferences can be posted on Twitter, so prospects can easily track them and share with others. There can be a countdown timer embedded on the profile or just consistent tweeting of the countdown date.
8. Building a Brand Presence: Twitter is great for building a brand presence online, which is important even for (if not especially for) brick and mortar businesses. Building a brand can be as easy as simply tweeting useful free information and following a few new people every day. When the content is genuine and informative, followership occurs naturally. Remember, if you spam everyone with requests for business, people will drop you.
9. Fun: A lot of people come from the “what happens in my off time is MINE” mentality, but as small businesses grow, increasingly you have less time that’s really just “yours”. You become embedded in your business, like an icon or a mascot – you become your brand. There’s nothing wrong with posting the movie your team is attending, or jokes about yourself as the owner, or even just jokes about your business. You could even create a mythical mascot (if you’re a gym, Jumpy the Fitness Mouse) and track his comings and goings, foibles and failures, like an ongoing reality program. Make no mistake, fun sells.
10. Blog: If you’re blogging, share links to your blog posts, with brief excerpts, on your Twitter account. Why shouldn’t your social media be integrated? It’s your brand. Your blog postings are events too. Just a rule of thumb – don’t tweet more than once a day on the average – these can flood someone’s Twitter page – give someone else a chance, and you’re more likely to be followed and remain followed.