4 Reasons Why You Need to be on Twitter

By Colin Scotland

You’re a savvy business owner, you’re an expert at what you do and you’re doing alright. You’ve got staff and overheads, or maybe you’re just starting out and you’re doing everything yourself.

You’ve heard about social media and you know it must be kind of important because it just isn’t going away and lots of people are talking about it, but perhaps you don’t quite understand its potential or relevance for your small business, or how it could fit into your busy schedule and the plans you have for your business.

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This article explores 4 reasons why you need to get your business onto Twitter, they spark lightbulb moments with small business owners every time I talk about them at events as your eyes are opened up to new worlds of opportunities for your business on Twitter, so I thought I would share them with you here.

Have a read to see what Twitter can do for your small business and make your mind up for yourself whether its a channel you should put your time and attention into.

1. Brand Promotion

Twitter is another channel for you to share news about your business, tell people about your products or services, and get your brand out there, and it is free.

What you must not do is view Twitter as a one-way sales platform.

Too often I see small business owners shouting at the top of their voices on Twitter “buy my widgets” with no engagement with the other people on there, this is not the way to get results from social media.

You need to have a mindset of community, engagement, and connecting with other real people about the things that are relevant and interesting to both parties.

Think like a gardener, you don’t cast your seeds into the ground and wake to a massive beanstalk the next day, they need regular watering and sunlight for them to grow, flourish and bear fruit, the same is true of Twitter, it is a slow burn, you need to cultivate connections and relationships and add value to those interested in the same things as you.

Then, over time your brand will be present in their minds when they or one of their connections need your product or service and the relationships you have built will bear fruit.

2. Lead Generation

You can use Twitter to follow and engage in meaningful conversations with prospects, whether business to business or business to consumer people are talking about your product/service online and you should join the conversation if you want to generate more leads.

More specifically, for small, locally focused businesses you can search Twitter for conversations about you or what you do within a certain radius of your location to find and engage directly with people interested in your product or service.

You can search Twitter for conversations about you or what you do within a certain radius of your location to find and engage directly with people interested in your product or service!

For example, I just searched Twitter for “hairdresser in Liverpool” and found three people tweeting that their hairdresser had let them down can anyone recommend someone?

Now if you own a hairdressing business in Liverpool you could be all over this, engaging, helping, and getting your brand out there in a way that will generate more leads for your business if you don’t you can bet one of your competitors will.

3. Customer Service

I was doing some work with folk who run a truck stop in the UK recently, and whilst I was presenting to them the things that are possible with social media and Twitter in particular we did a geo-location search on the fly during the presentation, a bit like the one for the hairdressers above, only this time we found a driver that had heard about the business from a friend had asked a direct question on Twitter about the facilities available a few days earlier and the question had gone ignored.

When you realize the fact that your customers are trying to talk to you on Twitter already then you get the lightbulb moment I’ve seen so many times and you realize that you need to get your act together and give twitter the attention it deserves.

You want to delight your customers to the point that they become raving fans and your best ambassadors on Twitter, other social channels, and of course in real life too.

After all, this is what word-of-mouth marketing is all about, how can you do this if you are ignoring them on Twitter?

You wouldn’t turn off your phone line or your email account when customers are trying to get in touch.

None of this needs to be difficult or time-consuming either, and if you do nothing else with your Twitter then at the very least set up some automated social listening so you are at least aware when a customer asks you a direct question or talks about your brand online.

4. Research and Insights

If the first 3 reasons weren’t enough to convince you that Twitter is imperative for any business, however, large or small let me share this final point.

Nowadays people turn to social media and Twitter, in particular, to get real-time information about news and events before they even look at the mainstream news. This means you can use Twitter to keep abreast of industry news, developments, and insights as they happen, which could make or break your business.

By following those that tweet the news about your industry and again setting up automated listening you can save time keeping up to speed with what’s happening in your industry, often finding out about new developments before they are picked up by the mainstream channels, and remember: Information is power and can help give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed.

Information is power and can help give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed.

So there you have it, brand promotion, lead generation, customer service, and research and insights are just 4 compelling reasons why you need to get your business onto Twitter.

I hope this article has gone some way to raise your awareness of the possibilities that Twitter offers your business and would urge you to at the very least get some automated social listening set up so you are not missing out on any opportunities.

For those keen to get started and wondering what to do next, I would suggest you work through the steps in the action plan below:

- Create and complete your Twitter profile.
- Follow some influencers in your industry.
- Share great content and engage with people (remember to think like a gardener).
- Set up social listening to alert you to potential leads and brand mentions.

If you want to discuss any of these ideas further or have any questions then get yourself onto Twitter and tweet to me by including '@ColinScotland' in your tweet.

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