5 Practical tips on using Twitter for business

The reports on the phenomenon of hashtags and how they’re starting to lead the media agenda is now one of the most reported news items in the world. Yet, when we speak to other businesses, it remains one of the least understood social media platforms of all.

Twitter is massive, let’s not pretend it isn’t. It even has its own language (Twittersphere anyone?) and is connected to events as random as the disgrace of football players or the incitement of civil unrest. For many it feels like a dangerous place and not one that is appropriate for them, especially in the B2B market… well think again!

Some of the challenges B2B marketers report include not being able to say anything meaningful in 140 characters, feeling that including sales messages is bad form and nervousness around the transparency of Twitter.  Allowing others to see your followers is tantamount to publishing your little black book.

So against this background, how can you effectively use Twitter for business?

1. Increase traffic to your website, Facebook Page or blog

This is a fairly straightforward benefit of Twitter. You can post links (make sure you have shortened then using something like Bitly to encourage people to click through to your page.

But don’t forget it isn’t just about talking to your followers. Through the use of the # (hashtag) before a keyword or phrase you can flag up your posting to people who maybe monitoring such words. This will allow you to reach a far wider readership.

A word of warning though. Remember the basics of good communications rather than expecting people to click on overtly salesy messages. Entertain, educate or stimulate them and make it relevant or topical.

2. Get your messages and posts shared to a wider community

One of the most powerful aspects of Twitter is the ability to share information. In business you should be retweeting and sharing links from other businesses. But why?

Social media is all about sharing; the sharing of knowledge, information and best practice. By using the retweet button to share someone else’s posting with your followers you are not only giving your followers something of interest, you are also aligning yourself with the credibility of the person you have retweeted.

Your altruism isn’t in vain, however as you will be seen by that person as retweeting their post and hopefully when they see something you have posted they will think about retweeting that to their followers and so instantly extending the network of people who will see your message.

If they have a lot more followers than you, or have the kind of followers you would like to send your message to, then it is a great piece of free advertising. 

3. Build relationships with people in your industry

Twitter can be used to target people related to different aspects of your business. These could be influential speakers, journalists, industry gurus, trade associations or bloggers. So identify them and then follow them. Retweet their tweets and even get into a conversation with them. People are far more likely to talk to a stranger on Twitter than in ‘real life’ and it could be the start of a beautiful and influential relationship. 

4. Recruiting people

Recruiting the right person for a role can be very difficult and expensive through traditional media such as local papers or trade publications. You can use Twitter to publicise a vacancy or ask for some specific skills you may need.

People are often more than happy to retweet these types of posts and if you put some # hashtag terms in such as location or subject type you may also have it picked up by people monitoring these terms.

5. Promote an event

If you hold events such as seminars, webinars or are attending exhibitions, you can use Twitter very effectively to promote and create a buzz around the event. You could even set up your own Twitter username just for that event and create a Twitterwall at the event for people to comment on it in real time.

Keep a constant stream of posts about it and also encourage people to retweet and to post if they are attending. You can post links to the event details or to booking systems such as Eventbrite.

If you would like to see what social media can do for your business, contact our socially savvy team now for more information and a free social media analysis.


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