Twitter, like other social networks, is invaluable to small businesses (and their larger counterparts) because of how it can help reach out to new connections. The importance of Twitter comes with how it is more open than other networks, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, meaning you can build up connections and relationships more easily.
The advantage Twitter offers isn’t only in advertising your brand and your products/services to potential clients, it can also be a great platform for for finding new influencers/mentors or for uncovering your next employee! According to recent research by Jobvite, 47 percent of recruiters surveyed said they used Twitter to find new talent.
1. Find new customers using Twitter search
The Twitter search is no secret, but many new entrepreneurs don’t appreciate how powerful this tool can be! Every tweet which has been sent out day after day is available for you to search through with certain keywords relevant to your clients and products.
When you are looking to find new customers, think of a few keywords which are closely related to your product/service. If, for example, you were offering great flexible workspace for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, you might search for “London offices” or “deskspace London”. You want to search for the sort of terms you would expect your clients to search for when they’re talking about the need which you intend to solve. If you find people who you think you can help, send them a polite tweet and let them know that you could be the answer and provide the service they desire.
2. Connect with your influencers
Using Twitter also allows you to network with the more established movers and shakers in your industry. Whether it is an influential journalist, high-profile customers, or entrepreneurial leaders who have established themselves in areas related to your niche, reaching out to these people and building relationships can be of great benefit to your business. This reaching out and making contacts can reap great rewards, whether it is in organising events with newly established partners, or through the invaluable word-of-mouth marketing.
Finding influencers in your niche (those you don’t already know about) can be done by again searching on Twitter using industry keywords. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but those being retweeted the most and with the most followers are general the ones you want to be following and interacting with, especially if they are local! Keep tabs on what they are tweeting to see what issues they are discussing, and be sure to engage with them regularly.
3. Embrace your local community
We have spoken a lot about the importance of small businesses reaching out to their local communities; well now it is even easier for you as you can connect with your local community on Twitter! Try searching for similar local businesses, larger business organisations, local council departments/leaders, and other accounts that would be interested in interacting and one day promoting your local business. But DO NOT only reach out to people in the hope that they will promote you. Treat Twitter interactions like networking events, you should be there to help others as much as they are there to help you.
Personalisation: Building a brand for small businesses is all about the personal touch, so if you’re planning a social media campaign your personal interactions (not to mention a confidence in and passion for your own products) will win over new customers. This personal touch is what a lot of customers will be looking for and it can be a large part of why they are looking to come to you rather than a bigger impersonal brand. Sure, you can’t (yet) compete with some of the bigger brands in terms of reach or even pricing, and that’s why you need to kill it with the customer service!
Don’t forget to tweet at the weekend: You might rather focus on your personal errands, but while traffic is low there’s less competition for followers’ attention. If competitors don’t tweet much at weekends, that doesn’t mean you should take it easy too, this is a chance to blow the competition out of the water!
Twitter handles: If you’re tweeting about someone – whether it is a colleague, a customer, or an influencer – be sure to include their Twitter handle in the tweets! This makes sure that they get a notification of your tweet (you can’t guarantee that they’ll be looking out for it) and will give them the chance to interact, which can make you visible to all of their followers!
Hashtags: An essential part of the Twitter mechanics, but often misused. Keep hashtags relevant to the content and only use them when there is a point to be made through their use. It can be tempting to jump on trending hashtags to gain some attention, but only do this when you have something relevant to say, and don’t do it too often or you will only seem desperate.