How to use Twitter marketing to promote a small business in the most effective ways.
As Twitter marketing was in its early growth stages, The New York Times published a report suggesting that small businesses outnumbered larger ones in terms of having an active presence on the social network for the purposes of marketing. Business analyst Greg Sterling is quoted by the Times as stating, "We think of these social media tools as being in the realm of the sophisticated, multiplatform marketers like Coca-Cola and McDonald's, but a lot of these super-small businesses are gravitating toward them because they are accessible, free and very simple."
Today, a number of small businesses rely on Twitter as a primary means of reaching their target audience; and therefore, designate a significant amount of time Tweeting about their brand. Some suggest however, that many small businesses that use Twitter for marketing, don't realize that they aren't receiving the maximum amount of benefit they can from their efforts. Even everyday Tweeters typically limit their interaction on the social network to information sharing, unaware of the missed opportunities of initiating two-way communication. According to social media marketing expert Macy English of SocialCentiv, Twitter is a "social media platform every small business needs to be a part of, but doesn't know how."
English is Vice President of SocialCentiv, which developed a Twitter marketing tool used to assist businesses with increasing engagement on the top social network for more effective marketing. In a recent blog titled "5 Tips for Small Businesses Using Twitter" she outlines ways small businesses can use Twitter more effectively. These include:
- Setting business objectives for using the platform
- Being an active Tweeter
- And engaging in real-time conversations with potential customers
Many Twitter marketing experts would agree with English's assertion that when it comes to marketing effectively on Twitter goal setting and active engagement are key. It is also important to note that the most effective engagement on Twitter is the type that yields direct feedback, or sparks conversations as opposed to simply relaying a message that may or may not be read by others.
Social media marketing experts have also emphasized the importance of the following for building more exposure for one's brand and making worthwhile connections on Twitter:
- Find opportunities through relevant key search terms - Search terms can help businesses single out Twitter users that are engaging in conversations that are most relevant to their offerings. For small businesses that are unfamiliar with how to utilize advanced search techniques, Twitter marketing tools like SocialCentiv can be helpful.
- Extend journalist reach - Connecting with journalists and editors who are linked to media outlets that may be well suited for a small business to be featured in on Twitter can open up a wealth of opportunities. Not only can it provide insight into what types of things capture the attention of the media, it can also help one facilitate relationships that open the door for possibly getting recognized by media outlets newly befriended journalists and editors are connected to.
- Target audiences locally - Small businesses largely thrive as a result of local patrons that become loyal to their brand. Therefore, using tools that enable one to single out and connect with local prospective customers can help small businesses build better relationships with customers and prospects in their region.
Small businesses can effectively grow their enterprise with effective Twitter marketing engagement. It is important to track the progress of initiatives that have been put into place, and reevaluate strategies periodically; however, to ensure that the right engagement efforts are being employed.
Macy English, SocialCenitv