More companies use Twitter for business Imageto expand their brand and connect with customers. Many of these same companies wonder why their followers didn’t convert to traffic and leads. Twitter can be great for promoting your business, but tweeting alone won’t magically generate customers. You also need a deep understanding of your audience, a social media strategy, and a way to measure results in order to achieve Twitter success. Most importantly, you need to know why and how you will use Twitter before you get involved. Here are a few things to consider:

Do Your Research: Market research is a must if you want to improve your chance of success. Asking questions to your Twitter community can be a great way to gain insight on what’s important to your customers, what’s influencing their decisions, and how they feel about your competitors. When you dedicate time towards market research, the more likely your customers and prospective clients will perceive you as an approachable and personable brand.

Have a Strategy: All businesses need a strategy to get, keep and build your customer base. So before you start tweeting, you should get to know your online community and how to take part within the community. Think about what you plan on posting and how often you plan on posting. And whether or not you’re posting “clickworthy” and compelling tweets and conversation that will raise awareness and increase sales.

Build Brand Awareness: Before your business can look to make money, it needs to develop social media magnetism. The first step is to use word-of-mouth advertising to drive awareness and traffic to your Twitter page. Follow experts, companies and competitors and leaders in your industry. Share your expertise to enhance your reputation build credibility. Figure out what your brand persona or voice is and start engaging with your audience.

Engage with Customers: In the small business world, creating and nurturing one on one relationships with your customers can be a difficult but highly profitable and satisfying experience. Social media is about having a dialogue. That being said, respond to tweets talking about you and your brand. Start and join conversations. Be authentic, genuine and real. When you have a dialogue with a customer or prospect, it you can convert conversations into actions.

Build Brand Loyalty: Maintain an active online presence. This way, increasingly more people will find out about your business and you’ll attract more followers. Many businesses use Twitter as a customer retention tool so that they spot unhappy customers and solve their problems. Also, keeping your fans up to date on what's happening with your business will keep your brand top-of-mind.

Optimize for Search: When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, it’s important to have a set of industry keywords for your business to use. That way, your Twitter handle are updates are helping your business rank in search engine results. You can start by including keywords in your bio. Also, it’s important to make sure your tweets are compelling and are within 120-130 characters. Posting short and intriguing content will not only improve your click through rates (CTR), but boost your optimization efforts.

Measure Your Influence: Now that you’ve gained a follower base, how do you measure your value? The best way to understand your online influence is by selecting the right tools. Social media tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite or helpdesk software can save you time and resources with research, engagement and marketing.

In today’s world of technology, especially when it comes to communications, you have very little time to make a statement. But with the help of Twitter you’ll be able to get your name and message out in the public’s eye quickly and easily. Twitter gives you an opportunity to be conversational which builds trust with your customers. And if you create a persona that is strong and on point, it will set your business apart from its competitors and open up opportunities to gain recognition and possibly new customers.

 


Image: Stokkete /Shutterstock

Alex Hisaka works in Marketing at Desk.com. You can find her on Twitter at twitter.com/alexhisaka