In 2010, over 100 million users joined Twitter. It was by far the fastest growing social media channel last year...the idea of Twitter and its micro-blogging platform certainly will be an important tool going forward.
Likely you've seen Twitter in a lot of places over the last couple of years - reality shows, sporting events and other venues people look to for up-to-the-minute information are just a few. The quick micro-blogging platform of Twitter is also used by many political dissidents in countries where traditional media is heavily restricted.
In addition to these wonderful applications, many large companies and small businesses are harnessing the power of micro-blogging and Twitter to interact with customers online.
While you've probably heard of many companies like Best Buy, Pepsi and others successfully using Twitter, you're probably a little confused as to how you can make it work for you. If you're not too familiar with social media, it may be a little intimidating.
No need to worry though, Twitter, micro-blogging and social media in general are meant to be fun!
To accomplish this, the first thing you need to consider is the content of your 'tweets.' Don't make them all about you and your business - that's the quickest way to get people to lose interest.
Provide interesting content that's helpful and entertaining and don't simply use the platform to toot your own horn. Examples of content include new blog posts, company news, new products, special discounts and so forth.
Besides providing this informative content, be sure you deliver it in a personable way. Give your content and the 'tweets' announcing it some personality. If people see your content as boring, they will think your company is boring.
Next are your followers as well as the people you follow on Twitter. When becoming a follower of someone else, be sure it makes sense for you and your company...it's pretty likely they will follow you back at some point, especially if you engage with them.
As far as your followers, quality beats quantity every time.
Having a large number of followers who never engage with you is not at all beneficial. It's much better to have a smaller number of followers who engage with you regularly. Success should be measured by the quality of your relationships on Twitter, not necessarily the quantity.
But besides being a great tool to spread content around and interact with customers and colleagues, Twitter is also being used as a technical support/customer service venue. In addition to interacting with prospective customers, many companies are using the micro-blogging tool to help customers after the sale as well.
That's certainly an innovative way to harness the power of micro-blogging. Of course, each business is different so you have to decide what works for you and what doesn't.No matter how you ultimately decide how best to use Twitter to market your business online, be sure you provide valuable content or advice and give people a reason to follow you.
Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.
Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.
You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.
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