Getting Started with Twitter – Strategies for Small Business

Along with Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is one of the top three platforms in Social Media Marketing. As a marketing platform, Twitter has experienced phenomenal growth. But as a small business, you may wonder how you can take advantage.  Here are a few ways large businesses are using Twitter.  One of the best things about Social Media marketing is the low barrier of entry.

Getting Started

Register some accounts
If you intend to use Twitter for both business and personal communication, it’s a good idea to create separate accounts. This requires separate email accounts, one for each Twitter account. If you are using gmail, and your account has period in it, you can simply adjust its position. For example, if your account is j.smith@gmail.com, use that for one Twitter account and use js.mith@gmail.com for the other one. They’ll go to the same place.
At the very you want to reserve your business brand as a Twitter account before someone else does. Twitter is rife with imposters. Here is Twitter’s guide for Businesses.
Create a Profile
It’s important to upload a photo or your business logo, nothing says “newbie” like the default Twitter egg avatar. Also you’ll want to create a bio using key words associated with your business and be sure to add your website or blog URL.
Explore
Take a look at what others are doing in your industry, especially your competitors. Note how their profiles are set up and check out their followers. Also do a search of your business name, your customers may already have written about you.
Get some followers
For your business Twitter account, you need get a few hundred followers to appear credible. At first, quantity is better than quality. The best way to get followers, is to follow others in your industry. If they don’t follow you back after a couple days unfollow them. A service like Tweeter Karma can help.  Look at the profiles of others in your industry and see if they have any relevant lists. Look at the members of the list and follow them. You can also use a service like Twiends to get a lot of followers fast.
Manage your followers
Once you have a decent number of followers, you need to start focusing on their quality. Unfollow all those who are not in you industry or potential customers. Drop those who tweet spam, look automated, just playing a numbers game (ie have #teamfollowback in their profile or tweets) Look at the following/followers ratio of  those you follow. You should end up with more followers than people you follow.
Put the Twitter Follow Button on your website, blog and email campaigns.  Put your Twitter name on your print media.
Use Twitter Tools
There’s a whole industry built around software tools that enhance or make Twitter easier. You’ll want to check out desktop and mobile Twitter clients like Seesmic and TweetDeck.

Summary

Learning how to engage with your customers and vendors using Twitter will help grow your small business by enhancing your brand. If you’ve had experience using Twitter for your business, please comment below.
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