If you are a small business and you know you need to be making more of social media and Twitter for marketing what you do, but you don’t really understand how it adds value to what you do or are not convinced it makes any difference to your bottom line, start from the assumption that if the corporates are doing it, they don’t waste their time and money on strategies that don’t work. If you think that they have bigger budgets than you to invest in social media, of course you are right, but what is so good about Twitter is that whilst budget helps, social media is more of a level playing field in online marketing.
Remember, we might all like the convenience of buying online, but many of us like to buy from people we respect and admire. This is where small businesses can have the advantage over the corporates, because your personality and the ethos of your business is much easier to project in social media than traditional forms of marketing, such as radio, magazine adverts and other ‘one way’ media.
Social media is an interactive tool with over 300 million users and 5 million tweets daily. This immediate global communication tool means you can have two way dialogue directly between you and your customer base or new audiences when most convenient for your business cycle. You can engage with your existing buyers and clients and get closer to what they like and respond to and demonstrate your affinity for what interests them.
Twitter is essentially a networking platform for reaching existing or new audiences via what is known as ‘micro-blogging’, so-called because the information you share is made up of 140-character concise messages called Tweets. It’s also a tool to discover what news and content your audience are interested in and crowd source challenges your business may be facing, so can be a great way to leverage the expertise of your existing buyers, who can offer insights you may be missing.
Getting started with Twitter, like any marketing process, can be a trial and error process, whilst gauging audience responses to e.g. new products or services and what messages in your Tweets get responses, either via Tweet backs or what gets ‘favourited’ or shared and how well you reach your target audience. That being said, the beauty of Twitter is that results can be tracked, which we will explore in a future Twitter:Analytics and Statistics post. The point is, every piece of online marketing you invest in will have a pay-off; your task will be learning how to best allocate your resource to maximise sales.
So now you are beginning to appreciate how much Twitter marketing can help your business. Over the next few months we’ll be posting a 10 part twitter guide and delve further into how the different features and options available on Twitter benefit your brand and maximise your company’s return on investment, which is what really counts when investing in any marketing project, after all.