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To Tweet or Not to Tweet

I know there are many of you out there still perched on the Twitter fence. I’ve heard many reasons for not wanting to Tweet : ‘It’s just not for me,’ ‘My business doesn’t fit in with the Twitter crowd,’ ‘Right, like I have time to wear another hat,’ and on and on it goes. So, I thought it might help if I shared my personal reasons on why I choose to tweet, and why I think you should too…

Where Were You?
I think the number one reason to join Twitter is simple : your competition. Does it bother you that your competition is already part of one of the fastest growing social networks available today – using it to educate, inform and engage their current customers all while reaching out to new ones – and you’re not? It’s like missing the party of the century… wouldn’t want any regrets like that, right?

What Better Way to Promote Your Business
Don’t be afraid to use your Twitter home as ad space. Post tidbits on things you’re currently working on, new technology you’ve acquired, new promotional items, time-sensitive discounts you’re running, give-a-ways, contests, upcoming events, etc etc… but of course remain conscious of over-promoting. Be sure to keep your posts balanced with a variety of other information as well.

Keep Your Customers Up to Speed
Keeping customers informed about what’s happening with your business is incredibly easy via Twitter. Things to tweet about include : a change in hours or location, new team members, added services, products, classes, events, shows, book signings, recent publications, recent completed work, community involvement… the list goes on. Just let your customers know what’s new with you.

Be Yourself
Don’t be afraid to include your own unique voice when posting, whatever it may be : funny, dry, smart, serious…  post like there’s a person behind it. My only note is that you’re essentially acting as a spokesperson for your company, and this means that anything you put out there is also viewable and searchable by anyone on the web. So basically everyone can see it. Be mindful to walk the line of your company’s definition of ‘professional’ and post accordingly.

Its Not Actually All About You
Twitter is more successful when its less one-sided. Meaning that you should talk AND listen. No one wants to go to dinner with the guy that won’t shut up about himself. So I’d encourage you to also pose relevant questions to your followers, post industry-related links, start conversations, ask for opinions and feeback, promote others, retweet posts… basically engage your audience, not drown them in you-scented cologne.

Wrapping it Up
Bottom line, I think every business – however new, established, large or small – should have and maintain some kind of presence on Twitter (and Facebook, but that’s another post). Personally speaking I’m loving it. There are (and probably always will be) arguments for both sides to the benefits and advantages of the use of Twitter. Though I think Alexandra Moskovitz, marketing manager at Epicurean Management, owners of Italian restaurants dell’anima and L’Artusi, and Anfora wine bar, best summed it up with, “Figure out what you want to do with it, find the right people, find your space and it will all fall into place.” – Mashable, Why Twitter is a Big Win for Small Businesses

She’s right. You can tailor your Twitter space to work the best way possible for your business. And my advice would just be to start. Give it a try. Then take it step by step and see how it evolves best for you.

Related Articles I Definitely Recommend Perusing
Chris Brogan has developed an incredibly resourceful list to help you get started. He shares ideas for posts, tips, and advice for keeping your sanity in the world of Twitter – 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business

Erica Swallow interviewed three independent business owners on their uses, practices and opinions about the use of Twitter for their small business’s growth. What follows are examples of their individual paths taken and relevant experiences we could all benefit to learn from – Why Twitter is a Big Win for Small Businesses

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