Every year Merriam-Webster issues a list of new words they are adding to the English dictionary. One of the words they included on that list for 2010 was the word tweet. Despite the reality that many small business owners want to hide under a rock when it comes to technology, its clear that Twitter is here to stay for awhile. That reality has proven that small business simply cannot afford to be without a Twitter account. By being on Twitter, you are where your consumers are, which helps to increase name recognition within a business and helps open a dialog with you and your customer.
However what many small businesses have found is that Twitter can be confusing, and having one done wrong could be catastrophic to a company’s future. So to save you a headache, we’ve created the top five tips any small business can – and should – take to reap the benefits of the digital age.
1. Get a Twitter Yourself
The first, and probably, most important thing is to have a personal Twitter account where you can build relationships, get followers, and learn how to use the program, all before you put your small business – and possibly your very livelihood – on the cutting block. Find not only friends you know personally, but those who might be interested in you and eventually your small business.
2. Set Up Account, Get Followers (Employees Are A Great Start)
Once your account is set up, the next task, and probably the most important, is building a community who reads your tweets. This means you need to get followers. Those following you as a person can only go so far, so encourage your employees to follow your as well, and to re-tweet your postings so their friends can join too. It’s all about networking here, and building that network cannot be left on your shoulder alone. (Bonus tip: Eye your competitors followers and invite those who have expressed they aren’t satisfied as consumers to also follow you).
3. Be Complete
Not filling out a complete profile is just creepy. You’re a business and in order for people to want to follow you, you need their trust, so you must completely fill out profile. This includes a profile picture!
4. Add the Twitter Account
No point in having an account to get more people interested in your small business if you aren’t going to promote it with those who are already interested. This means add the twitter account to business cards and websites.
5. Use It
Having an account that isn’t updated at least 3-5 times a week, if not everyday, is a waste. Be sure to update often enough to keep your name and logo easily out there. But not too often. Find a balance, and use it wisely – this should come naturally. (Another bonus tip: Don’t be boring while updating, be human. Technology has already decreased face-to-face human interaction, your consumers need to know you’ve got a heart.)