10 ways Twitter can boost your business

Twitter is a social media and micro-blogging site where you send out short 'tweets' (messages) to all of your followers. With over 65 million tweets going out every day among its 160+ million users, your business needs to be active on Twitter. Here are 10 ways to use Twitter to boost your business.

1. Follow the Experts

Find experts in your field and follow their tweets. This shows your followers that you know what's going on in your industry and you can also learn how to market yourself on Twitter by watching what they do. Remember the expert isn't always the person with the most followers, they are the people with an engaged and active following. They have conversations and they rarely broadcast.

2. Be a Subscriber

Don't just subscribe to the experts, but also to anyone that's active in your industry. Twitter is the only social media site where users often follow more than they're followed. Follow lots of people and comment on their tweets and share their thoughts. Everyone loves a good conversation and it will attract more people to you.

3. Mark Favorites

When you find a tweet that you'd like to save for later, you can mark it as one of your favorites by clicking on the little star. Your followers can see your favorites listed on your profile. Your favorites list shows everyone a bit about who you are, these starred items are like mini testimonials - use them to your advantage.

4. Ask Questions

Get discussions going on Twitter by asking questions. They don't have to be anything earth-shattering but can be about anything. Just throw them out there and let your followers respond. You not only get some activity going, but also learn valuable information about how your target audience thinks.

5. Comment on Links

When you like something you see online, you can tweet it. It gives you the option to comment on your links and you should always do this. Just sharing without saying anything about it doesn't do anything for your branding; it only directs people to the link, no reason why someone should read the link also makes it harder for people to find your tweet via search. Over 20 million people a month use the search capacity on Twitter.

6. Make it Personal

People want to know about your brand but also they like to learn about you. Sometimes, it's good to tweet something purely personal as long as you don't do this too often. Twitter users love these tweets and they'll show the human side of your brand. Sure some people say don't tweet what you eat, but some of the most engaged brands on Twitter show a human side and that attracts people to them.

7. Post Pictures

You can post pictures on Twitter and you should be doing this often. Choose pictures that are related to your brand and take your own photos showcasing your goods, your employees or the way your business works. Images are often shared, and a great photo can do wonders for your business.

8. Value and Relevance

Whenever you get ready to post something, ask yourself these two questions: Is it relevant to my brand? Does it provide value to my followers? There are lots of tweets that don't deliver either relevance or value, so make sure yours do.

9. Don't Self-Promote (Too Much)

Once in a while, it's alright to show off your products and services, but don't be the type of user who shares it every time something good is said about your brand anywhere online. Focus on benefitting your users and not yourself.

10. Make the Most of Your Characters

Since Twitter only allows you 140 characters on less in your tweet, you need to learn the art of concise writing. Check out magazine and newspaper headlines to see just how much you can pack into one short sentence. And make sure you use a url shortener so that you don’t waste precious characters.

The most important thing to remember is that Twitter is supposed to be enjoyable. While you should be professional and realise that everything you do reflects on your brand, whenever possible offer something that's just plain fun. Show your sense of humor and be personable. Twitter is all about human interaction and that's what Twitter users want to see.

Author:.

Sarah Arrow helps small, local business owners get more from marketing their businesses online. She's a professional blogger whose sites have been listed by Forbes (3 times) and MSN as top websites. She's recognized for her skills in helping small businesses become more visible to their customers. As well as being a popular Basildon Website designer, she organises training for entrepreneurs on how to make the most f...

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