WWTD: What Would Twitter Do… For My Business?

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By Jessica Brown, Social Media Specialist at SnapRetail

You’ve built your store. You’ve created your website. You’ve started a Facebook page. So what is this website called Twitter, and why should you add joining to your marketing to-do list?Sticker Asking Customers to Follow Us on Twitter

Twitter is a “microblogging” site. This simply means that there is a limit to the amount of information you can share at a time – and that limit is 140 characters. You would think that fewer characters would mean fewer perks, but that isn’t the case! With more than 200 million accounts created so far, Twitter is absolutely a resource you should consider.

Here is what Twitter could do for you:

1.     Keep you up to date on industry news (or news in general.)

You can consider Twitter to be a live feed of what is happening in the world, in your neighborhood or in your industry. Twitter allows you to see what is being talked about in the world, the United States and in major cities. And by following Twitter users in your area, your Twitter feed itself is a great resource for local news. By searching hashtags (those keywords with the # symbol in front of them) you can search terms such as #retail or #smallbusiness to find information relevant to your business! You can search simply for Twitter users near you by searching for your city on Twellow.

CNN's Twitter Feed

2.     Help you network with other retailers.

There is an old saying which says, “Don’t be a follower, be a leader.” In the world of Twitter, the best way to BECOME a leader is to be a great follower. Following users who you would like to follow you back is the best way to gain followers. Once you have these followers, don’t just let them sit there, interact with them! By typing the @ symbol followed by a user’s Twitter handle (aka username) you are doing what the Twitter-savy call “@ replying.” If the user responds back to you, your username is now on their Twitter page and visible to their users.

3.     Show you what your customers are talking about and who is talking about you!

Twitter is a great forum for consumers to talk about what they love – or hate – about a company. By searching on Twitter for your Twitter handle or store name, you can see what customers are saying about YOUR brand. Maybe your customers aren’t saying much about you, but you want to see what topics they find interesting? Your Twitter feed is a great tool for figuring out your customers’ psychographics.

Tweets on Twitter about Mud Pie

4.     Promote your website or other social media profiles.

When it comes to promoting your business online, you should always be driving your customers to a specific place. Most of the time, this place is a website. Sometimes, it is a Facebook page. The best way to get customers to your website is by promoting it on social media sites. Because these sites are all about sharing, you have a great chance of reaching a bigger audience when your customers share your information with their friends!

5.     Drive people to an event or sale.

Having a special event or sale at your store? Create a hashtag! By creating a hashtag such as #supersale2011 or #cancerbenefit, you can help users to find out information about what you are promoting. Twitter can also help you remind users of an event or allow you to suggest users share with their followers. You could also use Twitter to give your customers a limited time deal by Tweeting something like: “Show us this tweet on your smartphone and get 20% off your purchase!”

Happy tweeting!

Jessica Brown is a Social Media Specialist for SnapRetail, which helps independent retailers market their stores through email, Facebook and Twitter. Jessica works specifically with independent retailers teaching them how to use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media tools to bring traffic into their stores and strengthen the relationship with their customers. For more information visit http://snapretail.com or contact Jessica at 412-545-9222, jessica.brown@snapretail.com.

Photo credit on Flickr.

Are you on twitter? Have you found it to be helpful? …or not? How so? Tell us in the comments section below.

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