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No-one would have guessed that Twitter would have been so popular when it launched in July 2006. From promotion and marketing to customer service and brand building, entrepreneurs are now using it to boost their business. Twitter lets you and your business listen (and react) to your customers and the general public much faster than before.
If you are a Twitter newbie and have never used the service, first things first: sign up for a Twitter account and get clued up on all the Twitter terminology by reading our Twitter 101 guide.
The best way to build an online Twitter following for your business is to convert your offline fans. If you already have a connection with people outside of Twitter, drop them a nice email explaining the benefits of following your business on Twitter.
As you Tweet interesting, topical information related to what your business does, you’ll gain other followers who want to hear what you have to say. Keep the majority of your Tweets focused around a particular topic and the followers will trickle in.
Other ways to maximise your Twitter following.
Once you have a healthy following, you can do all sorts of things with Twitter to help your business.
Regularly shout about what your business does. Tweet about the business that you win (with links back to your corporate website for the full press release), recent innovations, charitable donations etc. Remember to post links back to relevant news updates on your website so that people can read more if they want to.
Use Twitter to promote new and upcoming products and services. Give your Twitter users a chance to priority order or get discounts by quoting a Twitter promotion code. This will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your Twitter campaigns
Use Twitter to fill job vacancies. This works especially well if you are recruiting in the digital arena. It will also save you time sorting through CVs.
By searching in Twitter, you can see negative or positive reactions to your business. This allows you to react faster, spot gaps in the market and further promote your business by retweeting the nice comments about your business. Actively encourage feedback from your followers and spark some viral discussions.
If your business knowledge spans many verticals and you have a lot to say (or a lot of content to link to), add specific accounts accordingly and retweet information across the various accounts where relevant. Users may be more likely to follow two specific Twitter accounts rather than the one umbrella account covering ten topics. This allows you to keep your message targeted to means you won’t upset your followers with information they don’t want.
Set up a Twitter account for your customer-service enquiries, allowing clients to Tweet their problems to your support teams.
You should also use Twitter to keep your customers aware of downtime, changes to services or upgrades.