For those unfamiliar, Twitter can seem like a mystery. And many business owners avoid it due to the perceived complexity – and the assumption that it won’t be beneficial for their business.

However, Twitter actually has unique benefits that you won’t find on other social media channels, which is why having a Twitter presence can be invaluable for any business –particularly small businesses with minimal advertising budget. Here’s why.

Multiple your prospective customer base

Unlike most other social networks, where the primary form of interacting with a post is to “like” or comment on it, the traditional form of interaction on Twitter is the retweet.

  • If you tweet something to your 200 followers, and just one of them retweets it to her, say, 600 followers, you’ve just quadrupled the audience that saw your tweet. Think of the potential with just a few more retweets along the way.

Reach your target audience through keywords

Twitter uses a feature called a hashtag, which is any word or phrase with the pound sign in front of it (e.g., #fitness or #socialmedia). When you use a hashtag in a tweet, your tweet becomes searchable for anyone looking for tweets on that topic.

  • This can be extremely valuable for reaching audiences who would never find you, even via multiple retweets as described above.
  • If you’re tweeting about personal training, you might use #fitness, #wellness, #personaltraining (or all three).
  • If I tweeted a link to this blog post, I would likely use #twitter, #socmed and #socbiz (sometimes you need to search a few times to see what popular hashtags are for your topic).
  • Then if someone is interested in that particular topic, say, finding a personal trainer or social media for business, they can search for that hashtag in the Twitter search bar, and all the latest posts using that hashtag will appear.

Take advantage of customer testimonials

If a client is happy with your product or service, he may tweet about it using your name. For instance, if it was a client of mine, he may tweet: “Thanks for the help on my website @olsenaj – love working with you!” (Or at least I hope he thinks that!)

  • When he tweets that, all his followers see it, so if someone is interested in improving their website, they may click on my Twitter handle to find out more about me.
  • Then if I retweet that – which I would, with a “thank you!” added – all my followers can also see it.
  • And just from that one happy customer who mentioned me on Twitter, now hundreds or thousands of people also saw that personal, free endorsement. What better advertising for your business? And as we talked about in a previous post, if you’re not on social media, these are the important things you’re missing.

 

Need some inspiration for what to post on social media? Check out this list of 42 social media post ideas, including tips and best practices.

 

© 2014 Alicia Olsen

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