There’s a Tweet for That
By Leah Mackey, ACS Advertising Social Media Manager
Still not convinced of the business value that Twitter brings to the table? Think it’s just a place to share what you had for lunch or share goofy photos from the weekend? It’s true that 60 percent of those who sign up for Twitter give up after just the first couple days. Why is that? Probably because they don’t know how to get value from something that is so unfamiliar. Do you remember when Facebook first came out? I do. I remember thinking, “Oh no… this will never work. It’s just like Myspace, but with a white background. Only the internet geeks will be on Facebook.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
So, with that said, here are a few ways that you can leverage Twitter for business purposes…
- Sales Leads – Use Twitter to promote your products and services. Tweet links to your website. Be careful not to inundate your following with sales pitches… or they will quickly unfollow you. You should also utilize Twitter Search for potential customers. For example, if your business sells advertising services to transportation companies, you may want to find and follow these companies. Once you are following them you can say hello, build a rapport and potentially gain a new client. This is the epitome of online social business networking. Again, please do not bombard folks with sales pitches. You want to add value to the information flow that is the Twitterverse.
- Idea Sharing & Research – Have an idea but not sure of how it will go over with your customers? Trying to brainstorm but not coming up with enough good ideas? Suffering from writer’s block? Ask your Twitter tribe for assistance! For example, say you need to write a blog post or white paper for your company. You have a few ideas, but nothing amazing, yet. Tweet some ideas out to your followers and ask for their two cents. You will be surprised at who responds and what they have to say. Think of it as a virtual think tank that anyone who is following you can chime in on. Just imagine the possibilities when you have the potential to hear hundreds or thousands of people’s opinions…for free!
- News – Traditionally, Baby Boomers read the newspaper daily, Gen X’ers read the newspaper on the weekends and Gen Y doesn’t know what newspapers are. Ok, a bit dramatic, but you get the point. With the advancement of the internet, videos and drumroll…Twitter, the speed of information sharing is lightning fast these days. Take advantage of this by following global, national and local news sources. Almost all news stations, newspapers, magazines, radio stations and bloggers are also on Twitter. And if they aren’t yet, they will be soon. Some good ones to follow are @nytimes @cnn @msnbc @TIME @APNews @WSJ @WhiteHouse. Click here for a great list of the 100 best Twitter feeds for news. The list even segments by American news, international news, sports, social media, politics, business, arts, science, tech and entertainment.
- Networking – This one piggybacks off of the idea sharing/research point a little bit. What I find to be the most valuable part of Twitter is endless possibilities for networking and connecting with new people. As Mark W. Shafer says in his book The Tao of Twitter, networking online is not about B2B or B2C… it’s about P2P – person to person connections. You are not limited by geography, time zones, awkward face to face meetings or other boundaries. Twitter even does some of the work for you with their “Who to follow” feature.
- Hashtags – Hashtags are the greatest invention to hit Twitter other than Twitter itself. According to Twitter, “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.” The use of hashtags has become the universal system for categorizing tweets around an event or topic. Using them is very easy. All you have to do is place the # symbol before a word or phrase. Keep in mind that phrases are often used, but that you must leave out the space between words. For example, #TruckerTuesday or #FollowFriday are common hashtags used to collect tweets surrounding their respective topics. Often there are specific hashtags for events so that you can follow along with chatter of the event. For example, we were able to keep up with the conversations mentioning the 2011 Great American Trucking Show by following the #GATS hashtag. Check out Twitter’s official explanation of hastags for more info.
So, if you still aren’t convinced, shoot us a tweet at @ACSAdvertising and we can help you figure out how to leverage for your business.