Wednesday, January 6, 2010

5 Great Ways to Use Twitter for Your Business

Twitter has taken the world by storm from the moment it first went online. It is already on par with Facebook, mostly because all people use them both. Facebook is used for their status updates and communication with others, and Twitter… well, for the same things, except at a much faster rate (if Facebook is used daily and mostly from a PC, Twitter is accessed every few minutes by the most prominent users from their mobile devices).

Of course, big and small businesses alike couldn’t possibly stand idle while a whole new market is forming and are getting into the game, too. From clothing companies to car dealers, almost everyone has at least an account for their advertising and public relationships management. A lot of the messages that they are Tweeting are advertisements, which, along with useless junk from spammers, are not really liked by the other users.

But there are those who do everything right and benefit greatly from an almost instant increase in popularity and therefore, sales and profit.

So, how can your business that just registered an account at Twitter start benefiting from it without annoying other users and gaining negative reputation?

Here are five great tips that will help you get started:

1. Answer questions and be helpful. Whether it’s related to your business, to the industry you work in or you personally, you should always try to answer all questions as well as possible. This will show other people that you are active, helpful and know what you’re doing, which will just lead to an increase in your follower count and business popularity.

2. Share information about your business. The whole idea that Twitter is based on is constant and fast updates about the users’ life. Your business account shouldn’t be different, either! Share facts, news, activity updates and anything else that isn’t classified as a secret. It’ll be like talking directly to a lot of reporters at once, and chances are high that word will spread about your company on other sites, especially if your information is useful, interesting and/or entertaining. This, in turn, will get you popularity, links, traffic, and… you guessed it, more money :-).

3. Talk about the industry. Your company is doing business in a certain niche or industry, and if you are at least somewhat successful, it means you have a bit of expertise on the subject. Don’t let that go to waste or just internal projects, talk about it on Twitter. Share your thoughts on the latest news, on what other companies and individuals are doing, predict things that you think will change in the future, etc.

4. Use it for social marketing. Create anticipation of new products, offer special, unique invites for beta testers, give away discounts, organize contests and viral campaigns and do other things which will attract attention and get people talking about you and your company.

5. Share interesting links… and Twitpics. If you found something interesting and useful, don’t keep it to yourself, share it! If you won’t, then someone else will, so there is no point in not doing it. And share Twitpics – is a service that lets you share photos and images on Twitter, and their links are the most clicked on, by a large margin. If you’ve got something interesting going on at your office or you’re attending a great seminar with lots of important people, take a few pictures and share them. Everyone will like that!

These are just five of the many, many ways you can use Twitter to promote yourself, your business and your brand. If you come up with a great, innovative idea, try it! If you succeed, the benefits are excellent, and if you fail, it will be forgotten soon anyway, so why not do it?

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