Twitter hasn’t exactly gotten a warm welcome from small businesses. Back in January, the Wall Street Journal ran an article stating that only 3% of small business owners felt that Twitter had any value for them. One of the business owners in the survey stated that Twitter didn’t allow for meaningful dialog with followers. Really?
Well, Twitter, like any communication tool, is only effective if the user is doing it right, and any given channel might work better or worse depending on a business’s audience. But, I believe that Twitter can add value for small businesses.
Here’s how Twitter can help your small business:
It’s less expensive than direct mail
When you’re running a small business, often you’re also running on a small budget. The cost of using Twitter is nothing, but it gives you the potential to reach a whole world of users with your message.
Of course, while the tool is free, it requires time and talent to manage it effectively. Without an effective content strategy, businesses probably won’t see much value in Twitter. The same is true of any marketing channel. But when it comes to investing in content strategy, be that your time or outsourcing, the tool to share the content are readily available and free.
It provides information about your customers
There are over 230 million active users on Twitter each month and with Twitter, you can easily reach people to interact with them or find out what they’re talking about, even if they don’t follow you directly.
If your customer are on Twitter, chances are they are talking about you there. If your business is on Twitter, you can get in on that conversation and engage them further. If they are saying negative things about your brand or service, you can have a voice and provide customer service. If they are saying nice things, you can interact and encourage them to mention you even more.
It gives Tweeters a way to reference you
If your business is on Twitter, when others talk about you there, they can reference your handle which creates a link that will take viewers of the tweet to your profile, a profile you control that probably has a direct link to your website and even more information. If you aren’t on Twitter, it’s harder for users to quickly and easily find more information about who you are, and it might not be content you own.
It provides up-to-date industry information and market analysis
Twitter is a great way for you to get a lot of information quickly. Twitter is typically very short messages that include links to more information. By following other industry leaders, news sources and competitors, you can scan your Twitter feed quickly and see what’s happening in the industry right now.
Twitter might not be for every small business. There are a lot of channels out there and you want to choose the right ones. But when your small business is on Twitter, you can reach out to customers, get them talking about you, engage them in Twitter chats, Twitter serves to get traffic to your website and can help you keep up with your industry. That’s a lot of value.
Is your business already using Twitter? Do you think it’s as effective as Facebook or LinkedIn? If you haven’t jumped into Twitter yet, what’s holding you back?