I was speaking with a business owner recently about a number of topics and we got round to marketing and then on to Twitter.
While Twitter has become a popular marketing tool for many businesses, not all companies see the value in using it. One business owner I spoke with recently made a conscious decision not to use Twitter, as they believed their target clients, larger companies and the public sector, wouldn’t be active on the platform.
This got me thinking about the reasons why businesses choose to use Twitter. While it’s not yet expected that every company has a Twitter account, there are four main reasons why a company might choose to use the platform for marketing purposes. As Twitter usage varies across the world, it’s important for businesses to consider their target audience and whether or not they are likely to be active on the platform.
Twitter has become a popular source of information for individuals and organizations alike. If your business is not engaging on Twitter, you may be missing out on an opportunity to increase visibility to the outside world. While it’s difficult to determine the exact size of the Twitter population, it’s safe to assume that there are potential customers out there who may not be aware of your offerings until you start tweeting and they start following you.
Quick updates on current events and industry news can show followers that you are up-to-date and responsive, which can be appreciated by both followers and customers.
The argument that potential customers of your business won’t be using Twitter so there is no point investing time and effort in it is an interesting one. It will depend on the type of product or service you sell and whether it’s B2C or B2B.
The best way to find out is to ask your existing customers if they actively use Twitter and if they do what they use it for. It’s easy to do a search as well to see if they have created accounts and are using them or to see if there is a ‘Follow Us’ link on their website. Your marketing strategy will also have pin-pointed potential targets so do a search on them too. That covers those targets that you may well be aiming at anyway, regardless of whether you use Twitter or not.
The difficulties arise when either a Twitter account name isn’t directly related to the company name or when it’s individuals in the company who use Twitter perhaps in a personal as well as professional capacity. No-one truly knows who their customers and clients will be in the future and you don’t always know how they find out about you. The more channels you use to engage with potential customers the greater chance you have of gaining new business.
Opportunities for Collaboration
Collaboration is key in today’s business world, and social media platforms like Twitter make it easier than ever to connect with like-minded individuals and businesses. While gaining paying customers is important, networking with others in your industry can lead to valuable partnerships and collaborations that can benefit everyone involved.
Twitter’s unique format allows users to attract followers based on the content they share, and the use of Lists makes it easy to group similar followers and connect with others who share your interests and goals. So whether you’re looking to expand your network or find new opportunities for collaboration, Twitter is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals.
For businesses, Twitter is often used for passing on information and content of interest, often by linking to websites, blogs or articles as well as direct marketing (best practice suggests this is kept to a minimum). This seems to be the major differentiator between the professional and personal use of Twitter at present.
Providing business owners or whoever tweets on behalf of the business always keeps this in mind there ought not to be too many difficulties. Blogs provide businesses an easy way to write short pieces about subject matter that is relevant to their offerings.
In the same way Twitter offers an easy way to very briefly add commentary to relevant subject matter and stay connected with followers who may already be or may become customers. Even if your followers don’t have a need to engage you in business they may well, based on how they perceive you from your tweets, refer you to people or businesses they know and referrals are what most businesses crave for.
Twitter can be a valuable tool for businesses, but whether or not to use it depends on a variety of factors. It’s important to consider your target audience and their social media habits, as well as your own resources and goals. Even if you decide not to use Twitter initially, it’s important to regularly reassess your decision and consider whether it could benefit your business with just a small investment of time and effort. With proper planning and execution, even small businesses can successfully utilize Twitter to connect with customers and promote their brand.