What can you say in 140 characters on Twitter that your customers will find interesting? How can you build loyalty, drive traffic, generate awareness, establish credibility, or nurture a sale when you're limited to a relatively small number of words?
The brevity of a Tweet trains you to zero in on the heart of your message immediately. So what are some ways that small businesses can leverage the power of this social media vehicle? Consider these suggestions from LocalVox, a web-based marketing platform that helps local businesses market themselves online:
1. Use Twitter lists to make strategic connections
Twitter lists can help you organize information into categories, such as influencers that you want to follow. Go to the profile of someone relevant in your business niche, scroll down to "Lists" and hit "Member of." You'll see the lists that they frequent, which will enlarge your network of relevant connections.
2. Enhance your credibility with testimonials
Provide a link in your outgoing Tweets to the testimonial to prove its authenticity. You can also embed the testimonial in your website by clicking on "More" in the lower right corner of the Tweet and following the prompts.
3. Boost the response rate of customer inquiries
Conventional customer service operations can sometimes be slow, cumbersome, and impersonal. Establishing a Twitter account to handle customer complaints, questions, or comments and having a protocol in place for a rapid response builds customer loyalty. Bonus: you can receive and respond to Tweets from your smart phone.
4. Find customers in your neighborhood
Using the search option on Twitter is one of the little-known ways for finding customers in your area. Go to search.twitter.com and look for the "Advanced Search" tab. Fill in the fields to identify the prospects and geographical area that you're looking for and you'll find any Twitter users that match your criteria. You can then send them a targeted message, such as a coupon, special offer, or just a shout out to stop by your business.
5. Enlarge your employee talent pool
You can also use Twitter to post job listings and, more particularly, find potential employees that possess sharp social media skills. For example, come up with a Tweet for the job position you're looking to fill and highlight the critical keywords with a hash tag (#). After your Tweet is posted, you can combine your original hash tags with other words or phrases, such as "résumé" or another term that is relevant to your business sector, to expand your search.
These strategies can help you maximize the power of 140-character Tweets and keep your business in front of social media conscious customers.
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