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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Seven Reasons Your Business Should Be On Twitter

by Matt Heinz

Twitter for BusinessI can think of seven specific, revenue-producing reasons why most businesses should be on Twitter. If your customers are using Twitter, you probably should be to. But how, and why?

Here are seven places to start:

1. Get New Customers

What do you sell? There are prospective customers talking about it on Twitter right now. Do a search for that product or service or topic and you'll find them. Reply to their tweets, and engage with them directly as prospective new customers. Better yet, start sending your own tweets with the same keywords or hashtags (which is the keyword with a # in front of it to help others find it). That way you'll start attracting new customers to you with the same topics or products.

2. Keep In Touch With Customers & Fans

Find out which of your customers are using Twitter, ask them to follow you. Follow them in return. Share news about your business, your new products, and topics your customers collectively will care about. Reply directly to your customers & fans, and retweet their Twitter posts that would be interesting to the rest of your followers. Twitter is a great way to keep an ongoing, interactive conversation going with your customers between purchases.

3. Watch Your Competitors

Who do you compete with? They're either on Twitter too, or are being talked about there. Do searches for them directly, and you'll not only see what they're talking about to their customers and prospects, but you'll also see what their current customers are saying about them - good, bad and ugly. Not a bad way to find new prospective customers, but at minimum you'll keep closer tabs on the competition - including gleaning things you could be doing to grow your own business.

4. Announce Sales & Specials

Putting that summer line on sale? Tell your Twitter fans. Announce that anyone who retweets the discount to their own followers is entered in a drawing for free product. Send special coupons and offers exclusively to your Twitter followers (which will encourage more customers to follow you).

5. Generate Referrals

Contribute content or links that your followers will retweet to their own followers. This will drive new customers to discover and follow you. Run a contest for anyone who retweets about your business today - all new followers and those who retweet are entered in a drawing for a gift card, or free product.

6. Cross-Promote Neighboring Businesses

If you're in retail or a restaurant in particular, and physically sit with other businesses, you're in it together as far as foot traffic goes. Help promote your neighbor businesses to your followers - even if they themselves aren't yet on Twitter. The more business you help drive to them, the more they'll help drive to you - either directly or via the increased foot traffic to your general area.

7. Cross-promote Similar Businesses in Other Markets

You're a unique hotel in Seattle? Partner with similar hotels in other markets and cross-promote each other to travelers. High-end French restaurant? Do the same. Build a partner network via Twitter to quickly accelerate the volume of out-of-town traffic you generate.

What did I miss?

How are you using Twitter specifically to generate new customers and repeat business?

Matt Heinz is principal at Heinz Marketing, a sales & marketing consulting firm helping businesses increase customers and revenue. Contact Matt at matt@heinzmarketing.com or visit www.heinzmarketing.com.

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Blogger Agora Media said...

One point which falls partially under the Competitors point: understand your market, understand what your customers/ potential customers drives, be up to date of all businesses that relate to your portfolio.
Twitter is an informational tool, when you create clarity, valuable information can be extracted from it.

Best regards,
Gianluigi Cuccureddu

11:29 AM  
Blogger Sweton F said...

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12:04 AM  
Anonymous BrandON said...

I think Matt has some very compelling reasons for businesses being on Twitter. However, I think the first question a business should be asking is, "Should I be on Twitter?" "Is it appropriate?".

Realistically, Just because your business can be on Twitter, doesn't mean it should. If you are going to use Twitter, you need to manage it, monitor it, promote the fact that you are on it and build and maintain enough followers for it to be worth using.

For instance, Halfords (For those not in the UK - a huge retail automotive part and bike supplier) is actually following more people than is actually following them. They serve millions of customers every year and they have 572 people following them (and how many of those are the serial followers?).

The truth is, nobody cares that they have a Twitter page because they have no online brand presence. You can't just setup camp online and think people will care, you have to give them a reason. So before saying "My business should be on Twitter" maybe businesses should first write down "Seven Reasons People Will Care My Business is on Twitter".

2:14 AM  
Blogger R said...

Product management -- announce new functionality, poll for preferences, gather feedback, arrange and manage focus groups, beta programs, etc.

3:20 PM  

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