Monday, October 17, 2011

Social Media Soft Sell: Focus on Twitter

            So how do you market your business on 140 characters or less?  Good question.
            First of all, don’t skip on the profile photograph.  Many people use their corporate logo, but if you are a small business, you may be better off using a photo of yourself.  Says Laura Roeder in her article “Twitter Marketing…”, “Always make your Twitter photo a picture of you.  When you use your logo people feel like they are talking to a corporate 1-800 number.  When you use your picture they feel they are talking to a person.”
            Also, while you have to keep an appropriate tone, it’s okay to have small talk.  Some people I follow add tidbits about what they are doing during the day (giving seminars or going to a trade show) as well as when something good or unusual happens (received an award or published an article).  In addition, they may reTweet something they found interesting and related on another Tweet.  I find those Twitter accounts interesting, and I read them more than the truly formal corporate ones.
            You shouldn’t be stingy with your Twitter account.  Be sure to follow people in markets like your own.  Social media is about building relationships, so linking to others who offer interesting or related content helps.  Who knows?  Maybe a Web designer in Texas that I meet through Twitter may send a potential Maryland client to me just because I’m local, and he is not.  I have on occasion passed a potential client onto to someone I know who offered services more tailored that business’ need or was more local than I was.
            ReTweet the content regularly of people you follow.  You can be choosy and ReTweet ones you find useful, but be sure to do that.  It builds your exposure and goes along with the social aspect of – drum roll – social media.
            Most importantly, don’t let your Twitter account stay idle for long.  You should be adding tweets at least a few times a week.  If time is an issue, look for aggregators like HootSuite and set up accounts there.  Then you can go to HootSuite once a week, and plan all your Tweets at once and schedule them to show up when you want.  It may take a little organization, but it’s a good way to batch your tweet and be more efficient with your time.  Hootsuite can be used for many other accounts such as Facebook and Linkedin.  It’s one of many aggregators.
            And remember that this blog only scratched the surface.  There are whole books on how to market with Twitter.  I have by no means covered everything!

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