OK, so I finally succumbed to writing a post about Twitter. Now I am no Stephen Fry (419k+ followers and counting), but I do like Twitter and what it can do for my business.
Twitter is huge and growing every day. In the UK, it's now the 50th most visited web site. And traffic has increased to a 32-fold from March '08—to March '09. There's a lot of people to Tweet to.
I'm quoted in this article explaining why I think small businesses need to use Twitter (and other social media) as its possible to become very visible with little more cost than the time you put in. Certainly something to think about if your marketing budgets are tight (or non existent!).
So here are a few ways that I use Twitter — and that any small business or individual can use it for too (and I have this conversation a lot with the un-Twitter-initiated, so now I can just point them here!).
- I learn stuff: I follow people and companies and publications that share great articles, blogs, videos and their own wisdom. I see it as my personal info-feed.
- I share stuff: I’ll ‘RT’ (re-tweet – the Twitter equivalent of forwarding) info, links, messages and ideas that I like.
- I tell people what I am doing (and not just ‘what I had for breakfast — the non-Twitterers over used comeback!). By ‘what I am doing’ I mean: personal and business stuff. I’ll Tweet about projects I’m working on, meetings I have, partnerships I’m working on, new blogs and articles I’ve written or been featured in — the ‘look at me’ things! But I’ll balance all the business updates with personal things too like what I’m reading, comment on current affairs, write about places I’ve visited and posts on my travel blog, for example.
- I meet new people: From all over the world. Like with all social networking sites, I get to connect to people I have no idea how I would have found otherwise. People with similar interests, or not - anyone who I think has something interesting to say. I can search on keywords and phrases to find people, or just look through people I already follow, and see if I want to follow their followers or who they follow (if you follow?!).
- I can get help and answers: If I need something or someone I can Tweet out a question or request and get an answer. I did this recently when I need a photographer in an area I have no contacts (Wales), and within 15 mins of my Tweet I got a couple of replies and one got the job. Too easy!
- I can use the power of networks (multiplied): If I want to connect with way more people than I can reach (and know) on my own, I can ask for ReTweets and suddenly my audience rockets.
- I can do really quick market research: asking a question or posting a survey to get a response when I need it fast.
- I’m first to know of deals and news: Well, not always first, but near the top :) A lot of people use Twitter as their ‘first port of call’ when promoting a new offer or deal and if you’re looking then you can jump on it.
- I can run promotions or Twitter-only offers: so that it makes it worth while following me.
- I am building up a network of people who are interested in what I have to say (I assume!), and that I can communicate to every day. This network may include potential customers, partners and suppliers so all pretty important people to my business!
And what don’t I do on Twitter — I don’t SELL stuff. This isn’t what it's for. Of course I link to a page on my bio that shows people what I do, and I will mention offers and my own articles and projects, but I don't set up a stall and sell sell sell ! (And I’ll stop following anyone who does this).
So how am working on using Twitter better?
See you on Twitter!
Want to talk more about this?