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How To Use Twitter To Build Your Business

twitterWhen used effectively, Twitter can be a fantastic way to develop your business.
Initially, many were doubtful that Twitter was a platform you could monetize and create a big impact on your business. It was clear you could grow a following, but could those followers be persuaded to spend money on your products and services? Over time though, it has become apparent that Twitter is a great tool to find loyal customers when you use it in the right way. While many business owners are apprehensive about trying to develop a following, there are simple ways you can engage people and introduce them to your products. However, if you do not understand the way the site operates, mistakes can be made and your reputation can suffer as a consequence.
Engage with your audience
Twitter is, of course, a social platform so engaging with your audience is a must. Too many business owners assume you can simply post promotional messages and news updates and this will suffice. If you follow this path though, expect minimal results. To your followers you will appear to be anonymous and automated, simply a news feed to be glanced at or ignored. Start conversations with followers, respond to questions, post statements that intrigue or motivate people and show you are human. A good way to learn about this is to look at your industry leaders and see what they are doing to create interest.
Avoid overt selling or promotion
A quick way to destroy your credibility on a social network site is to start trying to pitch products or services. People typically use sites like Twitter for social and entertainment purposes, so if you interrupt that with a sales message you can harm your reputation. Instead, try to be subtle about the fact you have something to promote and sell. You can link to your website in your biography section, also providing a short description of your business, which will get a surprising amount of interest if you are providing something of value to your followers. Linking to your own blog posts is accepted, but try to also link to other articles of interest in your industry to show you are an active member of the community.
Keep an eye on relevant conversations
If you have developed your brand in the usual ways, Twitter allows you to spy on the conversations going on in the real world. Customer surveys and reviews are a great way to get feedback, but sometimes the information you gather is very formal. By using the search function on Twitter, real time conversations can be monitored and reported on for some valuable feedback. If it is negative in any way, you can possibly try to diffuse the situation with some immediate customer service, while additionally improving your overall working methods to avoid similar situations. In the best case scenarios, users will help you to move your products or services forward in a very quick and efficient manner.
While needing to follow certain rules or etiquette may seem daunting, do not be intimidated by this. Twitter should be treated just like any social occasion or setting. First, you get a feel for the place and the way things are done. Next, you dive in and let your personality shine through. It may not be essential for your business to have a Twitter account, but social networking is here to stay so it would be wise to not get left behind.