Bernard Perrine, CEO, HipLogiq
In today’s social media world, small businesses are finding social media platforms like Twitter increasingly important to bring new business in the door. Twitter is unique because as a public forum it allows for intent-based marketing, or opportunities for small businesses to join in on relevant conversations in real time, in a personal and direct way.
At any one moment, millions of conversations are taking place across the landscape of social media, including Twitter. It’s daunting for a small business owner to think about finding customers that way—where do they start?
Tip #1: Build your community. The information you post for potential customers needs to represent your business and what you have to offer. Once you’ve signed up for your free account at http://twitter.com and chosen a business-focused username, build your community by following other companies or individuals that are related to your business or industry. Create a profile by uploading a quality image, like your business’s logo, and complete your bio with details about your business. This lets people know who you are and what type of Tweets to expect from your business. Complete your profile by uploading a header image, adding the location of your business, and adding the Web address to your home page or blog.
Tip #2: Engage your audience. The entire focus of Twitter is to create a following that is interested in what you have to say and will share it with their followers. Take a look at the right side of your Twitter profile to see which topics are trending in your area and participate in these conversations by providing quality, related content. When you see an appropriate opportunity to jump into a trending topic discussion, by all means, do so. Take a proactive approach by engaging with nearby customers in real time. A great way to create engagement among your online community is by sharing links in your Tweets to your company’s blog posts, news releases or images of special events.
Tip #3: Drive your sales. Companies can – and should – be using Twitter to boost their bottom lines. In the age of social media, people aren’t shy about voicing their wants or needs. Just do a simple Twitter search for “need food,” and you’ll find thousands of people letting the world know they’re hungry. This eliminates the guessing game when it comes to determining intent versus behavior. Once you’ve found someone looking for your product or service, reach out to the follower with a personalized offer to visit your business. The intent to buy is already there, and all you have to do is fulfill their needs. By extending a compelling offer to a consumer for what they want, when they want it, it’s hard for them to say no. Personally targeting potential customers maximizes intent-based marketing and helps your business discover customers who have expressed real intent. It’s as simple as listen, reply and reward.
As Twitter continues to grow in importance for social media marketing, small businesses can use it as a smart and effective marketing tool to get ahead in the world of social media and bring in new revenue. Happy Tweeting!
About the Author
Bernard Perrine is CEO and co-founder of the Twitter marketing company HipLogiq, creator of social media marketing applications SocialCentiv and SocialCompass. You can reach Bernard at firstname.lastname@example.org or @HipLogiq on Twitter.