In the same way that most – if not all – successful businesses have a website, most savvy business owners now get the importance of social media. Platforms like Twitter are great for building brand awareness and engaging with customers and potential customers.
If you’re relatively new to Twitter, or just thinking about setting up a Twitter account for your business, you may be wondering how to grow your audience. So here are some useful tips.
1. Quality AND quantity. First of all, it’s important to remember that growing your Twitter network isn’t just about the numbers. You should aim for quality connections which are specific to your business sector, customer base, location and interests.
2. Starting conversations. As you build your network, you’ll find out that attracting followers and identifying people to follow often go hand in hand. Remember, even if you’re not following someone or they’re not following you yet, you can always start a conversation by tweeting an @ mention with someone’s username.
3. Who to follow. When you log on, Twitter will offer “Who to Follow” suggestions. These are based on accounts that appear similar to yours, the way you interact on Twitter and other elements, such as geography. Twitter also lets you find out which of your contacts on other accounts, such as Gmail or LinkedIn, are already using Twitter.
4. Other people you may want to follow.
• Journalists or bloggers, especially those who cover your industry sector.
• Local businesses. Search for other businesses in your community active on Twitter, or follow competitors.
• Your customers. Simply ask them if they’re on Twitter, and follow them.
• Pay special attention to your biggest fans or the ones who are most vocal on Twitter.
• People tweeting about your community and the regional topics you care about.
5. Other great tools for finding people to follow
• Wefollow.com You can search by geography or keyword. You can sort Twitter users by greatest influence or number of followers and you can add yourself to the directory
• Twellow.com Consult this Twitter account directory with hundreds of categories and a map feature, and add yourself.
• Followerwonk.com Search for people by their Twitter bios. You can sort results by relevance or follower count.
• FriendorFollow.com See who you’re following that hasn’t followed you back yet and who follows you that you haven’t followed back.
6. Other ways to tell people you are on Twitter
• Add a Twitter link or button on your company’s website or blog
• Add your Twitter user name to business cards, signs, presentations, invoices and advertisements
• Add a Twitter link to email newsletters and other email content.
I hope these are useful, but do remember – it does take time to build your network. Try not to be too judgemental about your followers in the early stages, apart from obviously undesirable accounts. Just because someone walks into your store wearing jeans, trainers and a T-shirt, doesn’t mean they don’t have money to spend with you – and they may have friends and family who may be potential customers too.
Oh, and remember to make your messages interesting, useful and/or funny! That way, people will spread the word even faster.
To find out more about Social Media for businesses visit Louise Hudson’s website.