Twitter For Your Business? Why?

by Alyse Mitten

When I meet with business owners to discuss their involvement in social networks, I seldom find them using Twitter. Twitter, with its hashtags, retweets, and mentions, doesn’t make sense to them. Well, first of all, Twitter is not really a social network but instead a feed of microblogs. Microblogs are short messages and, in this case, 140 character messages.

So why Twitter?

This is best explained as a brief story. The other week, I was teaching a class on “Monetizing Your Online Business.” One of the students in the class had a gourmet dog treats business. By using hashtags, we were able to find out what was being said on Twitter about gourmet dog treats, ideas for future dog treat recipes, what her competition was saying, and what businesses would be good to follow to discuss possibly selling their dog treats. Do you think she is on Twitter now? Yes.

Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn where you can’t reach out to people and businesses you don’t know, Twitter has no problem with whom you follow. There’s the why. Here’s the how.

Twitter Etiquette

Rule #1 – Follow first.

Follow at least 100 individuals or businesses. Plan who you want to follow. Find a business or person who has the same interests as you, click on who they are following, and choose to follow those businesses and individuals who would benefit your business. In no time you will be following more than 100 businesses and individuals.

Rule #2 – Thank them.

Once you begin to follow, you will find they will return the favor and follow you. When they do, thank them for following. Send personalized messages.

 Rule #3 -Tweet & Retweet

Prepare to tweet when you begin to follow but don’t begin until you have at least 20 followers. When you do begin to tweet make it once or twice a day. Retweet those messages that you want others to see in their feeds. Create hashtags for specific items or events having to do with your business. Do not over use hashtags. #It #can #be #soooo #annoying.

Follow, Be Followed, Thank Them, Tweet, Retweet, Participate, Repeat.

You can find us on Twitter @gomaava.