How Can You Effectively Use Twitter for Business?

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Answered by: Nicole, An Expert in the Microblogging Category
Using Twitter for business can be an amazing tool for brand awareness and to interact with your customers or potential customers. With just 140 characters, you can draw attention to a great new product or educate your audience on something that you're passionate about. And the great thing is that it works with huge name brand companies and local mom-and-pops alike. So, how can Twitter help your business?

Like most businesses, you've probably already created a Twitter account, but what are you supposed to tweet about? And how the heck do you get your audience to engage?

If you're tweeting but no one is responding, it's because your tweets are getting lost in all the chatter out there. Twitter is a big place, so stand out from crowd with attention-grabbing headlines that are fun and clever! Your followers want to interact with you, but you need to give them a reason to do so. Believe me, nobody is clicking on the boring stuff; they want the exciting and unusual stuff!

For example: say you run a local hardware store and you've got a handful of customers who are following you, so you want to tweet about a sale you're having this week on plumbing fixtures. Instead of just tweeting: 'We're having a great sale on plumbing fixtures so come on down', try something a little catchier, like this: 'Bathroom looking a little tired? Update your look with a new sink! Save 20% on plumbing fixtures all week.' And if you add a short link to your site where you're actually advertising the sale with name brands and pictures listed, you're going to get some interest going. Your followers are obviously interested in your business and when they see the value in your tweet, they will in turn be more likely to retweet it to their friends.

In using Twitter for business, you also want to keep in mind that self-promotion should really be no more than 20% of your tweets. A big part of getting your followers to engage with you is to give the people what they want. If it's just all about you all the time, your followers will soon lose interest. A hardware store owner would know that his followers are interested in home improvement or gardening, so he would want to share posts and tweets about those topics. Take a peek and see what some of your followers are interested in and start incorporating those relevant interests in your tweets.

Another way to engage is to ask your followers for their opinion on a product or important issue. Most people love giving their opinion on a subject, which is one of the things that make Twitter such a popular forum in the first place. Not only will you be giving something to your followers to respond to, they will be providing valuable feedback that can help you.

Twitter can be indispensable for businesses, but remember: it only works if you're using it frequently. And it doesn't have to take a lot of time out of your day; most smart phones come with free apps that can allow you to post on the go or even schedule posts for you. There are also countless online guides that can help you with Twitter technical terms, so be sure you understand the basics, like how to use hashtags or post links and pictures.

See you on Twitter!

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