Using Twitter For Business
by Allyn Hane
Last week I was asked by a client, “How can we benefit by using Twitter for business?”
It’s a fair question and one I get quite often. I believe this is because of the unique nature of Twitter. Most folks realize that Facebook is a great place to have a business presence, and that Pinterest must be worthwhile because “my wife is on there 24/7” … but what about those Tweets? Can they help us? Isn’t Twitter just for Justin Bieber fans and those looking for dirt on celebrities or athletes?
Let’s face it, on the outside, Twitter can seem quite limiting to a business and its message (communicating in 140 character strings is an art form for sure). On top of that learning curve, many business owners just don’t understand Twitter and they often end up just broadcasting to the abyss – never to see a return.
That being said, I wanted to give you a few tips that I think can help you – and instead of them coming directly from me, I figured I’d let some of my close friends from Twitter tell you their thoughts on the subject.
The interviews in this video came during a “TweetUp” held at Industrial Revolution Eatery in Valparaiso, IN just last week.
So What Is A TweetUp?
A Tweetup is the same thing as a local Meetup of like-minded folks with the biggest difference being Tweetups are typically organized by folks who “know” one another via Twitter. In most cases, they are geographically based, but they can be based on any set of criteria you can imagine. Some Tweetups span technical specialties or industries, while others are based around events.
The folks in the above video are from the Northwest Indiana Tweetup and we’re based around, yep, you guessed it, NW Indiana. This particular meeting had more than 60 people in attendance (a record for us).
What Can We Learn From These Twitter Experts?
- Not Just Broadcasting :: Notice no one said anything about “broadcast your message” or “tell people what’s so great about your business.” Instead, they each talked about engaging or reaching. They stress the fact that Twitter is another way to communicate with potential customers or business partners – not shove your message into someone’s face. The terms “engagement” and “reach” are terms that imply you are “giving something of value” in order to inspire someone to reciprocate. A leader can “reach” into the hearts and minds of followers but only if he or she first provides a reason for them to reach back. “Engagement” is a two-way street and “reaching” someone implies they aren’t ignoring you. You must always “give” before you “get.”
- Dial in the Numbers :: It’s also important to understand that Twitter in relation to business is a numbers game like any other marketing strategy. If you want to be heard by thousands, you must be willing to invest time and energy into earning those ears! Now go back and read point #1 above.
- Immediacy :: Interactions in Twitter happen “in the now” and quickly fade. However, in those fleeting moments are where loyalty is earned. To be on top of your game in a fast moving environment such as Twitter shows that you truly care. You can call this reputation management if you like – but it’s more than that. Knowing when you are being talked about (good or bad) and being there to interact is the pinnacle of success with Twitter for business. I’ll say it again, “Go back and read #1 above!”
These are just three quick tips that our #NWIndiana experts were able to rattle off when I shoved a camera in their faces with little warning. These are great tips that came easily – because they live it!
Special thanks to:
Steve Dalton – MyMobileFans.com
Dave Woodson – BuyNWI.net
Gus Olympidis – Family Express
Nathan Press – Family Express
Nat Finn – BakedFinn.com
Andrea Evans – Catch22 Bar and Grill
A special “shout out” also goes out to Chris Mahlmann and the crew at ValpoLife.com who sponsored this great event. If any of you are interested, our next #NWITweetup will be April 3, 2013 at Figure 8 Brewing in Valparaiso, IN. Let me know if you’re planning to attend!
photo courtesy NWIndianalife