by Brian Flax
Twitter is an online service that allows you to post short messages that can be read by your business’ followers and potential customers. Tweets are limited to 140 characters; these messages can be re-Tweeted, or “shared,” among Twitter users.
Follow these tips to connect with potential customers, increase your online exposure, and build a reputation for your business online using Twitter.
Share Your Twitter Profile
Ensure that your Twitter profile and URL are easy for customers to find. Add a Twitter “Follow” button to your website so your customers can follow your business and read Tweets with the click of a button. Add your Twitter URL to any other social media profiles your business runs, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Once you have a Twitter profile for your startup, stay active and communicate with potential customers as often as possible. If a customer sends you a Tweet, respond in a timely manner.
If the Tweet is negative or involves a potential problem or bad experience, try to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Don’t be defensive or rude to the customer; your business’ online reputation is at stake.
Offer Customer Incentives
Give customers a reason to follow you on Twitter. Create and share content that adds value to the customer’s experience with your company. If you are running any discounts or promotions, make sure to share the details on Twitter. Any Twitter user that re-Tweets your post gives you additional exposure to their social network and and a chance to gain more followers.
Don’t Just Advertise
Your Twitter followers are more likely to stay interested and active if you post content that doesn’t just involve advertisements. Post about your interests, trending topics, breaking news, or any other information that can personalize the experience and capture your audience’s attention. Re-Tweet content posted by other Twitter users that you feel is worth sharing with your network. Keeping current and potential customers engaged and entertained can also help build your online reputation and increase your exposure.
Offer Customer Service
Use your Twitter account as another tool customers can use if they have questions or problems about your product or service. Keep any sensitive information for direct messages only. Don’t post account numbers or customer data in any of your Tweets.
Use Twitter as a retention tool and make your unhappy customers happy. If they have problems, fix it for them or point them in the direction of someone who can.
Be Search Engine Friendly
Optimize your Twitter profile by including relevant keywords in your Twitter username and bio. Doing so will make it easier for potential customers to find you using traditional search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, since search engines will index your profile. Try to include keywords and hashtags in your Tweets to make them more search engine friendly.
It’s important to have a strategy for your business’s online presence. Before creating a Twitter account, or any social media profile, make sure you have a strategy that helps build your brand and your online reputation. If you find you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media accounts, think about hiring or contracting a social media manager who has experience in your industry.