How to Market Your Business with Twitter

Looking for new ways to get more customers and expand your reach? Then check out Twitter. When used right, Twitter can be a highly effective marketing tool, allowing you to keep in touch with current customers, while reaching out to new, potential ones at the same time.

Not sure where to start? Here are the most important things to get a successful campaign up and running.

Get an account. Sign up for a free account at Twitter.com. Make sure to pick a name that is easy to remember, but still indicative of your company and brand. Then, create a custom design that incorporates your logos, colors and other collateral; you want customers to visit your page and remember exactly who you are and what you’re all about.

Map out logistics. Figure out how much time you can devote to your Twitter campaign. Can you post at least once a day? Do you have the budget available to dedicate a staff member to maintaining it? How will you manage responding to questions and requests? You may also want to consider signing up for a service like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite; both of these can make running your campaign simpler and more manageable.

Create a strategy. Brainstorm what you will use Twitter for. What are you customers like? Would they appreciate deals, coupons and sales info? What about jokes? Do they like photos or behind-the-scenes info? To really figure out your strategy, it may take a few weeks of trial and error. See what your customers respond best to, and discover which Tweets only get crickets. From there, you can begin to narrow in on a truly effective strategy.

Make it shareable. Always aim to make your Twitter content shareable. Tweet what your followers are interested in, and encourage them to share your Tweets with their own followers. This not only gets your current followers interacting with you and your brand, but it exposes your content (and your company) to hundreds or even thousands of new, potential customers!

Get following. Reach out and follow other users on Twitter who shares your interests, provide great industry info or who could be potential customers. If possible, retweet their content or send a reply and give feedback. Most likely, they’ll follow you in return, or share your information with their own followers – both of which can help you expand your brand.

Cross promote. Do you have Facebook? A website? Printed marketing materials? Get your Twitter link up on any other outlets you have. The more exposure your account has, the more potential customers you could reach.

Measure, measure, measure. The only way to ensure your campaign is successful is to measure it. Use URL tracking to see which links are getting clicks, and check out your Google Analytics account regularly to see if your Twitter is directing plenty of traffic to your website. If you’re not seeing the results you want, make subtle changes until you start to see an uptick.

Maintain. In order to see long-run success, you have to be devoted to maintaining and managing your Twitter account. Always respond to questions and replies, and make sure to interact with your users on a regular basis. Don’t let them forget about you!

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Eric Stauffer is an online marketing professional and small business advocate. He currently works with CardPaymentOptions, who reviews companies like Stripe.