Why every business owner needs to be on twitter

 
 

Whenever I ask clients if they are on twitter, the reaction is pretty much the same across the board: “Why do I care what people are having for breakfast?”

Poor old twitter – it seems that most people think it is a dumbed down version of the Facebook “status” update when the reality is that it can be an amazing business tool if used right.

Australians seem to be a little slow in getting on the twitter for business bandwagon while in the US and Europe, it has been fully embraced and highly utilized as a medium for:

  1. Making connections

  2. Sharing information

So let’s explore these two concepts as they are the MAIN reasons why anyone in business should both have a twitter account … and also USE it! I won’t be exploring the mechanics of who you should follow or how to get people to follow you – rather I will pick up from a point where both these items have been addressed and you’re ready to make twitter work hard for your business.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

No other medium allows you to get yourself on the radar of someone more quickly or less intrusively than twitter. Why do you even want to make a connection? Well maybe there’s a key influencer in your field, and you’d like to make them aware of you and want to find out more about you. Or maybe there’s someone you think it would be cool to partner with, but you don’t want to cold-call or cold-email them because more than likely, their response will be cold. Or maybe you have a product that would be beneficial to an individual or their followers.

Twitter allows you make connections quickly and easily and creates a sound platform for building a firmer relationship via email or even in real life. Just ensure your intentions are genuine and there are mutually beneficial reasons for making the connection.

How do you make a connection?

1. Reply to something they have written.

Say you work in finance and you see a tweet from kellyexeter that says “Can’t think why the RBA raised interest rates when inflation hasn’t gone up in 3 months“. You could reply by saying “@kellyexeter here’s an interesting article on the reasons for the latest interest rate rise: www.linkhere.com“. As you can see, if you want to reply to someone, you put the @ symbol in front of their twitter handle.

2. Re-tweet something they have written.

As Aaron Lee mentions in this post, re-tweeting something interesting makes two people happy: the person who you are re-tweeting, and your own followers with whom you have just shared something cool. The other happy benefit is that when you re-tweet someone, they notice you and will sometimes even say thanks. Connection made.

3. Send them a direct message

You can only direct message (DM) people who are following you but since many people in the twittersphere tend to automatically follow those who follow them this is not usually a problem. DMs are most appropriate if you want to share something interesting with an individual, but not the whole twittersphere.

SHARING INFORMATION

The second thing that twitter is amazing for is the sharing of information. I can’t remember the last time I went to Google to look for the most up-to-date information relevant to my industry. By virtue of the people I follow (influencers, experts and other interesting individuals in my industry) anything of interest to my industry is delivered straight to my twitter feed. These individuals post articles of interest, links to newsworthy items and also discuss hot topics via twitter. I can either follow the conversation or join in myself if I feel I have something worthwhile to add.

What about if you’re looking for a very certain piece of information? Well you can just throw it out there in a tweet. No more searching via Google and trying to sort the wheat from the chaff! You can be sure that if someone points you towards an answer, it’s a reliable source. And you are pretty much guaranteed someone will help. I was having trouble creating a Facebook welcome page for a client and I tweeted my frustration. Within an hour I had an email from someone who wasn’t following me with a solution. Too easy!

THINK YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO SPEND ON TWITTER?

Well neither do I! I do have an iPhone though and tend to go on twitter when waiting in the line at the bank or the post office or Woolworths. It’s a great time killer and any useful web links I find on there that I don’t have time to read, I email them to myself to read later.

A total time of investment of less than 10 minutes a day allows me to:

1. Keep my finger on the pulse and ensure my industry knowledge is up to date

2. Connect with influencers and experts in my industry

3. Keep tabs on people of interest and learn more about them

I think of Twitter as networking without the travel, time commitment or the pressure. It also has the added bonus of allowing you to extend your reach much further than traditional networking and enabling you to connect with some seriously cool, talented and generous individuals.

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GUEST SEO BLOGGER:
Kelly Exeter is the Creative Director of Swish Design. She blogs at smallbusinessblog.com.au and you can follow her on twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/kellyexeter

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry. Questions? Here's Dan's contact email.

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