Using Twitter to Attract and Retain Customers for Your Small Business

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

Leverage the public exposure of the popular social media platform Twitter to engage customers, both potential and existing, and grow your small business. Individuals or other businesses on Twitter can follow your company in the same way they follow people. Your tweets, short messages limited to 140 characters, are automatically shared with your followers. A key benefit is that tweets can include photos and videos, as well as links to your website. Here are some great tips for effectively using Twitter to build your business.

Understanding How Twitter Is Unique

You’ll be able to use Twitter most effectively when you clearly understand the key advantages and disadvantages of the platform compared to other social media outlets. A tweet resembles a short Facebook status update but has the advantage of appearing in all of your followers’ Twitter feeds instead of being subject to filtering like Facebook posts. When sharing photos on Twitter, it is much easier to engage people in conversations than it is on Pinterest. LinkedIn is based on reciprocal networking relationships, while Twitter offers the advantage of allowing you to follow, and potentially engage, anyone you choose.

Your Twitter Presence

Make sure your Twitter presence matches your company’s overall online presence. Doing so helps to strengthen your company’s brand identity. Therefore, create a consistent look, in terms of color and style, for your Twitter profile and your company website. Many small businesses opt to use their company logo for their profile header, which is a large background photo that can be augmented with text that communicates your company’s unique selling proposition. Consider adding a smaller profile photo of yourself on top of the profile header.

Following others on Twitter establishes a connection with them and encourages them to follow you back. One smart marketing move is to follow key influencers in your industry. As an example of how this can help your business, a small hotel in New York City invited influencers and journalists to visit. Some of those high profile individuals then tweeted about the hotel, reaching thousands more people than the hotel could through its own Twitter account.

Send Tweets Regularly

Stay engaged with your Twitter audience. Social media marketing experts recommend tweeting at least once a day. Send tweets using trending topics and hashtags, which are short subject phrases preceded by the pound sign, to increase your exposure by connecting your business with widely read and shared popular topics. The marketing possibilities offered by Twitter are too numerous to list here. The main point is that Twitter represents an excellent outlet for free advertising.

Also, don’t make your tweets all about marketing. Many businesses have found they attract and engage more customers by making their tweets a mixture of entertainment and advertising. Strengthen connections with followers by tweeting links to helpful articles related to your business without overtly advertising your business, or tweet cartoons about your industry; visual images are usually better attention-grabbers. However, definitely use Twitter to publicize sales or special events your business is offering.

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