The Importance of Twitter: Life begins at 50 million
In 2009, Ashton Kutcher was hailed as the 'King of Twitter,' beating CNN in their battle to becoming the first Twitter user to reach 1 million followers. Five years on and the scope of this social network has exploded, with Katy Perry being the latest celebrity to reach a Twitter milestone; 50 million followers!
This momentous occasion serves to highlight the enormous scale that Twitter has achieved and the potential influence it has to offer those who attempt to harness it. As of January 2014, Twitter has obtained almost 650 million active users, with 1 billion tweets being sent out every 5 days (Source). Clearly, if you have a message to send out then a medium which would allow you to reach millions of people in a single click is the ideal platform.
Now, this is all well and good for actors and pop stars who are globally recognised and receive 10,000 retweets for posting what they had for breakfast, but what does it mean for you and your business? Small business owners may assume that the scope of a global medium such as Twitter is too large to be of much use to them, but they'd be wrong. Twitter is an incredibly effective, as well as inexpensive, way of connecting you to your clients/potential clients no matter how narrow your target market is.
An extremely high percentage of people are now using Twitter in their everyday life, meaning that you can quickly and easily communicate with a large number of people who may require your products/services. Even if you are targeting a small, specific audience, Twitter can easily connect you to those people or companies through the use of their search function and hashtags.
The following are just a few handy hints on how to make the most of your Twitter account:
Tweet, but don't spam
In order to gain and retain more followers you need to post content on a regular basis so that people have a reason to follow you and keep up-to-date with your tweets, but try not to overdo it. Users can get annoyed if their timeline is clogged up with tweets from a single person/company, potentially motivating them to unfollow you and therefore preventing them from receiving the important messages you send out.
Variety is key
Try not to solely tweet promotional messages about your business as this may cause people to become bored and unfollow you. Particularly if you are tweeting from a company page it is important to add a human element to your content by tweeting about a variety of topics, for example, interesting news stories, your everyday life and interests, amusing photos or videos. Tweeting advice and tips can also be a good strategy as it provides an extra element of value to your updates, making it more likely for people to follow you.
Interact with your followers
Twitter, perhaps even more so than Facebook, is a great platform to interact directly with your customers/potential customers. Engage in conversations with them in order to pique their interest in yourself or your company, and make yourself more memorable to them. It is also a useful way of attaining feedback on your products/services from previous customers. Pose questions to your followers which will help you learn more about how people view your brand and how you can improve.
Link your profiles
Adding a link from your website to your Twitter profile, and vice versa, will increase traffic to both, increasing the likelihood of people discovering your brand and buying from you now or in the future.