Well maybe tweeting isn’t that intense, but tweeting to market your budding business sure is an art form and I want to show you how to be a Twitter maestro. So by now you’ve probably got scores of bloggers and social media experts telling you that content is important. Great, we got that down. But exactly what kind of content are we talking about?
The term “content” itself sounds as ambiguous and unspecific as the word “filler” on the nutritional label of a box of chicken nuggets. Let’s stay away from “filler” and instead pinpoint the types of tweets you could (and should) be using to promote your business. Remember that your type of business dictates your Twitter “identity” and tone. Below I’ve outlined five fundamental types of small business marketing tweets as well as provided you with great examples of startups successfully using Twitter.
@dsamuel thanks. Love to get specifics on how you think we can be different. Got a spare 15 anytime soon?
— papercake (@paper_cake) June 13, 2012
So this one seems rather basic but many people often forget that Twitter offers a vast amount of networking potential. Many entrepreneurs find mentors, allies, co-founders and even investors by first creating a “latch” by tweeting/direct messaging the right individual, which then later expands into a full-blown business relationship. I do not condone shameless, out-of-the-blue soliciting and mass tweets though. If there’s a contact you’d like to connect with; follow them, read their tweets, strike up a friendly conversation and build up a rapport before asking them for their time. @paper_cake’s tweet is an excellent example of effective Twitter networking.
Did we mention that we are having HUGE sales on clothes & accessories (up to 70% off!) all day today? Happy weekend! gi.lt/PryRU8
— Gilt.com (@Gilt) July 6, 2012
Got a Wacky Wednesday Sale to boost the number of customers at your ice cream shop on hump day? Are you offering your legal services at a discount for local veterans? If your marketing strategy includes coupons, promotions and discounts then don’t forget to tweet about them! If your customer base is online (as @GiltGroupe’s following is), you MUST post about your special deals with a direct link to the sale. If you host your services traditionally (offline), tell your clients that they can regularly find discounts on your Twitter feed and that will incentivize them to follow you.
— RickshawTruck (@RickshawTruck) June 15, 2012
Food truck companies like Rickshaw Dumplings depend on their Twitter feed; since they run a portable service, they tell their customers where to find them via tweets. I really enjoy reading @RickshawTruck’s feed even when I’m not hunting for my next office lunch, because they’ve mastered the art of tone. In 140 words or less they connect with their customers in a cool and amusing way all the while providing important details such as what’s in their product or whether or not they’re sold out on anything. That’s #twitterbizsavvy!
— Mint.com (@mint) July 5, 2012
This kind of tweet is especially vital if you’re running an app or software product. Most technically well-versed people (and even the average tech “Joe”) now turn to Twitter for quick customer service assistance. Let’s face it; if your product breaks or is being buggy, it’s your job to let your customers know and then get the issue fixed as soon as possible. The easiest and fastest way to address customer service inquiries and let your users know about updates is by tweeting. Kudos to @Mint for doing this exceptionally well.
— overlawyered (@overlawyered) July 7, 2012
So let’s say that your new business has nothing to do with technology – it’s not online, it’s more traditional and you’d be laughed at for trying to market it as anything close to “cool,” so you have serious doubts about even needing a Twitter. I’d like to counter that doubt because I think that about 99% of all small businesses can benefit by tweeting (even the CPA firms and auto-mechanic shops). As long as you’re passionate about your business and have the know-how, you can attract new customers by showcasing your expertise through valuable, industry-specific tweets. @overlawyered is the Twitter arm of a legal blog of the same name and they tweet enlightening and pertinent tidbits of valuable litigious information. Show that you’re an expert by doing the same.