By Jasmeet Singh
Today, every small business is expected to use social media to its advantage.
However, with the internet flooded with so many social media platforms, the choice to select the right one for your business is not easy. The list starts from Facebook and covers Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and now – Tik-Tok.
As I write this article, there is definitely another social media network under development. The list is every growing and endless.
Plainly speaking, every social media platform has its own different kinds of the user base, which at times is the same person accessing a platform with a different mind frame.
For example, I am always on LinkedIn for professional networking. On the other hand, YouTube is where I watch all the latest movie trailers.
You see – every platform is like chalk and cheese, which gives us an indication of how a business can leverage the social media platform to grow itself or serve its needs.
Small businesses have budget and time constraints. i.e., they cannot afford to focus on every social media platform to promote their business. Also, hiring a digital marketing agency might be too expensive for them.
So when I decided to write the article, I wrote it keeping in mind the needs of a small business specific to one social media platform.
Here we are – In this blog, I will focus on Twitter and its utility for small businesses.
Before I get down to Twitter and how your business can use twitter to its advantage. Let me introduce you to twitter.
Last year in March, Twitter turned ten years old. The “140-word” platform had its first tweet sent on Mar 21st, 2006, by founder Jack Dorsey.
You will be surprised to know; there are 310 million active users on Twitter. Although the number is relatively quite small in comparison to the 1.86 billion active Facebook users, Twitter users comprise of a very specific market niche.
Twitter might not be the largest social network, but it is a relevant social network for its brand of users.
Twitter’s ease of use on mobile (don’t give me stares. You just have to type 140 words. Don’t tell me you need a tablet or a PC to type 140 words. You are sending a tweet not a love letter to your girlfriend) has made it a darling of mobile users.
As per statistics, 80% of active users use Twitter via mobile.
What makes Twitter a powerful tool is the presence of world leaders from across the globe on this platform. As per the latest reports, 83% of the leaders of the world are on Twitter.
From Donald Trump’s rants to relevant news, Twitter is the place to hear the briefs from anyone to everyone.
The bottom line is – Twitter is a platform used extensively by businesses from across the globe.
Your business is missing out on a trick or two by not being on Twitter.
Twitter is not only an excellent marketing tool, but it is also one of the best platforms to help companies improve customer support.
Your business needs a Twitter presence because:
Of the sheer volume of relevant user base on Twitter:
Did you know, more than 50% of top brands have more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, and an average Twitter user follows more than five companies?
Your brand can position itself as per your social media image and then can connect with the users.
The strategy is simple.
You post good content and interact with your user base to keep them engaged. I have personally found Twitter to be a better platform for marketing than many other platforms.
The user base is filtered, relevant, and responds to appropriate content.
Your Business can provide real-time customer support on Twitter:
A few months back, I wrote an article for a popular website in India. The site sent the article for review (as per their policies). The usual wait time written over there for review completion was 5 to 7 days. I waited for a good ten days before dropping them an email.
Again, I did not hear back from them.
One beautiful day, I dropped a tweet to their Twitter account, and “Voila!” there was a response within 5 minutes. They connected me to their relevant teams, and the article was published within 2-3 days.
The head of the department also wrote to me about missing the article. It probably got lost in transit 🙂 .
I have had more instanced of using Twitter to help me connect with brands. For some reason, I have always found the twitter handling team to be more prompt than the actual customer support team sitting in offices responding to emails.
Here is another instance of Twitter, helping me get connected to the right group of a company.
One of the startups I am mentoring wasn’t getting a response from a marketplace for months. I again used the tweet strategy, and this time too, the answer was within minutes.
Suddenly, Twitter is where you bypass the customer care division and pass your concerns directly to the relevant departments.
I have never seen customer care work so efficiently in the past.
Here are some vital statistics to back my claim of Twitter being a better customer engagement tool than any other CRM.
- The last two years have seen a 5x increase in customer service conversations on Twitter, which very clearly means customer’s reliability on Twitter to share their problem with companies is increasing every single day.
- 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their queries within the hour, but the average is 1 hour 24 minutes. : Again, customers rely on Twitter as a tool to get a better response in comparison to the traditional methods of customer relationship management.
- 76% of consumers are likely to recommend the brand following friendly service. I have been tweeting chirping, singing praises of both the brands which responded to my tweets to everyone I meet.
The most important statistic to back my claim is – “Companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% lift in customer satisfaction”. I don’t think any business can afford to ignore that.
Of the ease of targeting users on Twitter:
Twitter is simple to use. The user base there is with an agenda. Very different from what users are doing on Facebook. For example, Facebook users are there to have fun and get entertained from the lives of others (just kidding!), but on Twitter, we are discussing serious stuff.
We have users who are there to discuss politics, marketing, sales, etc.
The profiles tell it all. Since the discussions are restricted to only to be done in limited words, the rants too are limited.
I have personally found marketing on Twitter to be more comfortable than Facebook marketing because of the ease of targeting the user base.
You, too, can easily use the segregated user base to build user-specific campaigns and target relevant users.
Of the indirect positive impact of Twitter on your business:
Here is an important statistic for you “54% of users surveyed by Twitter reported that they had taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets (including visiting their website, searching for the brand, or retweeting content)”
Imagine a platform where a brand mention can lead to conversion.
Why would your business not want to be there?
The more you interact on Twitter, the better your brand’s awareness gets.
Who knows? You might be able to make a few sales or get a few grumpy customers to reach you.
Twitter can also be used as a tool by your company to participate in discussions and make announcements to your followers.
For example, there is a concert in your town. I am sure Twitter will be abuzz with tweets and hashtags tagging the event. How about you hashtag the event and give free tickets to those who can prove to be your loyal customers, etc., etc. I mean, run a contest/campaign around it.
Within a few months, I have built a loyal Twitter base of around 2800 followers. The followers are relevant users who are interested in startups and entrepreneurship.
I run and mentor small businesses, and all of them use Twitter as an indispensable part of their digital marketing strategy.
Twitter is highly recommended for every business, which plans to engage with customers in a meaningful manner by leveraging the power of social media.
Twitter is a platform assessing your wittiness score from time to time. Why Twitter stands out from other social media platforms is because of the word limit restriction in tweets.
Some users find the restriction quite irritating; I see the limitation a smart move to let us communicate our ideas optimally.
As they say, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
Twitter is one of my favorite social media platforms. I have been active on Twitter for the last few years communicating with like-minded users and following the best and smartest brains on the platform.
How to use Twitter to promote a small business?
In case, you are convinced about the usage of Twitter for your small business. Here are few free super tips to promote (market) a business on Twitter:
- Your Twitter profile should be built smartly with a beautiful picture as your profile image (the business image will do). For the cover photo, you can take a picture of your office. The other details like about us, link to the business’s website, etc. are also quite relevant. Always remember, a poor profile is a big turn off for potential customers. Work on your profile before you take your Twitter account live.
- Twitter has a stringent policy for spam content. Try not to go to the dark side of creating spam content and get banned.
- The Twitter feed can be very easily connected to your website. I highly recommend you set up a Twitter feed section on your website to show the latest tweets made by you on behalf of your small business.
- Twitter relies a lot on hashtags to group the content. Use the right hashtags with your tweets to let your content be placed under the right hashtag.
- You can create lists on Twitter to group the relevant users you find on Twitter and get their tweets on a single list. The list feature is a must to make sense of all the noise on Twitter.
- Be engaging in terms of responding to tweets, retweeting, liking, sharing the excellent content you find on Twitter.
- Do not tag a vital personality and send a tweet, hoping to get a response from all of their Twitter followers. This is pure spam and will put you in bad books of a lot of Twitter users.
- To gain followers, make engaging content. Do not follow the process of follow-unfollow users time and again to get new followers and unfollow those who do not follow you back.
Twitter is a must when it comes to the digital marketing strategy for small businesses.
Jasmeet is a founder of Lessons at Startup – A blog where he shares entrepreneurial stories. He specialises in Digital Marketing and Content Writing. He is addicted to Google News, Netflix, Good Coffee and Quora ☺.