Nowadays, if you want your bricks-and-mortar or online business to succeed, you need to know how to harness the power of social networking websites because having a business website alone won’t guarantee you traffic, won’t guarantee you sales, and won’t guarantee you publicity. As the saying goes in the marketing world, word of mouth is the best publicity you can get, and if you learn how to use social media websites efficiently as a marketing tool, people will start talking about your business and will bring in new customers with their recommendations, increasing your sales.
Facebook, as many know, is a great website for advertising but according to Stephanie Lichtenstein, the CEO of Micro Media Marketing, Facebook has its limitations because it’s a personal space people share with friends, not businesses.
Twitter is One of the Most Visited Websites Worldwide
This is where Twitter comes in. According to James Martell, the host of Coffee Talk and extremely successful Internet entrepreneur, Twitter has over 500 million active users and is one of the top ten visited websites on the internet. Twitter generates billions of tweets and users come from all parts of the globe. Lichtenstein, while being interviewed for Coffee Talk, put it simply when it comes to using the microblogging website for business purposes: “People should definitely be paying attention to Twitter.”
Twitter “Opens the Door” to Conversations with New People
What Lichtenstein emphasizes is that while Facebook is about personal and social issues, Twitter is more about having a general conversation with all sorts of people. “It kind of opens the door,” she says. Twitter is also great for your business because it’s meant to be used as a status update platform where frequent “tweets” (concise updates containing 140 characters or less) are encouraged rather than discouraged as they can be on Facebook. This means that if you wish, you can advertise your business as often as you wish.
Real-time Customer Interaction
However, Twitter isn’t just about repeating your advertising messages; it’s about having real-time, interactive conversations with potential customers. By using features such as the “#” sign or “hashtag” as it also called next to a subject that is related to your business, your tweet will be posted in an area where other people are discussing the exact same subject, allowing you to start up conversations with potential clients. By adding a link to your business website in the same tweet, you have just opened up your potential pool of clients by hundreds if not thousands of people.
This is the feature that makes Twitter so efficient and effective; there is no need to set up Facebook pages and there is no need to get a bunch of “likes”. With Twitter, all you need to do to reach vast amounts of clients is send out a number of “tweets” with your business link and hashtag all possible keywords that have to do with your business.
Twitter Lets You Keep Track of Public Reaction
Twitter also keeps track of “tweets” that mention you. By monitoring what these “mentions” say about your business, you can tweak your online advertising strategy accordingly and address any questions or comments that the public may have about your product.
So, to summarize, these are the reasons why you should use Twitter for your business:
- It is easy, time and cost efficient
- It allows you to update your status as often as you like
- It is impersonal, making it a good platform for general discussions about your product
- It opens the door to conversations about your product
- It allows for real time, interactive conversations with potential clients
- It allows you to track and monitor your tweets
Increased Traffic, Increased Sales
Remember to always include a link to your business website in your tweets, and always ensure that your website has a proper payment processing system for online sales; if clients have to visit your bricks-and-mortar establishment to buy something, they will lose interest. The point of Twitter is to increase traffic to your site; the increased traffic should generate more sales, not disappointed customers.
Payments by bank draft, merchant account and PayPal should be accepted to handle the increased sales traffic Twitter will generate, and non-electronic forms of payment such as bank checks or the
personal checks online that many people like to use to showcase their individuality should also be strongly encouraged.
By using Twitter effectively as an advertising tool to reach out and interact with customers, traffic to your website will increase and chances are that your business will grow exponentially; just don’t forget to have proper payment processing in place to deal with all your new clientele.
Mark Harris of White Rock, British Columbia is an internet marketer and freelance writer who studies web-based businesses such as www.personalchecksplus.com. An avid kayaker and hiker, Mark and his wife like to spend as much time outdoors as possible.