Time to read: Two minutes. How should you market your small business on Twitter? You are not alone in asking. Step one: Ask a better question. WHY should you use Twitter? Step two: Ask yourself IF Twitter can make what your business already does better. Here’s how to find out if Twitter can help grow your business — and how — in 2 simple steps.
Now you’ve probably heard of using Twitter to broadcast. You know, being “a content filter.” Or being a “curator” of content. Forget these buzzwords and this idea. Avoid using Twitter like everyone else does… as a way to “pass on valuable or interesting information to prospective or existing customers — your followers.”
It doesn’t work. You probably suspect it. There is a better way. A painless way.
“How can Twitter help my business re-commit to helping customers make important life-stage decisions… or get important things done faster? Specifically, can Twitter make my current investments in marketing better — with an interactive, social element?”
Answering these questions will give you clarity on if and how to apply Twitter in ways that grow your business. For instance, business-to-business marketer Avaya (profiled in my new book on making social media sell) uses www.search.twitter.com to uncover leads — plugging them into an existing lead management system. The result: $250,000 contracts being signed. They’re literally helping customers “complaining into” Twitter solve a problem — namely, unload their current provider and find a better solution. Avaya’s! (read details about the story here)
Using Twitter to monitor for expression of your target market’s agnst or needs — and following up on them — is just one example of a purpose-driven approach to Twitter.
“How can our business make gestures on Twitter (as we do offline) that earn quality time with customers in ‘social spaces?'”
My personal experience with Twitter generates leads. And here’s why. Because I make my interactions with those I encounter on it meaningful: relevant and purposeful. Or I don’t use it at all. Here’s the secret. I do it in polite, respectful and honest ways that opens doors for questions. Needs that the other person has that my products and services have answers for.
For instance, I monitor search.twitter.com too. I occasionally come across people who are looking for a content marketing speaker or social media speaker. I often respond to the tweeter’s comment, complaint or question with something helpful. I make myself honestly useful. But I design the interaction to elicit response… and then respond to that response with another gesture.
The entire exchange is designed to assess where my prospect is in their decision-making (buying) process… IF they’re in one now or if they may be in the future. I can then set the proper follow-up with them. Simple! And ultimately I net sales using Twitter.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Avoid being “a content filter” or a “curator.” I know it’s trendy but ditch the idea. Instead, use Twitter to serve a purpose — for you and your customers. And ask better questions. WHY should you use Twitter?
And be honest. Ask yourself IF Twitter can make your existing marketing efforts better better. Can it discover latent demand? If so, great. Plug it into your sales process. If you don’t see an obvious fit don’t use it. Be bold!