Photo: Gerry McKay/Behance
It seems like only a few months ago when I wasn’t sure if Twitter was relevant to my business, or if it would be a waste of time. Now I have over 280,000 followers on Twitter as StartupPro, and the business is fun as well as profitable. I’m now convinced that any entrepreneur can use it to kick-start their business, and build their brand as well.First, I’ll try to answer the most common question I still get from business people “What is Twitter, really?” For business people, it’s a way to put out “sound bites” or tiny ads on the Internet, much like you see them in the mainstream media on TV, but without the cost, to your prime audience.
Actually they are “txt bytes,” like cell phone text messages in length, and they are broadcast to all your followers, or directed at select recipients. People can respond in the same fashion with personal requests or general comments. The important responses are real “business leads.”
A lot of people are doing some very innovate things with Twitter. I won’t cover those here, but I’ll offer some practical tips to get you started.
This is a guest post by Martin Zwilling, CEO and founder of Startup Professionals, Inc. It has been republished with permission.
Make the relationship a win-win.
That means give before you expect to get -- free advice, special promotion, pointer to useful information, or sometimes just friendly conversation. Show that you are a real person, sincere and trustworthy.
With Twitter Search, and a host of free tools on the Internet, you can mine the universe of all tweets for people needing your product or service.
Set up filters to find them, and follow-up diligently and politely on every lead.
If you like Twitter for personal notes to your friends, use another account for business activity. Your business account should have a name, picture, and tone that reflects your business brand and logo.
One of the challenges of buying things on the Internet is to identify the quality sources from the scammers. Use Twitter to personalise your business, knowledge, integrity, and your leadership. People still buy from people.
Seek them out, offer interesting links, respond to tweets, and post thoughts for conversation at least a few times a day.
Twitter is not like email, where people diligently save and respond to every message. Stand out in the stream.
Never stop working to increase your following, by finding others, and improving your offering.
A larger following means more credibility, which iteratively attracts more followers. Don't be afraid to un-follow people who don't fit.
Adding 'RT @username' in front of the original tweet forwards it to your followers, and is a double win, if used selectively.
It improves your value to your followers, and increases the audience and credibility of the original sender.
Make sure people can find you from all directions on the Internet. Your website should have a link to your blog, your Twitter profile, LinkedIn profile, Facebook, and vice versa. This also improves your Google search ranking.
Twitter is merely a constant stream of absolutely current public communication. The good news is you can turn it on or off as often as you like, and mine the database at very low cost for useful information. Even big companies like Dell and HP use it to find customers, and claim million dollar returns. It's a valuable resource for every startup. Tweet me if you need help.
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