Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Twitter Part Of Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

The interesting thing (to me) is even though there are so many Twitter users, less than 10% are active on a regular basis. In fact, I read most users have less than 10 posts and same for followers.

Even if Twitter is included in your marketing strategy, without commitment and regular contribution to build a following it isn't really a strategy. Twitter should be included in your marketing mix, but not how I see many people using it.

So many times, I see people using Twitter to send automatic direct messages (DMs) when someone follows them promoting their product, or they have automatic tweets set up to go out at the same time, everyday, that say the same thing.

This is not how Twitter is used effectively and to most, these methods are seen as spam.

While tweets can be set up to automatically post, there is a way to set them up so that they aren't seen at the same time day after day. You can stagger your messages throughout the day and at different times on different days.

But you can't just use automatic tweets and believe that Twitter will be a successful medium for you. Twitter is a part of social networking. The key word is networking. Twitter is a means to connect and build relationships from all walks of life and from around the county. For a business owner, or company, it's a way to branch out from Chamber Mixers or BNI meetings on a local level. Don't just tweet or read. Reply. Retweet. Talk.

In my opinion, and based on the experiences that I've had with Twitter, the strategy that you come up with and implement includes finding followers and following people who you can connect with ….. and then after striking up a relationship on Twitter, moving the conversation to email, phone, or in person.

Social media is all the buzz. I encounter many small businesses who are allured by the fact it is 'free'. They think they can ditch all other marketing and focus exclusively on Twitter and Facebook. (Most will be very disappointed.)

I think Twitter can work to support a sound marketing plan. (That means actually having a well-planned, diverse marketing plan.) However, too many just tweet silly things without thinking about relevant keywords that may lure new followers.

It's important to think about your customer/prospect base. It's not what YOU think is important, but what your customer/prospects do.

The bottom line is to figure out what will build loyalty and increase sales.