By Janis D. Pettit
Are you tweeting? If so you may be wondering if it's really paying you back for the time and effort you put into it. I must say I wondered the same thing when I started but now I'm grateful I stuck with it, because it's become an indispensable business building tool.
Just like anything else in your business if you have a clear strategy you'll get better results. Just randomly tweeting doesn't accomplish much and you'll find followers clicking the un-follow button. Instead figure out how you want to use this versatile tool and what type of results you're hoping to get.
1. Build relationships
o Use tools like tweetdeck (it's free) that help you divide followers into groups or categories so you can interact with the people with whom you really want to form relationships.
o Re-tweet the interesting tweets of people you respect and follow
o Reply to their requests or relevant tweets
o Mix in some personal information that's fun so you show people you're human and have a life. This does not mean posting what you had for lunch!
2. Build your expert status
o Post links to valuable information, blog posts, videos, web pages. Follow leaders in your industry who have many more followers.
o Respond to their posts and build a relationship with them. Each time your tweet appears in their twitter stream, their followers see you.
o Tweet live from events where you speak or that you attend and let people know what's happening in real time.
o Tell your followers about your success with clients
o Build relationships with subscribers who are not yet clients
3. Find joint venture partners
Follow people who have the type of clients you want or who offer products you think your subscribers and clients would buy. Build relationships with those people and approach them about a joint venture if it would be a win-win situation
4. Educate about your products or services
Notice I said educate, not sell. You can gently tell your followers about upcoming offers or send them to a preview video or blog post, but absolutely no heavy sales language. Offering your followers special time-sensitive deals for them only is a great approach.
5. Surveys-find out what people want
6. Customer support or questions
You can answer customer questions or let them contact you through Twitter if they have a problem and need help
7. Press releases
Let followers know when something exciting happens at your company by tweeting about it and linking them to a press release
8. Strengthen relationships with current clients and subscribers.
Brag about your best clients. Re-tweet what they have to say and support their efforts on Twitter as much as possible.
Of course there are even more ways to use Twitter. It's also important to set up your Twitter feed to be imported onto your Facebook wall or fan page, as well as to Linked In. That way Twitter becomes command central for much of your social networking which saves you a lot of time.
Look at the list above and decide how you could best use Twitter to generate traffic to your website or blog and build lasting, loyal fans, and new valuable relationships.
Janis Pettit is a small business coach and marketing expert who has owned successful small businesses for 21 years and has coached hundreds of small and solo business owners, showing them how to dramatically increase profits and build wealth. She is co-author of 136 Ways to Market Your Small or Solo Business and creator of numerous business marketing home-study courses and coaching programs. Get her free e-book, 12 Secrets to Building a Profitable Small or Solo Business, plus access to business building audios at http://smallbusiness-bigresults.com.
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