3 Uses of Twitter for Small Businesses

Twitter is probably one of the social networks that is the least understood by outsiders and offer tremendous benefits for those who learn its ways. (BTW, if you are unsure about social media in general, start here). Today we’ve picked just 3 ways your business can be using Twitter and here they are:

1. Customer Service

In today’s social age, when a customer is upset they often reach out via social media first. Like it or not, many customers have learned they will get a faster response when they tell the whole world about their problem instead of one Customer Service agent. Many companies have turned their Twitter account over to their Customer Service team or created a separate Twitter handle to respond to and complaints received.

Regardless of the direction you decide to go, it is important to have a Customer Service plan for Twitter. How will you respond to complaints? The benefit to responding to complaints on Twitter is other customers see how you handle complaints. If they are impressed with your strategy, it can deepen their brand loyalty. You might also consider regularly tweeting about upcoming webinars, how-to resoures and other help resources your customers would find beneficial.

2. Competitive Research

Jennifer Van Grove from Mashable wrote, “All too often, Twitter is used only for distribution purposes. But in fact, it’s a valuable tool for keeping tabs on your competitors, as well as your brand’s existing fans.” (source)

Using Twitter search or a monitoring tool such as Hoot Suite, we can monitor what our competitors are saying, how they respond to disgruntled customers and what they are highlighting about their company. This type of insight is incredibly valuable and helps us to find ways to become part of an industry wide conversation and position our business in the most competitive way.

The same holds true for your existing customers. Follow your customers to learn: What they talking about? What types of articles they are sharing? What questions they are asking? When it makes sense, respond to their questions and retweet their tweets. You will gain deeper insight into your customer base and boost brand affinity.

3. Twitter Specific Promotions

– Restaurants tweet the special of the day.
– Salons tweet a special discount for a day of the week or a limited time.
– Real estate agents tweet out their open house times and offer an incentive for coming.
– Software consultants tweet a daily discount for one of their products.
– Small businesses of all kinds develop their own #hashtag and offer entry into a contest by sending a tweet with the hashtag.

These are just some of the creative ways small businesses are using Twitter to run promotions. By using Twitter to run a promotion, you are reaching a specific subset of your audience and customer base. Everyone likes to feel special, and running a promotion to a smaller audience makes your Twitter followers feel, well, special. Take some time to brainstorm with your team the type of promotion that would work best for your company. Better yet, ask your Twitter followers what they want to receive from you.

Twitter offers so many ways to reach your audience. Take some time to create a Twitter plan and start tweeting! We’d love to see what you are tweeting about. Follow us on Twitter @Swiftpage and let us know where we can follow you.

Are you already using Twitter for your business? What works best for you? Share your tips with us!

About Audrey Howes

Audrey has been an active member of the Swiftpage team since September 2009. Audrey manages Social Media and special projects with her marketing know-how and design expertise. When she’s not working you are likely to find her enjoying time with her family in the mountains near Steamboat, going for a run, reading a good book, being goofy with her kids, or savoring a latte in a local coffee shop.


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