Is Your Small Business NOT On Twitter Yet? Are You Kidding?

If you are a small business owner you are probably thinking who has time to tweet and what is a tweet?

According to Comscore Twitter ranks right behind Facebook with 35.4 million unique visitors that spend an average of 24.4 minutes on Twitter itself.

Other stats show how Twitter currently has 100 million users a month, half of which log on every day and 55% of which log onto Twitter on a mobile device. Twitter is currently seeing 5 billion Tweets every 5 days.  That’s 1 billion tweets a day! (I do highly recommend having a smart phone if you already do not.)

Will your tweet get lost? Not if you make the right connections on Twitter.  To start I would recommend you begin using Twitter to learn it before you do any automation or use any services. That way you will become familiar and understand it. Before starting your Twitter account you’ll need a few things:

  • Have your logo ready – you will need it in a small size and it should be a square. If you are having it made up it should be 73×73 pixels. If you have a square that’s larger Twitter will size it down, no need to worry but you’ll need a square image.
  • A background image or creative thought up – You can use any image as your tile image for the background or have one made up professionally.
  • Have your profile carefully put together – so when others find you they’ll want to follow.  You are allowed up to 160 characters and it can include your web address or your “about page” of your website.

Then you will be ready to set up your twitter account. Twitter provides instructions here.

Once you have your own account up you need to get some followers. What are some ways to do that? In the beginning I would search by categories. For example, if you are a home remodeler you may want to follow realtors, mortgage brokers and people in your area locally. If you are not getting enough followers that way I would start to use Twiends. There you can put in your interests, get points and users will follow you. (FREE SERVICE) You do need to have followers to tweet to.  You can import your email contacts and see who you know is already on Twitter.

SO what is a tweet? A tweet is a message posted on Twitter with 140 characters or less.

What will you tweet about?  You should never just tweet about YOU or YOUR business. That is called push tweeting. I would not go above the 25% rule. 25% of your tweets can be about your business, your offers, services, etc. Your own content from your blog would be another great thing to tweet within that 25%. The rest of your tweets should be tweeting out others info, the realtors, the mortgage brokers and the locals.  In time you may see they will tweet out your stuff. It’s social!  It’s helping each other out. You make relationship this way on Twitter.

How much time should you spend on Twitter? In the beginning you should probably spend 15-30 minutes in the morning and another 15-30 minutes in the evening.  Don’t give up. The early days may not show much of a return.

What else should you know about Twitter? Twitter has its own language – here a few basics to get you started.

Hashtag – Looks like this “#” It is used to show a topic and is created organically on Twitter, for example if you are tweeting about houses you’d use #houses – Someone may search for houses and find your tweet.

@ – This symbol is used to call out users – you can thank users’ @username or send them a specific tweet @username Good morning. If you use @ before the tweet only they will see it, if you use in the tweet everyone will see it.

Re-Tweet – or RT is Re-tweeting someone else’s tweet and is a very good thing to do. RT@username is how it would look. Or you can just hit the re-tweet button.  This can generate relationships with other tweeps on twitter. It is a good idea though to know what you are Re-Tweeting. I tend to read most of them unless I know the tweep very well and trust their tweets. What is a tweep? A tweep is a Twitter friend or someone on Twitter.

Follow Friday – Is huge and Friday is a day not to miss on Twitter. Everyone is thanking their Twitter friends for help with a #FF or #FollowFriday hashtag.  Customize yours for the most impact.

These are the very basics of Twitter – to learn more refer to my Twitter References.

Why do I recommend Twitter? We found it extremely helpful in our scrub business when we started out and our largest orders came via Twitter. I have truly made friends and forged relationships over the past 2 years via Twitter.

Happy Tweeting!

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