If you own or have a vested interest in a business, you must develop alternative avenues to communicate with your target audience. Enter one of many tools: Twitter. Twitter is a fantastic communication and engagement tool, but a tool that you should work to use daily, especially for business/professional purposes.
Twitter should not be a press release platform or a marketing propaganda machine. Tweets should be informative and add value to your audience. Will there be instances when sharing a recent press release or marketing collateral will be necessary? Absolutely, but it should not be the sole course of messaging.
If you are not yet using Twitter, here are 10 reasons to use Twitter every day for your business:
1) Target Your Audience: You may search Twitter in a manner similar to any search engine–searching by keywords, users, within a date range and hashtags among many other criteria. But for many businesses the most important search function might be by location. Many businesses want to connect with those local to them, so why not target and follow those people who are close to your location? A great way to network locally and bring people through your doors.
2) Connect With Your Audience: For one second, let’s not consider what you need to post for your business but instead consider how you connect with your audience. It is important for companies to listen and respond alongside their followers. This shows that you are more than a brand but have a personal side to relate to the community.
3) Consistent Messaging: The message you convey about your business is extremely important and you want to ensure that it is a reflection of what you actually do. Do not talk about your product/service on your website in one manner and then sent tweets that contradict that message. Your followers will easily identify this, and your interaction will not carry the same impact. How you begin tweeting should be the same in your cadence and voice in order to best connect with your audience.
4) Corporate Branding: In the Marketing/Public Relations vein, Twitter is important to express what your business does. Keeping the brand message consistent is important for your followers to know you and what you do. For example, Twitter is a terrific way to spread a company motto.
5) Stay Relevant: Twitter allows businesses to remain in the minds of their followers. Even if a message is not on-target for a particular individual, they still see your logo on their Twitter feed and see that you are active. Even thought this may take just a moment, your followers see that you are active which is crucial for social media engagement.
6) Highlight Products/Services: On occasion it is a must to share news on a product, service, discount, or promotion that is happening. Self-promotion (to an extent) is a necessity through social media and if you convey these messages mixed-in with more engaging messages there is a strong possibility of a positive response. Create a strategy for how and when to post these messages, and always ensure that you are contributing to other conversations in-between.
7) Employment Branding: Twitter is also a great means to convey what it is like to work for your business. Why not highlight a few of your employees or talk about fun things happening in the workplace? Let everyone know that today is pizza day, or Hawaiian shirt day. Having people interested in working for you is a good thing!
8 ) Talent Acquisition: Leverage your employment brand and talk about openings within your business. As you share the business culture, leverage these communications with specific openings you are working to fill. It is a perfect marriage of communication and recruitment.
9) Develop Trust: Communicate with your connections in a direct and informative manner. Simply participating in conversations will “push the needle” of trust in your direction, but it is more than that. Suggest resources when there are questions or introduce connections to each other when a need arises. Most importantly, don’t expect anything in return!
10) Add Value: Value is quite important and often overstated. Value is interpreted differently by each person, which makes this a somewhat gray area. The critical factor to consider is to create compelling and interesting content to share. Over time you will gain insight as to what your connections are discussing and what is important to them, and then you focus on those areas.
A Twitter strategy is important and you need someone to take on this position who understands how to interact with this audience. Put a working plan together and revise as needed. Twitter is an excellent tool but all strategies change along the way. Take time to understand what your ultimate goals are and begin to connect with your audience. Most important, have fun (it shows)!
Keith McIlvaine manages the recruiting social media strategy for a Fortune 500 company and is an avid networker. He is a corporate recruiter, social media advisor, coach, speaker, blogger and an all around fanatic. Connect with Keith on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or on his blog at the HR farmer. (The statements posted on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer)