Really, Do I Need to Tweet?

Business owners in all industries are being relentlessly pressured to “get on Twitter.” Everyone from management gurus to tech advocates discuss Twitter as if it were the “missing link” to success, without which you cannot possibly prosper in the 21st century business world. Yet like most business trends and fads, just tweeting for tweeting’s sake is not the real game-changer. Plenty of businesses have Twitter accounts without a single extra sale or lead to show for it.

What really matters is what, how and when you Tweet. A business-minded overview of Twitter and its potential is offered below:

Why (Some) Businesses Should Tweet

(Brood_wich)

First, let’s clear up a common misconception about Twitter’s value to a business. It’s not about randomly Tweeting whatever comes to mind and hoping that somehow boosts sales. It’s about relationship-building. Unless you sell extremely cheap commodity items (like $2 light bulbs that people can only find in dollar stores), it is likely that consumers are interested in your business, its activities and what it is all about. Even prospects who may not be ready to buy anything yet can sometimes be enticed to follow your company’s Twitter feed and stay in the loop on its current promotions.

This is where the true business value of Twitter lies: keeping your prospects and past buyers “warmed up” and interested in what the business is doing. Properly cultivated, a loyal following of Twitter followers can become an invaluable source of leads and sales over time. Instead of running un-targeted commercials or newspaper ads (or even in addition to these techniques), you can immediately reach out to a group of people who want to hear from you.

What Businesses Should Tweet

(Coletivo Mambembe)

As you might imagine, most of your company-related Tweets should be about company matters. This includes:

  • New product launches
  • Recent sales or discounts on current products
  • Whether a hot, in-demand item is about to run out
  • The fast-approaching end of a big sales event
  • Joint promotions with other businesses

However, not all of your Tweets should be about these things. The worst “Twitter crime” a business can commit is making its feed a constant, uninterrupted sales pitch. All but the most die-hard of prospects or customers will soon tire of this and unfollow your account. In order to keep people around and interested, it helps to periodically Tweet about things that have nothing to do with selling your product. This includes:

  • Your company’s opinion about industry trends or events
  • Your company’s reactions to major headline news (don’t overdo this one, though)
  • Words of praise for worthy competitors
  • Critiques of alternative products or services
  • Giveaways or contests

SmallBizTrends concurs, advising “don’t be afraid to throw in the occasional slice-of-life tweets” because it “helps break down that wall between owner and client and offer the stuff that everyone can relate to.”

How To Tweet It

(Phillie Casablanca)

It is also immeasurably important your company’s Twitter feed not be boring. Remember: the idea is not using Twitter as a permanent, web-based ad. It is about giving prospects and customers a reason for tuning in and staying on top of company activities. Thus, it is not just about what you tweet, but also how you tweet that matters. Using a robotic, monotonous voice on Twitter is a guaranteed recipe for being ignored.

Burger King offers an excellent example of how to Tweet the right way. Instead of blandly reciting their current offers with no style or enthusiasm, a recent tweet reads:

“The BK Burger Builder. It’s like that time you built shelves, with less pain and humiliation.”

Don’t assume this means that your business Twitter account must be funny (although it probably wouldn’t hurt.) The takeaway is that you want to develop and consistently use a voice. There should be a distinct look and feel to your tweets that resonates with your followers and keeps them coming back for more. This will necessarily differ by business and by industry, but never forget the importance of tweeting in an interesting way.

Survey Your Prospects & Customers

(D.Begley)

Twitter can also be used as an inexpensive form of guerrilla market research. Once you have a sizable following of at least a few hundred people, consider putting your next tough corporate decision to a vote. Too often, important decisions about price points, customer service policies and new product launches are made in a vacuum, with no customer input. Since customers are the entire reason the business exists it all, it makes sense to get their feedback when feasible.

Luckily, Twitter is tailor-made for this kind of informal market research. The next time you feel the company would benefit from customer opinion, set up an online poll on any of the following topics (and tweet it out):

  • New product launches
  • Hours of operation
  • Color options (on things like clothing or accessories)
  • Anything else that could affect sales or response

Ethically “Clone” The Successful Twitter Strategies of Others

(ShashiBellamkonda)

If any of this seems overwhelming, there’s a quick way to make sense of it all: study the Twitter feeds of other businesses (especially your competitors.) Twitter has been around for a few years now, and while it’s still a hot trend, it is no longer a mysterious activity that only genius business owners understand. Chances are, one or more of your competitors is doing Twitter correctly: recruiting lots of followers, keeping them interested and even using Twitter as a promotional tool.

When in doubt, study these feeds and determine whether you can ethically “clone” their strategies. Don’t blatantly rip something off, of course — instead, try to authentically understand why a given tactic works and use it in a unique way on your own Twitter.

46 Responses

  1. Reply
    Shailesh Singla
    Jan 06, 2011 - 12:34 PM

    Thanks to webs. It helped me very for my social site

  2. Reply
    The You Show
    Jan 06, 2011 - 12:50 PM

    Like always, Great Article Webs!

  3. Reply
    U WANT
    Jan 06, 2011 - 03:26 PM

    i am starting a new twitter account for http://www.uwantworld.webs.com and this is helpful ,thanx

  4. Reply
    Buxster
    Jan 06, 2011 - 05:22 PM

    Dose “Webs” own “Contact me”? And great article. :)

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Jan 07, 2011 - 10:24 AM

      @Buxster: Yes, it is under our umbrella brand.

  5. Reply
    David
    Jan 06, 2011 - 07:22 PM

    Great post on how to properly enforce and uphold a Twitter account. Too many times have I seen mine and other’s Twitters looking… kind of… blah. I’ve learned and I think others can benefit from this post to change it up for themselves.

    Bravo, now let’s see some new templates soon?

  6. Reply
    blackhawk logistics
    Jan 07, 2011 - 01:32 AM

    I want to say why not tweet?
    it’s very easy and take a few time to promote your Business.

  7. Reply
    Marney1
    Jan 09, 2011 - 06:23 PM

    Twitter is doing wonders for my site as far as visitor counts go.

  8. Reply
    Mick
    Jan 10, 2011 - 12:52 PM

    I find the combination of using twitter and my own webs site is fun and begining to have an impact on visitor numbers.
    Whilst http://www.southernupland.com does not really need to sell itself the benefits come from meeting others with a similair passion for Archery well done Webs and well done Twitter
    I am a commited web twitterer and follow the advice in this article on webs blog ttfn Mick

  9. Reply
    Brian
    Jan 10, 2011 - 05:19 PM

    Interesting post about twitter,, I myself am still trying to learn the basics of Facebook marketing for business and sure enought to say, it is quite the learning curve. Great post anyhow!

  10. Reply
    Brandon
    Jan 11, 2011 - 09:50 AM

    Let me ask you a question… how do you get the date of the day displayed boldly on your blog? It’s really cool…

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Jan 11, 2011 - 09:57 AM

      @Brandon: Our design is hard coded into the Webs template.

  11. Reply
    jeff
    Jan 11, 2011 - 10:00 AM

    tweeting is not necessery i tried with over 900 followers and i only tracked about 2 hits per tweet and somestimes none back to twitter people who do good with twitter i think must have about 50000 followers plus.

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Jan 11, 2011 - 10:08 AM

      @Jeff: The key to twitter is to post information that your followers would find interesting, not only something that is of interest to you.

  12. Reply
    weezykon
    Jan 17, 2011 - 04:41 AM

    hi pls i want tweet on my site plsssss

  13. Reply
    Kurt Schlatzer
    Jan 17, 2011 - 11:49 AM

    If you promote your Twitter account on packaging, POS signage or window stickers, be sure to include a QR code for quick and easy scanning with mobile devices.

  14. Reply
    ANTZ
    Jan 19, 2011 - 10:41 AM

    do you have to add loads of people on twitter like facebook to get people to read whats on your page?
    i use to have facebook but got fed up with adding people and keeping up with it all.

  15. Reply
    Drew Knapp
    Jan 24, 2011 - 10:14 PM

    Great article! Thanks for helping us walk the fine line between business, self and social media.

  16. Reply
    joe sizemore
    Feb 03, 2011 - 11:14 PM

    is there a way visitors to my site can tweet about my new posts like so many sites do by liking on facebook

  17. Reply
    Michael W Bousquet
    Feb 05, 2011 - 11:20 PM

    thanks to twitter and facebook my business has really turned for the better

  18. Reply
    sandy
    Feb 10, 2011 - 02:32 PM

    People actually follow Burger King on Twitter? You have got to be kidding.

  19. Reply
    Patricio Carrasco | Parque Infantil
    Feb 10, 2011 - 07:50 PM

    Social networks are the future of marketing, set aside to twitter is to escape the future.

    Excellent article!!

  20. Reply
    mathew
    Feb 13, 2011 - 05:08 AM

    thanks..can i use automatic update for http://www.wackyshares.com/..

  21. Reply
    anica
    Feb 13, 2011 - 01:43 PM

    I need as much trafffic as I can get that is why I must twett too.

  22. Reply
    norajoe
    Feb 23, 2011 - 05:27 AM

    Thanks for this insight. will open a twitter account for the business right away!

  23. Reply
    aridss
    Mar 01, 2011 - 09:27 AM

    is it true that i can make rush on my website and promote my business through facebook & twitter?????????????????????

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Mar 01, 2011 - 10:08 AM

      @Aridss: What do you mean by rush?

  24. Reply
    Erimays
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:42 AM

    the network helps as to have more connection to real change of the world as much as possible

  25. Reply
    dld
    Mar 20, 2011 - 05:46 AM

    I amhoping to have Twitter, Facebook and other search engines available to my site, as there are a number of people who can benefit my daily entrees!

  26. Reply
    ayman
    Apr 01, 2011 - 04:03 AM

    nice to join this web

  27. Reply
    DAVID KATSALA
    Apr 05, 2011 - 10:02 AM

    levels don change

  28. Reply
    freedom
    Apr 10, 2011 - 10:23 PM

    lovebase is where you meet people from different part of the world share your knowledge together and even your love ones because it,s love all through

  29. Reply
    GJ Monfort
    Apr 13, 2011 - 02:06 AM

    Learnt a lot more through this article. Thanx webs.

  30. Reply
    johana conti
    Apr 19, 2011 - 07:37 AM

    SPARKLE** Like no one else, come shop on jewelrytorealestate and Become your own BOSS, make $’s w/o working.

  31. Reply
    ANGELA
    Jun 10, 2011 - 04:43 AM

    wow..this is great!

  32. Reply
    apartamente chisinau
    Jun 21, 2011 - 09:17 AM

    Super article — i utilise all sugestion for promote my site http://locuinte.webs.com and http://simos.md

  33. Reply
    @FashionNugget
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:26 PM

    I think this helped a lot

  34. Reply
    MELVIN&PATRICIA JOHNSON
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:40 AM

    dramabook,live has great social online chat inbox connects ,family friends much more to come.

  35. Reply
    olajide
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:22 AM

    i love this site and all its component

  36. Reply
    SyedMuhammadAslam
    Sep 08, 2011 - 05:35 AM

    Hi friends, facebook-twitter are now weapons of global change, thanks !

  37. Reply
    Email Blaster
    Sep 10, 2011 - 03:57 AM

    Make sure your twitter links are working. An obvious tip but this one is the most important.

  38. Reply
    agber terhemen
    Oct 11, 2011 - 03:01 PM

    how can i get my site linked to other sites

  39. Reply
    jad assaf
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:23 AM

    Thanks Webs for the info! I will be starting a new twitter account for my website http://free-advertising.webs.com

  40. Reply
    Beltrandmarco
    Feb 23, 2012 - 03:07 PM

    chekea pa k vea

  41. Reply
    bill
    Mar 18, 2012 - 07:15 AM

    good job keep the info up

  42. Reply
    william
    May 19, 2012 - 11:03 AM

    thank you i needed this

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