“A very popular instant messaging system that lets a person send brief text messages up to 140 characters in length to a list of followers. Launched in 2006, Twitter was designed as a social network to keep friends and colleagues informed throughout the day. However, it became widely used for commercial and political purposes to keep customers, constituents and fans up-to-date as well as to solicit feedback.” – PCMag
Is it a load of hype or can I actually use it for my business locally?
Twitter can be very useful for local businesses. Twitter can facilitate community connectivity and online reputation management for local businesses as well as assist with customer service, brand awareness, and search engine optimization (website visibility on the internet).
1. Community Connectivity
People are talking on Twitter all the time. The secret is to use Twitter’s location awareness features to identify the individuals in your community to reach out to them. Use Twitter to follow the members of your community, engage in conversations and reap the rewards of knowing the pulse of your local community.
2. Brand Awareness
By engaging your Twitter community, you will increase Brand Awareness for your business. This can beneficially impact your business. In a recent study, individuals who followed a particular brand stated that they were 67% more likely to buy and were 79% more likely to recommend a brand since becoming a fan. cmbinfo.com
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Links posted to Twitter automatically have a rel=”No Follow” attribute added to them and therefore, will not increase traditional SEO via link building. Twitter does offer a great opportunity to inform the Twitter community about news, events, coupons/specials, etc based around your brand. By sharing this information via Twitter, your community will have the opportunity to write about this information on their websites, blogs, or Facebook pages which will increase link building and thus, SEO.
4. Customer Service/Online Reputation Management
If your business is open then somewhere someone is talking about you. One of the phenomena of Twitter is that it gives everyone a voice. As a business you have two choices: let people say what they are going to say or join the conversation. By using Twitter correctly you can talk with a dissatisfied customer and remedy the situation, tell people who are evangelizing your business “Thank You’ or assist clients with problems they have.
Twitter is a tool that if used wisely by local businesses can increase their connectivity to their community, permit companies to join the conversation about their product and/or brand, as well as increase brand awareness which assists with Search Engine Optimization. Eventually, this will lead to increased loyalty by customers, personal referrals, connectivity, and increased profits.