Twitter is a challenging social media platform to wrap your mind around. A constant flow of updates, many of which you might find you don’t really care about… ain’t nobody got time for that! The thing is, it really is worth considering spending some time on. In this article, I’ll attempt to explain why using Twitter as a tool to build connections and relationships can directly help you grow your business over time.
It makes you accessible – One advantage a small business can have over a large business/franchise is the ability to connect with your customers, and make them feel like more than a number. A growing number of people these days prefer to do business with someone they know, like and trust. Someone who they feel is a real person they can reach out to, should they have a compliment or complaint. They want to feel like they have a personal connection with you, and if they like you and what you offer, they want to see you succeed. Twitter provides a unique opportunity to make yourself appear very accessible, which can help you build a community of brand advocates who will help you spread the word about your business.
Get insights from those who care about your business – Once you build a following of people who actually care about you and your business, it’s very easy to ask them questions related to your business. Thinking of changing the products or services you offer? Looking for suggestions or ideas to make improvements? Just ask to get quick & valuable feedback.
Spread the word about your business and specials – As you continue to grow a community of people who are interested in you and your business on Twitter, you can actually make direct calls to action to spread the word about your business, or exclusive special offers you want to make available to them. As long as you don’t bombard them with marketing messages and generally provide them with real value, people will actually help spread the word about your business if you ask them to. As an example, during back to school I tweeted from my Textbookexchange.ca Twitter account “#backtoschool and looking for cheap textbooks in Canada? Buy used textbooks at http://www.textbookexchange.ca/ :)” and one of my followers retweeted this message to their followers, instantly spreading the word about my business to a new group of potential customers. Twitter can also help you generate sales by offering exclusive promotions or offers. If the offer is good enough and well received, people will share it with their followers and friends which can directly increase your sales.
Get noticed as an expert, by those who have the ability to spread the word about you and your business – As you establish yourself and continue to be active on Twitter, you can get noticed as an industry expert. You never know, an editor of a trade magazine or a writer for the local newspaper might stumble upon you, and decide to mention you or perhaps even request an interview with you. They want content from an expert, which you are, and in turn can help you spread the word about your business.
Build relationships with people you admire and respect – Building relationships takes time, but take a minute to think of people or businesses who you really admire and respect, and try to imagine the mutual benefits that might occur if you connect with them. By following them, and interacting with them… this increases the chances of you getting noticed by them. As they begin to notice you more, you never know if they might reach out to you sometime. You would be surprised at the epic people you can make connections with, and sometimes these connections can lead to mutually beneficial business relationships or even friendships.
As you can see, using Twitter as a tool to help you make connections and build relationships with people can directly improve the chances of your small business succeeding over time. Your customers will care more about the success of your business, they’ll give you valuable feedback and constructive criticism about your business, they’ll tell others about you and your specials, you’ll establish yourself as an expert & you’ll have an opportunity to build relationships with people who can help you grow your business.
While the results are not instant, this is simply the reality of building real relationships with real people. Just in the same way as you feel more willing to help people you personally know, like and trust… Twitter provides you with a networking opportunity that can increase the chances of people feeling this way about you. As you start to increase the amount of people who do, they will help you grow your business.