Are you a part of the Twitterati? Do you follow @YFSMagazine on Twitter yet? And please don’t get offended if we refer to you as a Tweep. Believe me, it’s endearing. The more Tweeps the better, right?
After all, the stats speak for themselves. In a ‘twitterverse’ with over 106 million users, 460,000 new accounts opened each day and 140 million tweets sent per day, it’s puzzling as to why some entrepreneurs haven’t yet joined Twitter.
Twitterati: The Tweet elite, whose feeds attract thousands of followers and whose 140-character spews capture the attention of the rapt who doggedly monitor them. – UrbanDictionary.com
Can’t Find a Reason? No Problem, I’ve Got Plenty
If you can’t think of a reason as to why you should join Twitter, let me give you three – awareness, influence and revenue. A personal favorite – the brevity of 140 characters to force clarity and above all, help us get to the point.
Microblogging platforms, such as Twitter, have become increasingly popular. But for some, Twitter is viewed as a non-essential business tool. After further investigations (chatting with tons of entrepreneurs on the subject), I’ve been able to identify with and appreciate the root issues behind a brand’s failure to launch on Twitter.
Most reasons for not joining Twitter center on a lack of familiarity, inability to quantify results and assign short-term ROI to the platform. While I am not an expert authority on Twitter – there are plenty of experts and great resources out there – I’ve learned a thing or two since joining on December 21, 2009.
I have found Twitter to be extremely effective in building an online presence, driving engagement and increasing business value. Hence, there is a solid business case for improving your brand one tweet at a time.
Why Small Business Needs Twitter
What is the business need? What customer or market problems can social networking with Twitter solve? Many small businesses spend countless hours attempting to devise new ways to interact with customers and potential prospects. Social networking platforms could be the solution to your woes, if used effectively.
If your small business suffers from any of the following ailments, then Twitter may be for you:
Lack of networking visibility
Decrease in website traffic
Limited reach to customer base
Declining customer satisfaction
Poor customer feedback and participation
By using social networking tools, such as Twitter, a small business can work to solve these issues and benefit from increased loyalty, engagement and leads. Not to mention, the intrinsic value of being able to create a tribe of followers and conduct informal research. While the marketing arsenal is full of tactics to achieve these goals very few are proven to be as cost-effective.
The Big Market Opportunity behind Twitter
So, you may be thinking, that’s nice but I don’t have the time or resources to spend tweeting. That is completely understandable, neither did I. But that’s a small problem to have, given the scale of the opportunity.
Companies, including Dell, have reaped huge dividends – to the tune of $3 million, by capitalizing on the earning potential of Twitter. Moreover, if your prospects are there – why aren’t you?
The microblogging platform, created by Jack Dorsey, “reached 1 billion tweets in 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. Now Twitter users send 1 billion tweets per week. One year ago, users sent an average of 50 million tweets per day. Today, that average is 140 million. And the number is growing: There were 177 million tweets sent out last Friday on March 11, 2011,” according to The Next Web.
Making Dollars and Sense on Twitter
I once heard, “If you’re not making dollars it doesn’t make sense.” And if you are in business this is absolutely true.
Have you considered how your small business fits in the Twitter food chain? And how to make money? Start small, carve out a niche, develop a tribe and deliver on value. Find your sweet spot. What’s your voice? Perhaps you curate content or have original ideas that spark thought-leadership? Become active in the Twitter conversation and retweet influencers to get on their radar and provide value to your audience. Discover your voice and activate your Twitter authority.
Once you’ve developed a targeted following – give back to your most loyal tweeps, promote your business and add value by using twitter coupons (Twtqpon.com). Or test your grit in affiliate marketing. Sign-up with Commission Junction and share relevant offers with your tribe. The key to making money with Twitter is to stay relevant, be deliberate and forget the hard sell. Tweet with purpose.
Develop a Strategy and Delegate Twitter Tactics
If you’re excited about the possibilities but unsure how to execute, start by developing the strategy and delegate the tactics. Gain traction on your social media efforts and outsource a virtual assistant or hire a social media intern.
For example, assign projects to your new social media protégé. A typical project can include reading one chapter per week and implement 1-2 learnings per week. Request an executive summary report of his/her findings. Track real-time results using social media monitoring tools.
Not only will you facilitate an active learning environment, but you can free up your time to drive strategy and stay focused on the big picture – results.
“Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn
Do you have some Twitter rules for the road or success stories? Please share them in the comments section below. Don’t forget to make our friendship official and join Young, Fabulous & Self-Employed entrepreneurs on Facebook. Did you enjoy this article? If so, subscribe to YFS Magazine and never miss an update.