By Kelley Sloyer
Many small business owners hang in limbo when it comes to actively engaging on Twitter. When deciding whether to tweet or not to tweet, consider that 85 percent of Twitter users feel more connected to a small business after they begin following it, Twitter reports. By tweeting daily, you are not only opening up another customer service tool, you are enlisting a new promotional avenue as well. The following are four reasons why tweeting should be on your daily must-do list.
Builds your presence
Your website and social media networks feature your store’s contact information and important links. Keep your branding consistent by completing the same information on your Twitter page, including profile picture and background. Then start to build your following by conducting searches for Twitter users through hashtags (#description) or by your local area. A great resource is Twellow, the “Yellow Pages” for Twitter. Another way to connect is to conduct a search for a specific product or service that you carry. Chances are, someone on Twitter is searching for it. Follow or reply (@username) back to the users to inform them that they can locate the product they are searching for at your store. By following others on Twitter, you are increasing the chances that these users will follow you back, and ultimately become a customer.
Quickly promotes your store
Unlike other social networks, Twitter places a limit of 140 characters on each tweet. Use this to your advantage by tweeting quick updates. For each tweet, include a hashtag relevant to the update you are sharing. If you are promoting a new arrival, an appropriate hashtag can be #newarrival and the name of the product line (#vendor). For a special sale or event, use a hashtag unique to your promotion so your customers can easily find updates, and can also include the hashtag in their own tweets. Twitter says that 74 percent of people follow small businesses on its site for product updates. This does not mean you have to promote products every day, but you can feature a new arrival or spotlight a product. Become a resource to your customers by tweeting community events, flash sales, trivia, facts, and more.
Brings your personality online
Keep your language consistent, bring your passion to life, and tweet content that relates to your business.
Remember that your customers choose to shop at your store for many different reasons. One of the top reasons is your store’s culture. Capitalize on this by bringing your in-store culture to Twitter. Keep your language consistent, bring your passion to life, and tweet content that relates to your business. If you own a bridal shop, keep your customers abreast of the latest trends in both weddings and proms by tweeting a link to an article featuring the colors of the season. Other popular weekly ideas, depending on your store’s audience, can be to feature pictures or quotes for #MotivationalMonday or #ThrowbackThursday. Another great way to gain exposure is to retweet content from other Twitter users, which increases the likelihood that they will tweet a thank you note to you.
Helps provide great customer service
One major reason customers choose to shop at your store is because of your personalized customer service, so bring that to Twitter. Reply to your customers when they ask questions, thank them for becoming a new follower, and always respond quickly to complaints. Add a personal touch to replies by signing them with your first name or initials. For example, “@username Thanks for following us! -KS.” As with your everyday in-store customer service, you are establishing a connection through a conversation. Treat Twitter as another way to promote your store and as an avenue to communicate with your customers, and you will be on the right path to an active and successful Twitter page.