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Nov 30,2008 Juno Ecommerce Ecommerce

5 Ways Micro-blogging Can Help Your Business

If you are a small or medium sized business, you have the advantage of size when it comes to using Social Media to engage with your clients. It's much easier for a smaller business to implement and experiment than it is for a large enterprise.

While Twitter may have been dismissed by some as a waste of time, there are several ways a business can use it to make connections, expand communications with stakeholders, track conversations about your company and the competition, discover trends and more.

What is Twitter? Twitter is a micro-blogging tool. Users set up an account, choose people they would like to "follow," and post short statuses or "tweets" on whatever they wish. Followers can either follow back or, as a user, people will find and follow you. You will then see their timelines (or tweets) and they will see yours.

So, what are the practical ways for a business to use Twitter? Here are five suggestions you can try in the next few days.

Do you publish articles? -Article Marketing is one of the best ways of gaining exposure and establishing your expertise, as well as getting you found in search engines. When you publish an article, post the link to Twitter and immediately you tell your community who may be interested in checking it out. If you publish to more than one article bank however be careful not to "over tweet" your followers. Be selective.

Do you blog? - Blogging is an excellent way to interact with prospects, clients, customers - in fact anyone with an interest in what you're blogging about. With a simple blog application, Twitter enables you to "tweet" each new blog post to your community, driving traffic to your blog.

Holding a webinar/seminar? - Use Twitter to get input for your seminar, such as questions and then announce the seminar to your followers.

Has your company launched a new product? As well as sending out a news release and blogging tell your audience through Twitter.

Discover Comment and Share - Get the most from Twitter by participating not simply broadcasting. So look for things of interest to your community, that aren't about you, and share by tweeting and "re-tweeting" to your audience. Respond to your followers' tweets, but go further by visiting and commenting on their blogs. This has the added value of providing back links to your own blog as well as creating more exposure as people visit your blog to find out more about you.

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, used well Twitter can help you make and build stronger relationships with your stakeholders.

While small businesses can move quickly and have an account in a matter of hours, larger businesses may need more time because they need to ensure Twitter is used strategically and in a way that engages the entire company and helps them achieve business goals.

What's the cost?

Setting up a Twitter account is free. However many underestimate the time commitment needed to get the best from Twitter and some find themselves quickly overwhelmed. Twitter can be time consuming for a business - exactly how time-consuming depends on how you use it. Be prepared and plan accordingly.