Many small business owners find themselves intimidated by the Social Media Revolution that is literally taking over the world. It is no longer enough for a business to have a functional Web site in order to be considered "online." Being present on Twitter (along with Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn, among many others) is becoming less and less of an option if you are planning to remain competitive. The proverbial "sticking one's head in the sand" might work for an ostrich; however, savvy business executives need to be keenly aware of their surroundings and all the business trends in their industry. Social Media can be a great tool for accomplishing this.
What can Twitter do for you? Since many of us make decisions according to the "pros and cons" model, we have provided a list of the most evident advantages and disadvantages below. It is up to you to make the final call. Before we go into the list, let us make a disclaimer. Yes, anyone in the world could stumble into your tweets; yet, it does not mean that you should not select your target audience. By choosing the people to "follow" on Twitter (the equivalent of Facebook's "friends" or LinkedIn's "contacts"), you create your own Twitter network. Start with searching for and then following your current customers, industry experts, competitors, your competitors' clients, and let the network grow.
- Promotions. You want to reach your customers about the new service or product you have to offer or announce a limited-time promotion? Tweet away! Twitter is great for announcing promotions, giveaways, and contests.
- Recruiting. Have a job opening in your organization? Tweet away! We, at Seed Technologies, recently started advertising job offerings only through the online media (craigslist.org, Facebook, Twitter, and such), and have had great success.
- Customer Service. Although someone said that "any publicity is good publicity," most of us want the good publicity. But would you not want to know if some dissatisfied customer out there puts out bad tweets about your company? In our upcoming newsletters, we will discuss what to do in such situations. Yet, most bad situations can be remedied by a quick response and appropriate action. You might or might not turn a disgruntled customer into a happy one, but if you respond quickly and appropriately, you may be able to convert the by-standers (observers of your public Twitter interactions) into new customers. Tweet away!
- Market Research. Market research can be extremely costly but you will have a good grasp of the market trends if you spend a little time on Twitter now and then. See what people are talking about in your industry. Search for "hash tags" (words preceded by the '#' character that indicate a topic of a Twitter post) relevant to your business. After a few days or weeks, you will be much more informed on the buzz around you. Who knows, you might even run into a few ideas that may help you revolutionize your business.
- Time. There is a learning curve in most new endeavors, and Twitter is no different. It will take a little time to gain the experience to become a power user. Fortunately, you do not need to be a power user to start tweeting about what you have to offer to the world.
- Effort. You will need to make it a habit to check periodically on what is happening around you, what your customers and competitors say, etc. Yet, some of it can be delegated to your IT or administrative personnel or even outsourced to a Web Development company.
For more information on Twitter, visit "Twitter 101," a special guide for businesses, found at business.twitter.com/twitter101/ or call us at Seed Technologies to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Social Media strategy.
All of us at Seed Technologies are wishing you a joyous holiday season! Happy Tweeting!
We are offering a complimentary seminar on internet marketing and social media. Give us a call if you
would like to attend. 918-742-0028.
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