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How to use Twitter to grow your business

Just like any other networking tool you can use Twitter too to grow your business [read how to grow your business with Linkedin]. It is a great place to follow conversations, study trends and participate in global talks. It helps you study what your prospective customers and clients are talking about and then make changes in your business accordingly. Businesses that change according to your customer and client feedback are the ones that grow faster.

It’s all about creating a vibrant presence [read how to get attention on Twitter] where people listen to you and you listen to them and there is a two-way communication. Your presence can be in terms of your brand or as a person — as a person works better because people have someone to directly talk to instead of the feeling-less company name.

Here’s how you can

Use Twitter to grow your business

  • Create a presence. You should have a decent account on Twitter with a name people can associate with.
  • Don’t start following people right left and center. Creating a meaningful presence on Twitter takes time. Don’t follow thousands of people just so that they follow you back. This works for some but you’re not trying to get tons of followers here, you need people who really listen to you and are interested in what you have to say.
  • Use hashtags and trends. To see what people are saying about your business or products and services your business offers. This will give you a chance to approach them and offer a solution if they have a problem. In TweetDeck and Hootsuite you can create columns for different search terms so that all the updates related to your search terms appear in those columns in real time.
  • Use Twitter tools. It’s not very productive to use the default Twitter interface because it doesn’t offer you many features. Instead, you should try out the tools mentioned above — TweetDeck and Hootsuite — to enhance your Twitter experience as they offer you many inbuilt features. With Hootsuite you can even schedule your tweets to appear after a couple of days of posting.
  • Create an informative profile page. A profile page is the background for your link http://twitter.com/username. People visit this link in order see who you are before they follow you and this is good place to showcase important information about you or your business. It’s simply a background image with your picture, URLs and other details. Due to a particular format of the default Twitter profile page you’ll need to be careful about how you design your Twitter profile page. Here are a few examples of some great Twitter profile page backgrounds http://www.2expertsdesign.com/design-showcase/50-beautifully-designed-left-bar-in-twitter-profile-backgrounds
  • Actively participate in conversations. When you converse with people on one-one basis they remember you better and respond to your tweets more eagerly. This is how you eventually establish long-lasting relationships.
  • Use Twitter lists. After a while it becomes difficult to manage tweets of all the people you’re following. You end up missing important tweets because so many people are posting at the same time. You can create Twitter lists to organize people you’re following so that you don’t miss important tweets. You can keep your lists either public or private.
  • Be consistent. You need to maintain your visibility on Twitter simply because there are too many people there competing for attention. Remain offline for a week and people begin to forget you. You need to be in front of them — if not always — at least daily, for a certain amount of time.
  • Maintain quality. You are known by the tweets you post. Be regularly visible doesn’t mean posting anything you come across. Whether it belongs to your own website/blog or to some other source, be selective about what you post. Is it valuable to your followers? Are they going to benefit from it?
  • Show interest in other things too. If you just talk about your business you are not going to make much impact. Be a part of the society because eventually every business is a part of the society. Have a say in politics or social affairs? Don’t hold yourself back.
  • Strike a balance. For a persistent Twitter presence you’ll need to strike a balance because after a while it’s difficult to draw a line whether you are trying to grow your business or simply idling away your time.
  • Continuously monitor your presence. If you want to grow your business with Twitter then you should continuously analyze your activities and performance. After all you are putting your resources that you could have used somewhere else. If you are spending your own time on Twitter then keep a tab on how much you are spending and how it is affecting your business performance.

Like any other business networking exercise creating a presence on Twitter that helps you grow your business takes time, effort, and in many cases, money. You’ll need to have a solid strategy.

Here are some more good links on how to grow your business with Twitter: