In this blog when I mention social media I will be referring to Twitter, rather than writing a blog referring to the social media networks as a whole. I am not one to believe in the "one size fits all" approach. Of course there are many more social media outlets on the web and I will cover these in my future blogs.
Over the last year I have spoken to many businesses big and small about how important I feel it is to have a presence on Twitter. I have found that some businesses, especially in the UK, are very wary of Twitter for many reasons. Some simply do not know how to go about running a Twitter campaign, others worry about getting it right. To run an effective Twitter campaign, it needs to be approached in the right way. It is better to stay away from Twitter if you don't know how to approach this effectively. I say effectively, because it is important to get it right in order to reach out to potential customers and clientèle, and most importantly not only build brand awareness, but to maintain your offline companys integrity and image. The main reason I am writing this blog is to simplify how I see Twitter and how it can help your business and put troubled minds to rest! :)
I have collated together some of the questions that have been put to me by various organisations:
1) Is Twitter here to stay?
Some say that Twitter could go as quickly as it came. This has been true for some unfortunate attempts of online social media. Like most things online or offline, if a product has demand those products tend to sell well and stay in their specific market place. Of course most products hit their market penetration, peak, then level off to a point where that product becomes common place in its specific market. This is the way I see Twitter, it has nowhere near seen its peak and because the product is a software it can be adapted and changed to keep up to date in its market much more cheaply than reproducing a hardware counterpart. Keeping my offline product analogy in mind, is Twitter here to stay? yes, it will continue to evolve and that means we will naturally evolve with it.
2) I am not sure that the likes of Twitter are suitable for our business
I have had numerous conversations with businesses about how Twitter can be used effectively for their particular business model. Again, when you run a business the ultimate goal is to get your product or service in peoples' minds. This is unquestionably the best way of advertising. What you have to sell becomes almost irrelevent , its how you get your brand in a persons mind to the point where if they need a razor they instantly think Gillette!
3) So Twitter, what can you do for my business?
Hopefully after reading questions one and two, you should already have the answer to this one. I would just like to add a bit more information that I have given to others and would like to spread my advice to others in the hope that if you or your business is holding back on expanding your offline business model onto Twitter, my information will help you with your decision.
Twitter is able to spread news in minutes -so if you have a sale of a particular product that you would like to promote, then Twitter is the ideal platform to use to spread the word through retweets, tweets, direct messages, @mentions and good use of #tags. It is not important how many followers you have, but the quality and integration you have on Twitter - it is necessary to keep up to date, respond to mentions, messages and the like.
Your target market is there, the conversations are going on and Twitter is the best place to join in, become friendly and have an on-line face and create rapport. In turn you will be remembered and recommended.