Tweet much lately? If not, your small business may be missing out. Although Twitter originally was conceived as an easy way for people to keep in touch,  times have changed.  Today many small businesses are using Twitter to boost their marketing activities and build brand awareness.

If you haven’t opened a Twitter account yet and are on the fence, or have one but are very sporadic about Tweeting, here are some reasons you might want to pick up the pace.

  • Engage with customers and prospects: Twitter provides a simple way to engage with current or prospective customers. Simply post a Tweet and followers will respond.   It may take some time to build your following but start by following others. There also are tools like Twellow, which is a Twitter search directory of people by profession, expertise and other attributes that you can use to find others to follow. There are other similar directories.   One engaged, you can leverage Twitter to get out information about a new product or service. Twitter also can be helpful to solve a customer service problem.  A disgruntled customer  might vent on a post. By being active on Twitter, you can provide a quick response and contain the damage before it gets out of control. Also consider doing promotions on Twitter, such as offering a special or discount.
  • Build your brand: Your Tweets help to distinguish you and your company and build your brand image. For example, if your company offers mobile computing products, such as we do at Plantronics, you can Tweet about mobile market developments, new products and other industry news.
  • Network: Among your new Twitter connections, you might find a potential associate or partner if you are looking for one. Twitter connections can introduce you to their connections to help grow your business network and provide referrals. You might even find someone on Twitter for contract work or to permanently employ.
  • Stay on top of your market:  Twitter can be a great research tool. You’ll find about market trends and the issues driving them. Twitter also is a good way to keep on top of what people are saying about your company and to learn what your competition is doing.
  • Drive traffic to your website:  When you post new content to your website or blog, use Twitter to drive traffic there.

A Twitter post only has a maximum of 140 characters.  It’s short but it can pack a powerful punch in building your network and your brand.

Do you actively Tweet? How has Twitter helped your business?