Is Twitter Right for Marketing my Small Business?

Is Twitter Right for Marketing my Small Business?For many of the small businesspeople I advise, Twitter is one of the most confusing or overwhelming social media networks to make sense of. The barrage of information on Twitter is unrelenting, and it’s hard to know what strategies will work best for marketing your small business.

Good news! Most small businesses can ignore Twitter altogether and focus on other areas of web marketing.

More good news! If Twitter marketing makes sense for your small business, you’ll find it fairly easy (and maybe even fun!) to get results.

When Twitter Marketing is Right for Your Business

  • Fame is your game. If you are a thought leader, public personality or otherwise benefit from personal fame, then Twitter is an important place to see and be seen.
  • You naturally have fans. For sports teams, restaurants, event venues and other brands that could describe their customers as ‘fans,’ Twitter is a great place for them to follow you.
  • You’re in the information business. Twitter traffics in information, so it’s a useful tool for information-based businesses like newspapers or recommendation services (like Roadtrippers, Angie’s List, etc.).
  • Your customers are active on Twitter. Usually, this applies when your business offers products or services to the previous three groups. Promoting your customers’ tweets and engaging with them on Twitter is a great business-building activity.

When Twitter Marketing is Wrong for Your Business

Businesses that don’t meet the above criteria can probably cross Twitter marketing off their list and move on to more profitable media. In addition, even if my list describes your business, Twitter marketing is wrong for your business if you don’t have the time or resources to develop an active, loyal following. Turning Twitter into business success requires a dedication to the community, including near-constant monitoring and engaging in authentic conversations.

Have more questions about Twitter marketing? Send me an email:

Make it Easy for Customers to See Your Marketing Content

When marketing your small business, keep in mind that customers are naturally less interested in seeing your marketing messages than you are in sharing them. One simple way to make it easier for customers to engage with your marketing content is to always think about removing barriers to accessing the content.

Let’s say you have a beautiful and effective direct mail piece that you want to share with your email marketing list and social media audiences.

Many small businesses will share a PDF or picture of the direct mail piece, inserting this image into an email or sharing a link to it on social media. But posting or emailing a PDF actually creates a barrier to seeing the content.

How do you remove the barriers and make your marketing more accessible?

When translating a printed piece for web marketing use, follow these tips:

  1. Reduce the number of clicks required to view the content. Whenever possible, include the marketing message directly in the media. For example, instead of including a “Read More” link, put the entire message in the email or social media post.
  2. Optimize loading speed. Build email marketing messages in HTML instead of embedding an image or PDF containing the entire communication. It will load faster, and if there’s a loading error, most of the message will still make it to the customer.
  3. Consider the media you are using and how customers interact with that media. On a printed direct mail piece, customers expect all the information they need to call you or to buy. However, on Facebook or Twitter it’s easy to put a customer into information overload. Consider more frequent, shorter messages.

Make it easier for customers to interact with your marketing content, and you will enjoy improved results and happier customers!

Marketing Podcast: Top Social Media Networks

Russell Ball guest-hosted “Getting Down to Business” when we discussed today’s top social media networks and how they fit into your small business marketing plan. Listen for specific marketing advice on Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Download or listen below:

Top Social Media Networks

Marketing Podcast: Top Social Media Networks (3.2 MB)

This segment first aired during “Getting Down to Business” on Alaska’s Fox News Talk 1020.

Marketing Podcast: Twitter Tips

This month, I was privileged to talk Twitter marketing with Dave Weatherholt on his radio show, “Getting Down to Business.” In the adventure that is radio broadcasting, Dave’s other guest was unable to make it, so we extended our Twitter talk to the whole show.

Listen and enjoy!

Link: Marketing Podcast: Twitter Tips

Should I be on Twitter?

If you answer “Yes” to the following two questions, you should probably include a Twitter presence in your marketing plan:

  • Are you interesting?
  • Are your customers on Twitter?

That is my basic litmus test to answer if a business or person should be on Twitter. More specifically, personalities, speakers, authors, thought leaders, news organizations, technology companies and similar groups should make room in the marketing budget for Twitter.

Who shouldn’t be on Twitter?

To effectively market with Twitter requires quite a time commitment– you have to develop a community of followers by engaging in conversation and keeping them interested. If your customers don’t use Twitter, don’t bother including it in your marketing activities. It’s OK to just say “No!” to any marketing activity that won’t help you reach your business goals.

What should I say?

Marketing on Twitter is less about what you say and more about how you participate. People use Twitter for news, stories, conversations, and to learn what others are thinking right this moment about important (and not-so-important) issues in their lives. No one uses Twitter to receive deals or special offers from businesses. Be friendly and join conversations. Consider Twitter the cocktail party of marketing more than a megaphone.

What about that Twitter vocab?

Here’s some Twitter vocabulary to get you started.

  • Tweep – a Twitter user
  • Tweet – What tweeps post
  • # – This little guy is called a hashtag, and it allows tweeps to add categories to their tweets. For instance, #marketing would be a tweet about marketing. Usually, event organizers specify a hashtag to use when attendees are tweeting from the event, so people the world over can follow the happenings.
  • RT – Retweet. Give credit where credit is due. If you repost someone’s tweet, credit them with RT @username.