How to Use Twitter for Business Marketing

By Phyllis Zimbler Miller

If you are active on Twitter and want to promote your business, it’s important to know how to use Twitter for business marketing to consumers. Twitter isn’t an open invitation to spew sales messages at consumers; rather it’s an opportunity to create relationships with consumers.

Your Twitter profile needs to be human

It’s no good to use Twitter for business marketing to consumers if you are hiding behind the “corporate veil.” In other words, your Twitter username can be in your business name, but even if you are representing a large corporation, your actual name should also be on the profile along with your photo. People relate to people, not business logos.

A real person tweeting for a company is able to establish relationships with consumers that an anonymous corporate/company Twitter user cannot. Add bits and pieces of your personal interests to help create relationships.

You need to provide information before you provide sales pitches

If, for example, you are a footwear company using Twitter to attract new customers, it’s not enough to constantly tweet about new shoe styles your company is offering. You need to also provide useful information.

You might tweet links to research reports on the effects of going barefoot most of the time. Or you might tweet a link to a blog discussing cultural differences in what is acceptable footwear for “business” dress.

If you want people to trust your company enough to buy its footwear, you need to demonstrate you are trustworthy by helping consumers to know more about your field of footwear. You want to be known as a source of good information besides good footwear.

You can offer special deals to your Twitter followers

Although the majority of your tweets should NOT be sales pitches, it’s certainly acceptable to offer special deals for your Twitter followers as part of your Twitter marketing campaign. You can do this by providing a promotional code to be used on your site. And Twitter’s 140 characters makes Twitter ideal for getting your offer across in brief messages.

Also consider doing a fundraising campaign on Twitter – your company name is thus linked with a good cause. For example, anyone using the promo code will have 10% of his/her purchase go to a specific nonprofit organization.

Encourage questions from your Twitter followers

Use Twitter for business marketing by getting immediate feedback on issues of importance to your company. For example, if you introduce a new style in limited quantities, solicit opinions. Yes, some of the opinions may be negative. But it is better to know these opinions now while your footwear is in limited production than to find out this information after you’ve produced millions of pairs of this new style.

And make sure you monitor all mentions of your company on Twitter. You want to jump on positive comments – and thank people for those comments – as well as jump on negative comments. It’s much easier to put out a small fire than a large blaze.

In conclusion, how you use Twitter for business marketing to consumers is limited only by your imagination. If you share information first and then gently pitch your products, you should be able to reap the benefit of new customers who are loyal to your products thanks to having a strong connection with a real person from the company.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is an Internet business consultant. If you liked this article, you’ll love her free report on “How to Become a Twitter Marketing Expert” – grab your report now from
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