Social Media is quickly growing into one of the most-used marketing tools for work-at-home moms. One of the largest social media websites, Twitter.com, can be an effective way to spread the word about your business and learn from other top representatives in your business niche. However, it can take a lot of time to determine the best ways to use Twitter effectively for business. Below are ten tips to help shorten that learning curve.
1. Choose a Meaningful User name
If possible, grab your business name as well as your own name for use on Twitter. Having an easy-to-find and easy-to-remember username is essential.
2. Brand your Twitter page
Don’t leave your Twitter page boring and plain – spice it up. Make sure you add your logo, contact information and any other information that will be helpful for customers and visitors to your page. You can use a website such as TwitBacks.com to create a free or very low-cost background to bring life to your page.
3. Learn the Lingo
Twitter can be very useful, but it can also be very frustrating … especially if you have no idea what all those little symbols mean that fly across the screen. Take the time to research the meanings of the tags most often used on Twitter. One great place to do so is right on Twitter itself: http://help.twitter.com/portal
4. Follow industry leaders
Veteran entrepreneur Diana Ennen shares this tip: “I love to follow industry experts on Twitter and gain all their business insight. It’s almost like being right there in their office and getting in on their trade secrets. Not only do they post tips and how to information, but often share their business successes and mistakes and that allows me to learn from them. It’s so worth it!”
Don’t be shy! Take a few minutes each day to comments on what others are discussing or to throw out a question or idea. You never know when a topic is going to spark a response and help you build relationships with customers and your fellow Twitter users.
6. Don’t make it all business news – be YOU
It’s great to share about the things going on in your business and you certainly will want to share specials, discounts and other items of interest to your customers. However, as a small business owner you have the unique ability to put a personal face on your business. Let your customers and readers get to know a little about you as well as your business.
7. Run Contests
Twitter is a great fast-paced way to a run a contest. By having a great prize you can create a viral network of “tweets” about your company and the giveaway you’re holding. Sit down beforehand and plan out some great 140 character tweets that you can use throughout the giveaway time – whether that be minutes, hours or even days.
Make your Twitter feed a worthwhile read for your customers. Share tips that apply to your target market, links to articles and other informational tidbits. Create a #hashtag for your business or topic (see #3 above) so that you can track re-tweets and mentions of your posts.
9. Be Thankful
A great way to make friends and build contacts is to thank others who re-tweet (RT) your posts. Send a shout-out saying thanks or feature them at special times like FriendFriday (#FF). They’ll know that you’re grateful and you’ll build a community that supports you – and each other.
10. Promote Others
Contrary to popular belief it IS in your best interest to work together with other entrepreneurs and to help spread the word about great things that they may be doing. Not only will people be drawn to your Twitter feed for great information, but they will see that you’re willing to share about more than your own interests. Another great benefit is that those you help promote will one day be there to help promote you as well.
Twitter is a great marketing tool for work-at-home moms. It can help drive traffic to your website as well as aid you in building relationships with your target market. Use the tips above to help guide you in how to best use social media to benefit your business and your customers.
Jill Hart’s entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of the popular Christian work-at-home website CWAHM.com and mentors business owners at Successful Christian Women. Jill is also the co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom (Beacon Hill Press, 2009).
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