I’ve had a few business owners ask me about Twitter in the last few weeks, so I thought I’d post about my view about the social networking site and whether it’s still an interesting medium for businesses even though it has been in decline since 2014.
My impression about the region is that most brands simply don’t get Twitter. In fact, they are put off by what seems like a complicated site that they have resorted to using it merely to carbon copy messages they post on other sites such as Facebook or Instagram. Many don’t even bother to curate the messages to fit the 140 character limit.
This kind of use of Twitter reflects a lack of understanding about the microblogging site’s strengths. Twitter is not about using a megaphone to shout your messages at your audience. This medium is all about sparking instant conversations.
Here are the reasons you should be using Twitter.
Engage Thought Leaders
Even though some predict that it is entering its twilight, Twitter is still home to early adopters and industry influencers. While you may not be able to reach the mass market on this medium, you can most certainly cultivate relationships with the people who can impact the mass market for you. Some of the best business relationships I’ve developed are the result of interesting conversations I’ve struck up on Twitter with influential people. Warning: I am not advising you to flood these peoples’ timelines with tweets about your product or service. Engage them with topics that matter to them, build a relationship, and then you can begin to bring your brand into the conversation.
Stay on top of the news
There is no better social networking site to find breaking news than Twitter. From traffic accidents to the Arab Spring, the site’s users are quick to react and even quicker to post. Twitter can help you stay on top of industry news as well as what is trending among your audience. This can help you tailor messages for the site as well as other social networking sites. Many global brands such as Oreo and Kit Kat excel at picking up on hot topics and turning them into memes or posts that are relevant for their audience but also serve the brand’s needs.
Journalists love Twitter because it is a goldmine of information. Follow these users and pay attention to what they tweet about and what is important to them. They will often post requests for recommendations or tips for stories they are working on, and this can be a good way to promote your service or product. To successfully secure their interest, it is always best to have developed a prior relationship with them on the site. The best PR professionals consistently converse with journalists on Twitter about unrelated topics so that when they do have a story to pitch, they can leverage these relationships to spread their message.
Twitter is not a site that is going to dramatically improve your sales. What it will do is help build your identity, as it forces you to hone your brand’s voice. It will also allow you to build relationships with key people who can have a significant impact on your business. While you probably won’t reach a mass audience on Twitter, you may just reach the right people to help you grow.