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Using Twitter To Market Your Small Business

Most businesspeople would be at least aware of the potential that Internet marketing has to attract more customers, but operating a small business is already time consuming without having to find the time to make status updates or write posts for a company blog. Even if they can find the time for online marketing it is difficult to quantify the returns that it generates and for smaller businesses, marketing is generally about making sales rather than simply spending time and effort to raise brand awareness. For many small businesses the traditional CPC or CPM ads are not going to create direct sales opportunities because they focus on driving traffic to a website and not to the storefront. In these cases, the most effective form of online marketing may just be micro blogging, which allows them to make an immediate connection with potential customers in real time while not being overly personal or intrusive.

Short message service (SMS), or text message marketing is often touted as the most immediate form of digital marketing that small businesses can use to directly drive sales. The drawback to this sort of advertising is that it requires a list of mobile phone numbers and, because it is so personal, it is susceptible to overuse. The other personal advertising avenue open to this mobile market comes in the form of social media marketing, but not every social network is suited to promotions that are intended to lead directly to sales. Facebook or Google+ will do a great job of creating a general awareness that a business exists, but micro blogging provides the most dynamic platform in social media when it comes to using the social networks for immediate promotions. With 500 million users1, Twitter is undoubtedly the most popular micro blogging site online at the moment.

Twitter allows users to post short messages attached to links or images, as well as other kinds of online content. Each message is limited to 140 characters (not words) and posts can be shared or re-tweeted. The size and format of Twitter makes it perfectly suited to mobile devices because users are commonly interacting with their Twitter communities throughout the day regardless of where they are or what they are doing. Using Twitter to promote your business can put your marketing messages onto the mobile phones of your potential customers while they are out and about, increasing the possibility that they will physically visit your business as a direct result of the right kind of advertising tweet.

84% of users read tweets that are posted by a brand2, and marketing is received more favorably on Twitter than on some of the other social networks in general. Twitter users are also on the site very regularly with 90% going online at least once every couple of hours and over half of those logging on multiple times every hour2. Because of the small size of Tweets it is acceptable to generate a steady stream of regular tweets throughout the day without infringing on other users, unlike many of the social networks where posting a pitch every few hours can be viewed as spamming.

As with all forms of online marketing, Twitter promotions start with a good plan for making scheduled tweets that your targeted audience will read and act on. The immediacy of the messages makes them a perfect medium for promoting special offers, giving customer loyalty discounts and other sorts of promotional campaigns that you want your customers to know about. has the experience to custom design a Twitter campaign for your business that will take advantage of the possibilities of marketing your products or services to a local audience one tweet at a time.


2. 2011 Chadwick Martin Bailey Consumer Pulse

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