Twitter is a powerful micro blogging tool used by most people to air their opinions and set conversations rolling on current issues. Twitter however, is also an emergent tool for brand building and marketing. If you thought 140 characters weren’t enough, then think again! In times like these, with attention spans getting shorter, Twitter, with its 140 character limit might be the best place to market your brand. Today, let’s talk about how small businesses who are working on shoestring budgets for marketing are using Twitter.
1. Build Your Brand
Help People Find You with Your Twitter Username
People look to the internet to find you, so when you use Twitter for business purposes, choose an account name and images consistent with your online presence and your brand. Be sure to understand that nothing expresses your brand on Twitter better than your account username. This name appears next to all of your tweets, and this is your key identifying feature on Twitter.
All the businesses I’m talking about today have extremely apt Twitter names: @BabyDreams30yrs, @SweetishHMafia, @potluckme and @YellowBuffalo. Most brands that have Twitter usernames are in fact, their brand names.
In a bid to add a personal touch to their Twitter accounts, many small businesses use their business name for the account and a personal photo for the profile photo. A case in point would be @YellowBuffalo, a Twitter stationery shop that uses Twitter to reach out to prospective customers, receive feedback from existing customers, carry out event based marketing and the like. Check out their Twitter images and you’ll see exactly what I mean when I say they are getting it right with their images on Twitter.
For a stationary store that uses Twitter to showcase its offerings, it sure uses the image feature to show people their funky, doodled stationary very well.
2.Tell your Story
Yes, people love stories and you must do a good job of telling people your story– even on Twitter. This is what I learnt from @SweetishHMafia, a Twitter cookie shop that travels across the city of Mumbai, using Twitter to reach out to people and update customers on the whereabouts of the store, taking the concept of pop up shops to another level.The lady behind the baked goodies venture is a mystery woman, but she uses Twitter to let people know where her pop-up shop on four wheels (read, a white Nano with the logo Sweetish House Mafia) will be stationed. We can, however, let you know that she will be at Carter Road in Bandra on Saturday, April 6, from 5.30pm onwards around the Cafe Coffee Day outlet. For her first pitstop in Bandra, the baker will prepare a batch of her Nutella-filled cookies with a dash of sea salt, priced at Rs70 each (cash only). For updates on the car’s location, follow @SweetishHMafia on Twitter or check out her Facebook page.
3. Skip the mission Statement and Perk Up that Bio
Mission statements are good! Lofty ideals that tell people why you are here and how you’re going to make the planet a better place…is boring! Take a divergent route by perking up your Bio. You only get 160 characters to tell people who you are and what you do. Skip the mission statement and talk about the benefits you deliver, but don’t forget to add in a dash of personality to bring your profile to life!
That’s what Potluck Me, an online gourmet pop-up shop in Mumbai that opens for orders only a few days a month, does with their Twitter bio. Read it to find out how to do it when you are a one-of-a-kind curated store, for those who value freshly-made, hand picked, wholesome, preservative-free food that is difficult to procure in Mumbai.
4.Talk Smart (Keep it short but smart)
The all important question for you should be….What should I talk about on Twitter?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer for this, though. In general, you want to find the niche between what your target audiences wants to hear and things that promote your business. You might just hit the nail on the head if you focus on how your products and services benefit your customers.
Give people pertinent and useful information and answer their questions, and you will have taken an important first step to winning a new customer. With only 140 characters, it’s important that every word pull its weight in your messages.
Check out @YellowBuffalo, @potluckme and @BabyDreams30yrs to see how they are letting people know the benefits their products deliver. So if it’s funky doodled gifts for your sister on Rakshabandhan @YellowBuffalo, or the yummy, bespoke meal on offer with @potluckme, or the good quality feeders for babies at @BabyDreams30yrs, it’s all about the “benefits.”
To wrap this up, using Twitter for business is an art and a science (not rocket science, but a little bit of psychology). You need to appreciate its reach and power, and understand that advertising and marketing with brevity and the potential to make an impact on the Tweeple is what makes Twitter for small businesses a really good deal.
Are you ready to strike that deal?