The social media marketplace is a competitive, thriving and exciting place to be. New communication channels are opening for companies and real, two-way dialogue is not only possible but being actively sought out by customers.
New ways of being introduced to, talking to and engaging with customers are at your fingertips – we’re living through a real marketing revolution and the digital world can offer your business a real advantage.
But, we advise you to tread with caution, remember what our mothers taught us – first impressions matter! This is especially true for a small business fighting for survival in this tough economic climate.
The 5 worst reasons for using Twitter for your business
- Because everybody else is doing it
- Because it’s free
- I read an article saying that all businesses should have a Twitter account
- My son is a whiz with a computer and could set an account up for us
- Because I have a work experience person with nothing to do
But of course, there are also massive rewards that can be reaped by taking your first steps into the ‘Twittersphere’:
The 5 best reasons for using Twitter for your business
- I know my target audience well and want to open new channels of communication with them
- I want to take advantage of cost effective marketing communications
- My business has relevant content to share
- I want to network with other professionals
- I want to my customers to have direct and immediate access to my brand, day and night
Seeing all those other companies using Twitter, setting up Facebook accounts, blogging or getting busy on LinkedIn can make you feel that you’re lagging behind, particularly when they’re your competitors. When the pressure to have a social media presence is strong and access so easy, many people are jumping in feet first… and getting their fingers burnt in the process.
Have you heard of these high profile Twitter faux paus?
- Vodafone suffered a massive backlash after one of their employees posted homophobic comments
- Habitat upset followers by hijacking hash tag messages resulting in extensive bad publicity
- Mars linked their Skittles URL directly to a Twitter search results page, when users realised this marketing shortcut they began posting ‘humorous’ comments to the detriment of the brand
- Paloma Faith alienated fans over Christmas when she posted a tweet telling people not to approach her for photos or autographs as she was on holiday
Don’t let these cautionary tales put you off, taking your business into Twitter can offer significant business benefits, it can open the doors to new markets, can introduce you to some useful contacts – it’s even fun! But take a lesson from these high profile mistakes, before setting up a your account, think carefully about what you would like to communicate and who you would like to say it to. Make sure that you can allocate sufficient time to monitoring, responding and engaging with fellow ‘tweeple’.
Most importantly, remember, even though you may be sitting on your sofa wearing your comfiest pyjamas, speaking to the world via your personal mobile phone – you are representing your business. Be sure to take on board your mother’s advice about first impressions as that 140 character message may well be your introduction to that big, juicy, new client.
About the Author: Natalie Smith, a CIM qualified marketing professional is the Client Service Manager at Blaze Communication, helping clients to build brands, increase sales, excite customers and communicate more effectively. follow her with Twitter on @Blaze_Group and visit the website at http://www.blazecommunication.com/.