Small Business Newcomers Guide to Twitter

The #sbbuzz community has gotten together to offer some advice to those businesses who are just starting out on Twitter.  Like any new community, the community on Twitter can be a little overwhelming when you first join in.  So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to lay a few bread crumbs for anyone newly coming down this path, because we realize the more people making this journey, the better experience it is for all of us.

Developing relationships:

  • samuraivt: Listen, follow those who interest you, be social and engage in conversation. Don’t just pitch. Don’t automate. Be human.
  • yourjobmyoffice: Don’t hesitate to join the conversation. Most welcome your input.
  • PatriceRutledge: one of my favorite tips for Twitter newbies is to focus on developing relationships, not on selling 
  • scoblitz: Don’t just broadcast. Communicate and interact with people (we are people behind the avatars)
  • SCOREChicago: Believe your personal opinion is of interest to people
  • nrohrbach: Be yourself, be genuine, twitter may be good for advertising, but try to connect with folks, not spam them!

Growing your network of followers on Twitter:

  • wvpmc: I see a lot of sm biz neglecting to broaden their follower base – a waste of time to talk to no one
  • imaginestudios: Search for people in your field. Those you can learn from & those you can reach out to. Then start building relationships.
  • merylkevans: Quality not quantity. Participate not stand by and wait for someone to talk to you.
  • joemagennis:  Follow ideas, not people ie. Don’t worry about numbers of followers and following… Follow topics found via search.twitter.com
  • yourjobmyoffice: Q1 find out where/when are the chats that discuss topics relevant to your biz and then – follow. Like tonight!
  • helpbusinesses: Q1 use the hashtags http://hashtags.org/ as well & start off by following a few who peak your interest in a particular category
  • gwickes: Q2 follow key words via tweetdeck. Then provide some quick tips, guidance vs. ur company pitch… better to start a dialogue
  • imaginestudios: Take advantage of #followfriday to share valuable tweeps with your followers in their field (me = book people for writers)

Developing a plan for your business use of Twitter

  • bradfordshimp: Take as much time as you need to figure it out first. Then make a plan for how it can help your business. What will it lead to? 
  • merylkevans: Know what you want out of Twitter so you can follow the people who best meet that need.

Suggested topics for business Tweeting

  • Timberry: I would suggest avoiding twitter clutter. Tweet about posts, sites, ideas, books, etc., never about lunch, dinner, TV, drinks
  • bradfordshimp: Businesses should educate and engage – just don’t go in there with a constant stream of sales pitches – big no no.
  • merylkevans: Provide advice, share information and resources, answer questions, ask questions and avoid linking to your site too often.
  • helpbusinesses: Talk about your profession & what you know well, find article you read & tweet them if u think others are interested too
  • nrohrbach: Personally I talk about the projects I’m working on, things I learn, emotions, I think it’s key to show a person there too
  • imaginestudios: Promote with links to your blog, articles, free valuable information. Not sales pitches. Workshop announcements, etc are good.
  • pmohara: We use Twitter for customer service, user feedback and general cheekiness
  • NJinsuranceGirl: Q2: I like to follow people who share their expertise. Will come to rely on them for their point of view.
  • allcaughtup: Share what you do know. Answer questions and simply chat too.
  • helpbusinesses: It’s great to provide direct links to your blog or use your twitter account for customer service #sbbuzz
  • imaginestudios: Ask followers for questions relating to your field. If you don’t know the answer, find it & @ reply it back.
  • gwickes: If you have case study info, content other SB owners can benefit from reading, tweet the link to that useful content #sbbuzz

Recommended Tools:

  • samuraivt: Use apps not just twitter.com. Look into @cotweet if you’re developing twitter profile for biz. Use Twhirl. Seesmic Desktop etc
  • pmohara: TweetChat good for chats. TinyTwitter for Twitter on mobile devices.

Resources for learning more

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