Business and EDU

Twitter for Businesses – Use It but Don’t Abuse It!

Most people who work in the marketing industry know exactly how powerful social networking and social media websites are when it comes to promoting and advertising a business; when done correctly, a good Facebook account or a good Twitter account can ethically generate massive increases in traffic to a website which will usually generate an increase in sales.  Both the customer and the business owner benefit and a solid client relationship can develop.

A Great Tool

Social media experts such as Stephanie Lichtenstein, owner of Micro Media Marketing, highly recommend that businesses use Twitter to generate traffic.  “People should definitely be paying attention to Twitter,” she recently said in an interview on Coffee Talk with host, and successful Internet entrepreneur, James Martell.

However, what can happen at times is that “newbies” to the tech world and social media sites may inadvertently be abusing these websites by mistakenly thinking they are engaging in a legitimate marketing campaign when they are actually involved in spamming.

Avoid Spamming

“Spamming” refers to the use of electronic messaging systems such as Twitter to send unsolicited bulk messages consisting of advertising in an indiscriminate fashion.  Spam is annoying, and rather than gain you followers, it will make you lose them.  If you spam, you can also get your account terminated.  Here are the ways to avoid spamming potential customers on Twitter.

The 5 Twitter “Don’ts”

1.  Unless you are actually talking with a person on Twitter, don’t mention them in a tweet with a link to your product/service/website.  If a person has previously been interested in your product, send them a DM (direct message) instead, which is private and won’t show up on their “mention” list.   Sending out these cold “mentions” with a link attached could get you banned from Twitter.

2.   Don’t “overtweet” deals and promotions.  Instead of clogging up your followers’ newsfeeds with tweets about new deals, offers, sales, and new products, just send out a few strategically timed promotional tweets, and then use your own feed for customer interaction.  Interact by retweeting industry-relevant articles of interest such as blog posts and respond to any tweets or DM’s that clients may have made about your business.

3.   Don’t use Twitter tools that claim to earn you thousands of followers in a short time.  First of all, using third-party programs to gain followers will get you banned from Twitter as this sort of activity falls under their spamming rules.  TweetAttacks, TweetBuddy and TweetAdder are spam broadcasters that have been sued by Twitter; furthermore, any followers you get from these tools will not be happy to find that they were only contacted in order for you to advertise.

4.   Don’t use spammy sales terms.  The best way to get your followers to think your tweets are spam is to use cheesy sales terms like “#1 top quality” and “world’s best” or “champions #1 star choice.”  Not only will your tweet get treated like spam (and possibly reported as such), you’ll lose credibility.  Instead of the silly sales pitch, tweet about an award your product won.  When products win awards, people will pay more attention to it.

5.   Don’t use multiple accounts, post duplicate updates, spam trending topics, abuse hash-tags, or participate in aggressive following.  Just as in point 3, don’t actively follow people with the message “please follow me back” as a way to build your following.  As always, focus on building good, solid customer relationships rather than building a quick large amount of followers.

Twitter is actually one of the best marketing tools that a small business can take advantage of in order to reach vast numbers of potential clients and thousands of companies have been able to ethically create loyal fan bases that have boosted their sales tremendously.

Ethical Advertising, Ethical Payment Options

Don’t forget that when you ethically build up your customer base on Twitter, you will need to cement your reputation as an ethical business with an ethical, profession payment processing method.  PayPal, merchant accounts, and bank transfers are all great for electronic methods of payment; if clients don’t want to pay electronically you can let them know they can use a check issued by their bank or they can order personal checks from a variety of locations.

Twitter is great for online businesses and ethical use will be incredibly rewarding both financially and socially.  Be responsible and diligent with your advertising, and don’t be afraid to report spam when you see it in order to keep Twitter the wonderful cyberspace that it currently is.

Benjamin Baker, a fishing and camping aficionado from Denver Colorado, spends his time writing and researching new businesses along with a variety of other subjects.  When he’s not writing or hitting the books for new information, he’s busy with his three teenage sons and wife or he’s strumming his guitar.

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