Seven reasons your business should (probably) be on Twitter

Updated: September 10, 2009

I can think of seven specific, revenue-producing reasons why most businesses should be on Twitter. If your customers are using Twitter, you probably should be to. But how, and why? Here are seven places to start:

Get New Customers
What do you sell? There are prospective customers talking about it on Twitter right now. Do a search for that product or service or topic and you'll find them. Reply to their tweets, and engage with them directly as prospective new customers. Better yet, start sending your own tweets with the same keywords or hashtags (which is the keyword with a # in front of it to help others find it). That way you'll start attracting new customers to you with the same topics or products.

Keep In Touch With Customers & Fans
Find out which of your customers are using Twitter, ask them to follow you. Follow them in return. Share news about your business, your new products, and topics your customers collectively will care about. Reply directly to your customers & fans, and retweet their Twitter posts that would be interesting to the rest of your followers. Twitter is a great way to keep an ongoing, interactive conversation going with your customers between purchases.

Watch Your Competitors
Who do you compete with? They're either on Twitter too, or are being talked about there. Do searches for them directly, and you'll not only see what they're talking about to their customers and prospects, but you'll also see what their current customers are saying about them - good, bad and ugly. Not a bad way to find new prospective customers, but at minimum you'll keep closer tabs on the competition - including gleaning things you could be doing to grow your own business.

Announce Sales & Specials
Putting that summer line on sale? Tell your Twitter fans. Announce that anyone who retweets the discount to their own followers is entered in a drawing for free product. Send special coupons and offers exclusively to your Twitter followers (which will encourage more customers to follow you).

Generate Referrals
Contribute content or links that your followers will retweet to their own followers. This will drive new customers to discover and follow you. Run a contest for anyone who retweets about your business today - all new followers and those who retweet are entered in a drawing for a gift card, or free product.

Cross-Promote Neighboring Businesses
If you're in retail or a restaurant in particular, and physically sit with other businesses, you're in it together as far as foot traffic goes. Help promote your neighbor businesses to your followers - even if they themselves aren't yet on Twitter. The more business you help drive to them, the more they'll help drive to you - either directly or via the increased foot traffic to your general area.

Cross-promote Similar Businesses in Other Markets
You're a unique hotel in Seattle? Partner with similar hotels in other markets and cross-promote each other to travelers. High-end French restaurant? Do the same. Build a partner network via Twitter to quickly accelerate the volume of out-of-town traffic you generate.

Featured Research
  • Business Phone System Buyer's Guide

    Communication has been a focal point in business since inception, but the industry is changing drastically in how people connect to one another and what tools and systems they use to do so. Less than 15 years ago, 90% of people relied on landline phone systems for communication. Today, less than 60% of Americans even have a landline and 40% rely solely on their mobile phone. more

  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Tips and Tools for a Positive Contact Center Environment

    When it comes to stressful environments within the business world, it is no secret that the contact center frequently makes the list of one of the most stressful. This elevated level of stress leads to high agent attrition rates, and thus subsequently additional costs on your business to find, hire and train new employees. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more

  • The IT Manager's Survival Guide

    As an IT manager, maintaining physical fax servers and infrastructure is not a high priority. However, fax capability remains a business need simply because chances are your industry is dependent on its security. What if there was a way to reduce the amount of time spent handling fax complaints and maintaining physical servers? And this way took into account security, cost savings, and freed up your IT resources. Would you be interested? more