For some businesses, having an active business page on Facebook is perfectly okay for their means. They might maintain a strong channel of communication with their active fans through Facebook, and it seems to be driving in plenty of business and creating significantly stronger ties among their customers.
But they don’t like Twitter. They’ve never liked Twitter. “It takes too much effort to maintain,” they admit. “And it’s too cluttered. What’s the point?”
That might be a typical sentiment among small-business owners because Twitter undoubtedly does take a large amount of resources to effectively leverage. But the businesses that do dedicate resources towards Twitter are much more socially involved and far more transparent. It can also make your business more human, showing your customers both that you care and that you’re paying attention to what they’re saying.
1. Twitter Grants You Opportunities To Listen And Converse
Because Twitter is essentially an endless stream of babble, conversation and almost always news, there are never a shortage of things to comment on or talk about on the social media platform.
And for every business, listening is easily one of the most important ways to forge stronger relationships with customers and to find areas of opportunity. Twitter search is one easy and simple way to find conversations of all sorts not only about your business but also about your local area.
Because not every conversation that might be related to your business will be tagged with an @yourbusinessname, it’s important to use resources such as Twitter search and Google alerts to find where people are talking about about what, and to join that conversation. The most effective social media marketing strategies are often ones that encourage more conversation than broadcasting.
2. Conversation Drives Business
Likeable Social Media, a social media marketing and consulting company, begins their book on the art of social media marketing with an interesting story. Basically, the writer writes about a poor experience he had at a hotel in Las Vegas, where he tweeted about his poor service.
Soon after his tweet, a different company tweeted at him, saying that they were sorry that their stay in Las Vegas didn’t necessarily get off on the right foot, and that they hoped that the rest of his stay went swimmingly. In the world of social media marketing, this is called flat-out brilliant.
They didn’t implore him to stay at their hotel for the night, they just talked. They just joined the Twitter on conversation in a meaningful way, and showed them that they existed as an alternative. And guess what happened? It worked. The next time he stayed in Vegas, he stayed at their hotel. And he recommended that hotel to a few of his friends.
And this is just one example of the ways in which Twitter can not only open up the door for conversations between you and your customers, but also create new ones. And without joining that conversation at all, you are essentially missing out on a lot of potential business opportunities.
3. It Can Be More Accessible To Businesses Than Facebook
Facebook business pages are great. They provide businesses with affordable ways to engage with their fans and customers while simultaneously gaging and encouraging conversation among those same fans and customers.
The problem with Facebook, though, is that it isn’t nearly as open for businesses as it is for individuals. Whereas individuals can freely comment on, like and invite their friends to their own events at their own free will, business pages are far more limited. Yes, they have many of the same capabilities, but they are typically only limited to their own pages. They can’t just comment on other user pages because of Facebook’s privacy features.
Twitter, on the other hand, has no hang ups. If it’s on Twitter, regardless of whether you’re a business or a user, it can be interacted with and commented on (unless it’s private, of course).
So, whereas Facebook is expected to be this sort of closed, self-sustaining greenhouse for businesses, Twitter is an open field that is ready for cultivation. A place where business can interact with others that may or may not be their followers, but may still be interested in hearing from them.
And yet none of this is necessarily easy. A well-executed Twitter presence that is constantly aware, constantly listening, and almost always conversing is something that may take a huge amount of time and resources to cultivate.
But if done correctly, it can also be a huge boon for just about any type of business. It creates a stronger sense of transparency, and can open the door for entirely new business that you never would have thought was possible.
Are you using Twitter to its fullest capacity?