As a small business owner/writer/artist, the best way for me to get my products to the public is through social media platforms like Twitter. Like all social media, there are pros and cons of using Twitter for marketing. I wrote about a few of those in my Pinterest article. I have found that all of the platforms go through upheaval along their lifespan and sometimes changes are necessary on your end to determine whether or not to continue with your promotions on the sites. Since so many of the newly minted business school graduates like to disrupt to motivate growth, it is best to not rely on one place for all things. It will change.
There are a couple of types of marketing available to you on the Twitter platform. One is free and the other is paid sponsored posts. I do not pay Twitter to post, so all of my marketing efforts use the free version. This means that I do the posting and work with a networking group of handmade artists to retweet their posts.
Here are some of the advantages of using Twitter for business:
- You can engage with people responding to your tweet on a personal level;
- Feedback on your product or service can be instrumental in growing your business;
- It is a good first step toward getting someone to look at more products;
- You can build a community by asking people to follow you;
- Tweets are short and sweet, so you can write several of them and schedule them to post at various times;
- Your tweets go around the world while you sleep;
- Hashtags help you track your reach;
- You can connect with friends and set up a tweet network (this is how I manage my tweets);
- You can hire someone to do this marketing for you.
Here are some of the disadvantages of using Twitter for business:
- Getting followers can be difficult;
- You need followers to get more eyes on your products;
- You need to respond to tweets and keep them alive;
- You are open to negative comments that can break your business;
- Not all followers are engaged;
- Your message may be considered spam that can turn followers off;
- Your ROI can be low;
- If you hire someone to tweet for you, make sure you know them and approve all tweets;
- Trolls can break your business for fun.
If you are wondering how often you should post on Twitter for your business, my networking group posts at least three times a week, and we do retweets the rest of the time. Anytime I am on Twitter and I see tweets from my friends, I hit the retweet button to give the tweet a boost.
Twitter can be a toxic place, which brings me to the disclaimer I added at the beginning of this article. I have used Twitter for my business since 2008, and over that time, I have found that does a reasonable job of getting traffic to my website. Whether or not that will continue in the future is yet to be determined, but I hope that it will continue to give me and my handmade artist friends a place to share our wares and make some sales.
There are a lot of books on Twitter available, but if you want to really delve into marketing, this might be the book for you. It is an older book, so it won't take into consideration the current 240 character limit and it is only available in paperback, but the marketing principles and the actual platform are the same. Check it out for yourself.