Make Twitter Work for Your Business

Dear M & M: 

How can I make Twitter work for my business?

–Jacob

Dear Jacob:

Twitter is an online social networking network that allows registered users to send and receive short messages of 140 characters or less.  The first quarter of 2014 Twitter reported that they have 255 million active users (198 million mobile active users) monthly.

They are generating 500 million tweets per day worldwide.  They also claim, 29% of their users check into twitter multiple times a day. In the US in 2014 there are about 48 million active users and that number is expected to grow to 65 million in 2018 – Statistica 2014.  When it comes to breaking news, Twitter seems to be the first to know.

From engaging large masses of people to focusing your message to a specialized audience twitter has something for everyone.  Use http://search.twitter.com and type in the topic you want to follow. Start using this search tool to find people talking about topics you are interested in.

Begin by typing in your organizational name, a product line you may be carrying or a topic of interest pertaining to your business. You are now in the conversation, begin by listening to what others are saying, as you gain more experience join in.

Things that others have been posted on Twitter can be Re-Tweeted. This a great way to pass along information others have posted giving them full credit for their work. Reposting interesting tweets to your audience is a great way to have other people follow you so you can grow your list of followers.

You can send a direct message to someone following you without others seeing the conversation by clicking on the mail icon on your homepage. Using the “#” you can filter the conversation. Whenever you see the symbol “#” followed by a prefix you are seeing what is called a hashtag.

A great example a few years ago when a plane went down in the Hudson River someone created #flight1549 and all conversations that had that added #flight1549 were grouped together in one long string.

Anyone wanting to follow the incident could search #flight1549 to see all posted relevant to the incident that included the hashtag #flight1549.

One could start a conversation in Twitter and create your own hashtag to allow others to share with everyone wanting to engage in a particular topic or event using hashtags. Social media is not going away.

Whether using twitter as a listening post to hear what others are saying about your company, product or industry or actively engaging in conversations spreading information you created or sharing what others have said are great ways to use Twitter in any business. Start by listening, and then engage in the conversation. 

-M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org

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