Social networking is an effective way to reach out to millions of people in a clear and concise manner without breaking the bank. Many businesses are creating Twitter accounts to reach out to a larger group of people effectively. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to open a Twitter account for your business, including how to maximize its benefits.
Benefits and Reasons for Using Twitter for Business
1. Reaching your target market. If you’re trying to appeal to the age range or type of people that are known for being active on social networks, Twitter is the place to be.
2. The popularity of Twitter is increasing every day. It’s incredibly rare to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of, if not used, Twitter at some point. It’s accessible through computers, smartphones and other portable devices.
3. Get your message heard quickly and show expertise at the same time. Since Twitter limits updates, also known as tweets, to 140 characters or less, you need to get to the point right away and don’t have the space to draw things out. People who see your tweet know exactly what you’re trying to say and won’t get bored reading through filler text to get directly to the point.
4. Utilize the search function to conduct market research. You can quickly and easily search for users who are talking about keywords and topics that pertain to your business. With the results, learn exactly what your market does and doesn’t need or want and cater your business model to appeal to them.
Drawbacks and Reasons not to Use Twitter for Business
1. You are very limited in how much space you have to get your message across. When you only have 140 characters to write your message, every letter counts. If your message is longer, you need to find a way to shorten it or stretch it across multiple tweets and risk confusing readers.
2. Streams update very fast. Some users follow hundreds or thousands of other people or businesses, so updates can scroll by quite quickly and you do risk the message getting lost in the shuffle of all the activity.
3. Spammers have definitely found a way to infiltrate Twitter and users know it. These spammers send direct messages to users in an attempt to get a message across. If you aren’t careful with how you present yourself, you may appear similar to a spammer. It’s essential not to post the same update multiple times in a row or use an auto direct message program that is likely to turn users away from your business completely.
4. It is confusing to learn at first. While it is simple to follow other users, search and post updates, it may be a bit more complicated to understand how to reach out to your target user base in the way your business needs from a social networking platform.
5. Your reputation is at stake. A single slip up can damage your reputation for days, weeks or months so it is crucial to carefully plan out what you do and say when using the service.
As long as you take the time to understand Twitter and how it can benefit your business, there is no reason not to treat it as another tool to benefit from. As a personal example, Twitter enabled us to achieve great social media outreach to young people who were not yet homeowners. The public profile orientation of Twitter enabled us to research both our targeted market and the social media strategies employed by our competition with ease and high precision.