Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last ten years, you have probably at least heard of Twitter and know that it is something of a big deal. You may have even dabbled in using Twitter on a personal basis, but what about using it to promote your business?

When used correctly, Twitter can actually be a wonderful marketing and communicating tool for tradesmen and businesses of all sizes. The reason why it can be so useful is because it gives all businesses an opportunity to instantly reach and connect with a potentially huge audience.

If this sounds like an opportunity which you can’t afford to miss then you will want to read on.

Creating your account

The first step toward harnessing the power of Twitter for the benefit of your business is to create your Twitter profile, and there are a number of important things to consider when doing so:

  • Make sure that your profile reflects all of the customer facing elements of your business. For instance, if you operate as a tradesman using your own name then name your Twitter account accordingly, or if you have a company name then make sure to utilize that.
  • Ensure that the theme, pictures, and avatars of your account match any other marketing tools you already use, either online or offline, by using the same logos, images, and colors.
  • Complete the account details as fully as possible and make the most of your profile description in order to give anyone viewing it all of the information they could possibly need.

Twitter will guide you through the process when you sign up and you can gain some great ideas by looking at the accounts of your competitors or businesses similar to your own.

Engaging with the online community

Once you have created your account, it is time to start communicating with the wider Twitter world and the way to begin doing this is by ‘following’ other Twitter users. It is important not to just adopt a scattergun approach when it comes to this. To begin with you should work on slowly building up the pool of people you follow, from existing customers, to business contacts, suppliers and the like.

Alongside building up the people you follow, and those who follow you, you need to start using Twitter to communicate. It may be useful before you start this to take a look at some companies or individuals in your sector and assess how they use Twitter, but the important thing to remember is to keep your communication punchy, interesting, and ideally on message when it comes to inviting interaction from both existing and potential customers.

When it comes to what to include in your ‘Tweets’ some good ideas are to offer special online deals or discounts, invite discussions or questions about your business, and to always provide links to your website. Finally, once you have decided to engage with Twitter, you need to keep it up and make sure that as and when you receive questions or inquiries from other Twitter users, you answer them as quickly and as well as possible.

Other local Twitter users will be likely to use relevant hash tags for your area, for example #southeasthour, these hash tags normally run for an hour at a set time each week. Schedule your tweets for the specified time and include the relevant hash tag to reach your target audience.

Twitter is a fantastic business tool and its usage is growing daily, and we have only briefly touched on how to use this powerful social media platform. If you want to learn more there are some fantastic books, online guides, and video tutorials available. The key is to get started and you will learn as you go along, all the while promoting your business.