Using Twitter to promote your business

Using Social MediaTo tell you the truth, when I started up my business as a freelance copywriter, I really didn’t see the appeal of Twitter, and I certainly didn’t appreciate its effectiveness as a traffic generation tool.

I just couldn’t see how a social networking website that limited me to a maximum of 140 characters per message could help me to promote my business. It just seemed like a place for lonely people who were desperate for someone – anyone – to listen to them!

But hey, I was wrong, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I can now see that it’s a fantastic promotional vehicle, but in order to get the most out of Twitter, you need to make sure that you set your account up correctly.

Here are a few tips to help you do just that…

Use your business name as your username – When filling in your details, remember that your username is what people will start to associate you with on Twitter, so it needs to reflect your business very closely. So if you’re just starting out, I’d recommend that you have your business name as your username, in order to make it clear what your niche is and what services you provide.

If you had a yoga website, for example, a username of “yogaguru” would make your Twitter URL www.twitter.com/yogaguru. However, if you made it www.twitter.com/yourname, nobody would know what your business was all about, and you’d probably receive fewer followers.

Change the default picture – As soon as you sign up for a Twitter account, I’d recommend that you upload an image. When I see the default profile picture on a Twitter account, it normally indicates one of two things to me – either that the user isn’t really that serious about using Twitter as a business tool, and is just half-heartedly experimenting with its use. Or even worse, it’s a spammer!

So, should you upload your business logo, or a picture of yourself?

Now, to be honest, this is a personal choice and it depends on the nature of your business. If say, your Twitter page is being used to promote YOU as a nutritionist, then you could use a picture of yourself, as people may prefer to see a picture of the person who’s potentially going to be giving them nutritional advice.

On the other hand, if you’re using Twitter to promote your website and your business, rather than YOU personally, then you could use your business logo instead.

Make use of the Bio Box –The Bio Box sits on the right hand side of your profile page, and it gives you the opportunity to tell your followers a little bit about your business. There are 4 parts to the Bio Box, and it’s important that you make the most of them if you want to attract visitors to your main website.

Here’s how…

Name: This obviously doesn’t need much explanation! But what I would suggest is that you use your REAL name here. As I said, Twitter is about building personal relationships, so you want to let everyone know who you are. If you want to include your business name on your Twitter page, you can make that your username, and then include your real name in the bio box.

Location: Although your location isn’t a particularly crucial part of the bio box, I would recommend that you fill this in correctly. A lot of people simply put “anywhere” to signify the fact that they have an online business and can be contacted from anywhere in the world, but if you’re a little more specific, i.e. town, city, etc, you can form profitable business relationships and even custom from local people.

Web address: Now then, this is a VERY IMPORTANT section of the bio box. A big advantage of Twitter is that it allows you to link to another website, so this is a great opportunity for you to link to your main business website, and direct your followers there. It’s targeted traffic, and it’s completely free!

Bio: Like the web address, what you write here is very important. This section is limited to only 160 characters, so you don’t have an awful lot of space to showcase your business or your talents! For that reason, you need to think very carefully about what it is you want to say here. I’d recommend that you use this space to talk about what YOU specialise in and make it clear to people how you can help them.

If you specialize in SEO, traffic generation, web design, or you’re a foreign language coach, fitness trainer or copywriter, MAKE SURE you include that in your bio box. This is so that potential “followers” know what niche you’re involved in, and where your expertise lies.

If you follow these tips when setting up your Twitter account, you’ll stand a much better chance of attracting targeted followers, and subsequently visitors to your website.

Nick Cobb – Copywriter

Useful Resources:

How to use Twitter to grow your business
7 steps to promote your business using Twitter
10 ways to promote your business using Twitter

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