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15 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Use Twitter for Business

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Social Media is here and it is not going anywhere. Many brands focus on specific social media sites because of the type of updates they can make or the activity level of their target market. Twitter is no different and the microblogging site is used by entrepreneurs and business owners to promote brands, communicate with customers and to tell their stories. Rescue a CEO asked some businesses how they use Twitter to help them.

#1 – Be Human

Photo Credit: Murray Ferguson

Photo Credit: Murray Ferguson

We are a growing business in a crowded marketplace, so standing out in social media is important. Some competitors act as a news ticker for relevant industry stories, whereas we aim to balance stories relevant to our potential clients with a bit of humanity. Be it promoting a webinar or blog post, it’s important that our posts look like a human wrote them (which they do!) as opposed to being a news feed. Similarly, it is important not to take that online presence too seriously – that’s where the humanity comes into it. For example, we reached out to Mark Hammill when promoting a Star Wars competition and he liked our Tweet. This in turn was used as a promotional ‘gimmick’ and on the competition landing page – it’s the little things that can make a difference, especially in such a busy marketplace. Twitter complements our separate lead-generation campaigns. Twitter is great for us, and we hope to make more use of it going forward.

Thanks to Murray Ferguson, Pro-Sapien Software Ltd.

#2 – Engage Existing Clients

Photo Credit: Jonathan Saipe

Photo Credit: Jonathan Saipe

Our approach to Twitter is varied. Being educators in digital, it’s important that we present thought leadership in a complex and ever-evolving sector. We regularly tweet advice or news in the digital marketing sector, in order that our followers can continually update their digital knowledge and skills. Also, given that amount of digital professionals we train, it’s crucial for us to engage with existing clients or prospects via Twitter. So in this respect, we use Twitter for CRM purposes, fielding questions or offering support. On the sales front, whilst we steer away from tweeting sales messages, we infrequently share special offers or course news as this is continually requested by our network.

Thanks to Jonathan Saipe, Emarketeers

#3 – Searching Keywords

Photo Credit: Bryan Clayton

Photo Credit: Bryan Clayton

We use Twitter to get customers in the five cities that we operate on the eastern part of the United States. It definitely takes some hand cranking as there’s no automated way to pursue this strategy however every single day we perform a search on Twitter. We look for the keywords lawn care, lawnmowing, and lawn cutting and narrow the search down to each individual city that we operate in. With this search we find people who are looking for a recommendation for lawn care professional from their friends or local community. This is somebody who is in need of the services that our marketplace provides so we tweet at them and let them know about our platform that allows them to order lawn care from their smart phone. We even measure this and notice that 48% of the time that we tweeted somebody in this context we get a signed up for service. We are a self-funded start up so this is an inexpensive way to get new customers for zero dollars acquisition cost. Hope you like the tactic let me know if you would like any other information I appreciate you including us in your article.

Thanks to Bryan Clayton, GreenPal

#4 – Expanding Reach

Photo Credit: Scott G. Frederick

Photo Credit: Scott G. Frederick

Logistics Plus is a mid-sized third-party logistics company. We are very entrepreneurial and we operate very lean. As such, we don’t have a large budget for traditional advertising and lead generation. I am a big believer in using every channel possible to expand a company’s marketing reach, using those channels as frequently as possible, and doing it with a very consistent and repetitive message. Twitter is one such channel that is virtually free. That makes it a great component to any integrated marketing strategy. In the B2B space in which we operate, Twitter by itself is somewhat limited. However, as part of an overall integrated strategy, it serves the purpose of expanding reach and touching potential customers that enjoy using Twitter.. To take full advantage of Twitter, make sure you leverage the cover photo and profile image areas to showcase your branding. Post multiple messages frequently with links back to your website (using tools like Hoot Suite, you can schedule such posts automatically). Ideally the pages you point to on your website will have interest forms where you can easily capture leads from interested parties. Aggressively follow and re-tweet other companies in your target audience. Use the pin feature to ensure your most compelling post is always shown at the top of your Twitter feed. Lastly, use the free analytics to find out which Tweets are performing best and then replicate that formulas as best as you can.

Thanks to Scott G. Frederick, Logistics Plus Inc.

#5 – Clients and Prospects

Photo Credit: Brian Kolb

Photo Credit: Brian Kolb

We understand that people do business with people, even in the B2B landscape. We use Twitter to connect with our clients and prospects within the publishing industry. I personally manage my own Twitter account and have used the platform to close million dollar deals. We believe that you have to connect with people on whatever channel they are on, Twitter is just another communications channel that is an integral part of our overall strategy. We also use third party software to connect to our target audience based on their behavior on Twitter during events or industry tradeshows. In our business, Twitter isn’t something that we take lightly. It helps build our brand, communicate with our audience and convert leads into clients.

Thanks to Brian Kolb, Wright’s Media

#6 – Showcasing Our Expertise

Photo Credit: Zellie Friedman

Photo Credit: Zellie Friedman

The digital marketing world is ever-changing and as an agency we know it is important to share our knowledge and continually grow in the industry. Twitter is the perfect outlet to reach a variety of different audiences through showcasing the expertise of our team. We use our Twitter account to engage with different audiences through blog posts, company updates, and employee tips. We also attend a variety of Tweet Chats (like #BufferChat and #MTtalk) to voice our opinions and gain valuable insight from other business influencers. Twitter is also a great outlet to broadcast everything that goes into making a digital agency an awesome, well-oiled machine. We share everything from non-profit involvement, company events, and sneak peaks inside our office.. Twitter gives us a wonderful opportunity to interact with a magnitude of different audiences, which makes sure the strengths of everyone in our office can be touched. There is so much knowledge on Twitter and we’re a team of learners which makes it the perfect resource for our team.

Thanks to Zellie Friedman, Power Digital Marketing

#7 – Connect with Influencers

Photo Credit: Asaf Darash

Photo Credit: Asaf Darash

We use Twitter to connect with influencers in the industries we make software for. Hashtags have actually been a great way that we’ve found people to work with – for guest blog opportunities or just sharing our content. It’s also a great way to find people, say a journalist or a company owner, and connect with them on a more personal level than LinkedIn or Facebook. Twitter’s lack of privacy settings for the most part make it easy to shoot a tweet or message to someone, share a link or picture or engage with them in a more organic and easy way.

Thanks to Asaf Darash, Regpack

#8 – Form New Connections

Photo Credit: Becky Robinson

Photo Credit: Becky Robinson

Twitter is a great way to find and form connections with new people, with possibility for engagement and collaboration. I’ve used Twitter in my business to get to know journalists/media contacts and to engage in a different way to follow up on pitches we send via email. Most recently, I’m using Twitter to find and reach out to new authors who would be a good fit for our start-up, Hometown Reads. By following relevant hashtags, we can quickly find authors. The beauty of Twitter is that it’s fast, seamless communication and allows me to engage quickly and meaningful with people, which is easier than hunting down email addresses and getting lost in someone’s inbox.

Thanks to Becky Robinson, Weaving Influence

#9 – Connect with Businesses

Photo Credit: Paul Cones

Photo Credit: Paul Cones

Serving a sometimes ‘old-school’ industry, most would assume Twitter wouldn’t be a great medium for our business. However, we’ve found a lot of success on social media. Twitter allows us to connect individually with customers and fellow businesses. We use the list feature to send targeted messages about new blog posts or content offerings. Recently we hosted a title Expo, and we used Twitter to share pictures, information and updates about the event. We created a custom hashtag and were excited to see attendees sharing their own experiences online. Twitter gives our business a personality, which makes connecting with our customers even easier.

Thanks to Paul Cones, CourthouseDirect.com

#10 – Blog Posts and Hashtags

Photo Credit: Khuram Zaman

Photo Credit: Khuram Zaman

We use twitter in three ways. Firstly, we use twitter to post our blog content onto social media. This includes using hashtags to make our content easier for users to find. Secondly, we use twitter to showcase our client work and making our followers aware of the great work that they do. We set up google alerts around our client names and when we find exceptional content, we highlight it on our twitter account. Thirdly, we use it to find business opportunities from other companies. This includes cold-tweeting potential customers that we think might be interested in doing business with us and also following them as well.

Thanks to Khuram Zaman, Fifth Tribe

#11 – Tagging

Photo Credit: Susan Campbell

Photo Credit: Susan Campbell

Using Twitter can contribute to the overall success of your business online. Through proper research of industry specific hashtags, you’ll be able to provide valuable content to conversations that are happening each day. Additionally, tagging organizations, businesses, and resources in your tweets will give opportunity for your content will be seen by a wider audience. Twitter can be used as a customer service tool for both B2B and B2C organizations. It’s also the most flexible platform in terms of creativity and options available. There are a number of different ways to make an impact on Twitter.

Thanks to Susan Campbell, SJC Marketing

#12 – Journalists

Photo Credit: Dave Ruch

Photo Credit: Dave Ruch

I use Twitter to monitor and develop relationships with journalists who cover my field. By creating a Twitter list, I have a dedicated feed to easily see what the journalists are posting every day. I can jump in there for 5-10 minutes a day and comment on relevant posts and generally become known as an interested and active practitioner in the field. Then, when I contact them with a story idea or press release, I’m already a known entity.

Thanks to Dave Ruch

#13 – Targeting an Audience

I use twitter for my blog to target the right audience. It’s easy to follow hashtags, but is that the best way to get your content read? In my
experience hashtags don’t land your sticky readers. I use Buzzsumo.com to find topics related to mine, then sort the results by the most Twitter shares. I then paste the URL of the most shared article from Buzzsumo into Twitter’s search bar. Now, I have a targeted list of Twittter accounts that I can follow, reach out to, and build relationships with them to spread my content across the web like wildfire! I have used this tactic for a few other blogs of mine and it is the most effective. Email conversions have jumped to a 7% conversion rate with this, from my norm of around 1.8%.

Thanks to Nick D’Urso, The Nutritional Source

#14 – Twitter Lists

Photo Credit: Val Geisler

Photo Credit: Val Geisler

Twitter Lists are my not-so-secret weapon of choice when it comes to communication. I have several now and they are where I go when I log into Twitter. Some lists are public, some are private and they all do different things for me and my business. I have lists for local businesses I love, potential partners, lists for specialists like marketing, branding, or copywriting. Twitter Lists help me compartmentalize and that keeps me out of overwhelm with this fast-moving social media platform.

Thanks to Val Geisler

 #15 – Draw Attention

Photo Credit: Brendan Martin

Photo Credit: Brendan Martin

I use Twitter for three main reasons. 1. I use Twitter to reach out to potential clients by sending a quick message offering any digital marketing or web design assistance. It’s not my primary source, but have noticed about a 1-2% conversion rate. 2. I also use Twitter to draw attention and get social signals to my new blog posts. With my social counter on my blog, by sharing the post it starts the counter off giving some basic social proof. 3. Lastly, I use Twitter to connect with influencers in my industry. Being able to shoot them a tweet and get a response is so much more reliable than other ways of contact.

Thanks to Brendan Martin, Gravitii

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  • I like Bryan Clayton’s advice. I never thought of using Twitter as a way to research keywords. Will definitely be looking into that now!

    • ceoblognation

      Yes, that was some great insight. The search feature on Twitter is gold mine!

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