Twitter Are you using Twitter in your business? If not the first thing is to consider where your market is hanging out. If your clients use Twitter then you need to be on it. Twitter can be good for your business if utilised effectively.

Below are 7 reasons why your business should be using Twitter.

1. It is easy to locate and engage with customers
Twitter is based on a system of give and take. You post a tweet and your followers respond. It’s simple and direct and enables you to build a relationship with your current or potential customers. With a 140 character limit per tweet, Twitter is also not a substantial time investment. People on Twitter will expect your business to engage with them. Chances are people are already tweeting about your products, your brand, and your company.

2. It helps build your brand
What you Tweet is a piece of your brand, just like your logo or the jingle in a commercial. Your tweets help define you and your business. For example, is your business family oriented? Does popular music have an impact on your products? Every post you make will have an impact on your brand so post wisely.

3. You can offer an irresistible deal
Everybody loves getting a great deal. When one pops up on their Twitter feed, it can build excitement and generate buzz. How this works is one of your followers retweets your message to his followers, then they re-tweet to another and they re-tweet to another and they re-tweet to another…

Here are some other tactics that companies use….

Offer Twitter-specific discount codes. Most companies report that lower priced items are much more likely to get uptake but do some testing and see what works for you

People on Twitter love a contest. A fun, creative game with good rewards can generate a great buzz. If you do run a contest, be sure to describe it on your website and include legal details and small print to cover you and keep it legal. Contests and genuinely good deals DO get re-tweeted, so they are a great way of drawing not just business, but brand new followers too.

If you do offer a deal, post it a number of times. That way, you guarantee the maximum number of people see it and it won’t just slip under the radar of a lot of people.

4. Solve Customer Service Issues
Every business, no matter now big or popular they are, has some customer service issues. It is impossible to please all of the people all of the time. A customer with a negative experience may head to Twitter to release her fury and tell the world.

Savvy companies have figured out they need to find ways to control the message and do some damage limitation. By having an active Twitter account, you can directly handle these potential issues before they spiral out of control.

The cool thing about Twitter is you can reply in public, showing everyone you are a responsive, caring company. The potentially negative situation can then be turned on its head, made into a positive experience
Twitter is a great way for tackling situations like this: It is likely when issues arise, that a number of people have the same issue, so answering publicly can help a lot of people all at once saving you lots of time and aggravation.

5. It’s great for networking
It is well known that people have landed new jobs and contracts with contacts they met through Twitter. As a small business owner, Twitter can help you manage your contacts to uncover new opportunities for growth.

You can engage with journalists and PR people:
Twitter is home to thousands of journalists, media workers and PR people. Look on any major online news site and you will come across at least one story taken from Twitter. They trawl through Twitter trying to find newsworthy posts and trends, so if you are looking for a little exposure for your business, Twitter can be a great place to connect with these people.

Here’s is how you can do it:

Post great messages
If your twitter account is a resource in your sector, journalists will be more willing to trust you. They might even find you through re-tweets and comments that other people are making about you, if your posts are good enough.

Follow the media people who cover your sector
Quite often they will tweet when they are looking for sources. You can build a better relationship with them by following them. Keep in mind though that they have a lot of people trying to do the same thing so they will be wary and will be able to tell if you are just trying to use them for self interest

Follow help a reporter out @helpareporter
Yes, that account really exists. The owner of the account regularly posts inquiries from reporters looking for legitimate sources

6. You can tell people your latest news
Twitter is a fantastic way to push out the latest news about your company. For example, if you’re preparing to open a new location or unveil a new product, a series of strategic tweets is a cost-effective way to provide that information

A world of warning though: Don’t make all of your posts just about your company. If you are a brand that a lot of people already love and are fans of, like Apple for example, then you can probably get away with posting mostly about your company. However, if you are a small company and not well known, it is best not to post solely about your own company all of the time. Taking this approach will help build your credibility with existing and potential customers.

7. You can provide product information
If you are just about to launch a brand new product or service, twitter is a great tool for getting the word out to the masses. A good tweet can build up a buzz and get lots of interest as people start up conversations. At the same time, you can be informative and establish trust with your followers so that they will be eager to buy your product or use your services. Think of Twitter as a way of exchanging mutually interesting information.

If you have any questions about how to use Twitter in your business drop me an email and I’ll be glad to help.

Anne Perez: Your Personal Internet Marketing Guide