- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On February 4, 2014
Twitter is all the rage these days. It has changed the way many small businesses market their content and products. The question is, is it really that useful for your local business?
Using Twitter to Boost Sales
Twitter is only as useful as the results it brings your business.
Many local businesses use Twitter to spread the word about their products and services. Research commissioned by Twitter themselves shows 72% of a small business’s followers reported they are more likely to make a purchase from a business they follow on Twitter rather than from one they don’t.
Why would consumers behave this way? The same research found that 86% of consumers feel “more connected” to a business that they follow on Twitter than one they don’t.
Step 1: Getting Followers
Of course you need to get consumers to follow you in the first place. This same research showed 73% of consumers followed a business on Twitter to learn of product updates and 61% of consumers followed a business to give the business feedback and direction.
Other research from GetSatisfacition found related reasons consumers followed a business: 43% followed a business on Twitter to get offers and discounts and 24% because they were existing customers of the company.
Step 2: Keeping Followers
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and the Georgia Institute of Technology analyzed what kind of Tweets followers like. They analyzed 43,000 tweets from 1,400 users. They found that followers like Tweets of the following kind:
- Informative (44%)
- Funny (24%)
- Useful (20%)
- Exciting (12%)
Twitter Content Strategy
Our interpretation of the various research above is that you can attract followers to Twitter using promotions and contests and information about your products but that to keep your users and make them feel “connected” to your brand you will need to offer them not just product updates but also content that is informative, useful, funny or exciting. You will also need to listen and respond to your followers so they know their feedback is being heard and they feel “connected” to you.
Funny and exciting content is harder to pull off on a day-to-day basis but you can certainly try. Informative and useful content is the approach we focus on. You can achieve this by providing your followers with relevant, quality content on a consistent basis.
When your followers do comment on your content you should quickly respond and engage with them so they feel “connected”.
So to answer our question, should your business bother with Twitter? In general, yes, we think you should bother with Twitter but only if you use it the way that your followers want.