80 Ways To Use Twitter As A SMB Owner

It’s pretty common. A small business owner comes to us looking for help promoting his or her business. We suggest using Twitter as a way to find new leads, build relationships and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business. The small business owner then turns around, tilts their head and responds, “Twitter? What can Twitter do for me?”

Well, I’ll tell you. Below are 80 ways a small business owner can use Twitter to build and market their business.

Just like last time, hit print.

Build Credibility

  1. Answer common customer questions
  2. Share insight and opinion
  3. Pass on interesting links/posts
  4. Tweet links showing your company featured on other Web sites or mainstream media
  5. Tweet often to keep your brand in customer’s top of mind
  6. Share high quality content that is relevant to your customers needs
  7. Share information about your organization that customers, colleagues and others may be interested to know
  8. Promote competitors when they deserve it
  9. Tweet links to Slideshare presentations or videos of speaking engagements.
  10. Promote upcoming speaking engagements
  11. Mention awards you’ve won or accreditations you’ve earned
  12. Be the one to break the news in your industry
  13. Livetweet events

Market Your Business

  1. Talk about company culture and values
  2. Let people know the events your company will be attending this year
  3. Offer discounts, coupons or special offers to customers who find you via social media
  4. Offer discounts on conferences for folks who come to hear you speak
  5. Show your human face
  6. Talk about what you’re doing
  7. Talk about who you are
  8. Talk about why you do what you do
  9. To get blog subscribers
  10. Direct traffic to your site
  11. Find referrals
  12. Offer referrals
  13. Connect vendors to one another
  14. Hold contests
  15. Highlight employees
  16. Publish your Twitter handle on all direct mailings, email newsletters, on your Web site and all other marketing channels. Put it everywhere
  17. Promote your latest blog posts and newsletters
  18. Share reviews people have left about your site that made you laugh. Or smile
  19. Tweet when you do something cool
  20. Admit and apologize for flubs to help neutralize the impact
  21. Be excited about your week
  22. Ask for votes on social media sites (use sparingly)

Grow Ears

  1. Track conversations about your brand for online reputation management
  2. Track your most important keywords and subscribe to an RSS feed
  3. Listen in on conversations about your general industry
  4. Do free market research to see what people want/don’t want
  5. Conduct Twitter polls to quiz consumer opinion
  6. Learn about what’s working/not working for your competitors
  7. See how your competitors are interacting with customers
  8. Find out who your competitors are talking to and do some competitive intelligence
  9. Track conversation patterns for your industry to determine when people are most active online
  10. Identify Twitter trends or hot topics related to your industry
  11. Find ways to connect what you do with what’s already trending on Twitter
  12. Ask people for their opinions. Listen to them
  13. Notify customers of any holdups, mishaps or things that may affect business

Grow Your Online Network

  1. Connect more personally with contacts from other social networks
  2. Use relationship building instead of cold calls and cheesy flyers
  3. Use Twellow or Listorious to find people with common interests
  4. Fill out your Twellow and We Follow profiles to make it easy for people to find you
  5. Use Twitter search to find relevant conversations you can jump into
  6. Find guestbloggers for your blog
  7. Find guestblogging opportunities for yourself
  8. Meet influencers and your ‘industry famous’. Talk to them
  9. Mend fences with angry tweeters by following the conversation and offering to help when possible
  10. Host weekly Twitter chats to bring your community together and meet new folks
  11. Connect your Twitter account to LinkedIn. And to your Facebook account. And to your Web site. And anywhere else you can to make your site more social
  12. Participate in Follow Friday to meet new peopleand to encourage others to recommend you, as well
  13. Use services like bit.ly to see how people are interacting with your content
  14. Discover what actions cause an increase in followers and are important social metrics

Grow Your Offline Network

  1. Hold tweetups and introduce your community members in real life
  2. Find new customers by using the Advanced Search to track down local conversations
  3. Use Twitter Search to track when potential customers mention a competitor…and then reach out to them
  4. Offer coupons to encourage community members to make purchases instore
  5. Tweet about products just arriving or hot food coming out of the oven
  6. Throw a Valentine’s Day party for your Twitter followers
  7. Ask Twitter followers to leave testimonials on your site
  8. Find new employees

Have Fun

  1. Become a better writer
  2. Share content that makes you laugh
  3. Find content that inspires and motivates you
  4. Learn new things, related to your industry or not.
  5. Make friendships, not just professional relationships.
  6. Create injokes with community members
  7. Find new blog topic ideas
  8. Get out of your marketing shell and be yourself
  9. Use it as your office watercooler if you work from home
  10. Make it your own coworking space
More in: 72 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

72 Reactions

  1. #81 Retweet and share this post with your Twitter followers, Facebook friends and fellow bloggers! :)

  2. Lisa,

    That’s two awesome lists already this year. Keep this up and you’ll run my printer out of ink. #likeaboss

  3. This is a great list, Lisa, and number 3 “Pass on interesting links/posts” is always a winner and a great way to make valuable use of Twitter to build credibility, increase visibility, and most importantly, to help others.

  4. Awesome list! A big key with Twitter is just getting in there and trying it out…have some fun with it, see what works for you and your biz and go from there.

    I did my part and tweeted this as well. Appreciate you putting it together.

    Matt

  5. Great list Lisa! I love twitter and use it often to promote MyInspirationLounge.com but there are a few ideas on this list I never thought of before. Thanks for the twitter inspiration!

    I will make sure to include on MyInspirationLounge.com under the Connect & Learn and the Get Entrepreneurial section!

    http://www.myinspirationlounge.com

    Cheers!

  6. Lisa,
    Another stellar post. Keep the hits coming! I forgot all about WeFollow…

    The Franchise King

  7. When you hear “Twitter? What can Twitter do for me?”, you know that you have a challenge ahead of you. The value of this article is its quantitative approach, where the sheer number of reasons-why is an attention-getter, and a way to start a conversation.

  8. Terrific list of practical and actionable ways to use Twitter. If this doesn’t convince a SMB owner to use Twitter I don’t know what will! Investing time is the biggest roadblock. Many SMB owners have an old school, spend and pray marketing mindset. And, in many cases they need to build their brand and become more visible vs. managing their brand. Examples of similarly positioned businesses having success in building awareness and growing business activity via Twitter and other modern marketing tools will also help get the message across.
    Thanks for publishing this great list!
    Greg

  9. I guess Twitter is catching on. Great list and great comments.
    As I tweet my Biz, big results happen as I’m sure for all of you as well.
    Francois

  10. good list Lisa. thought it was very helpful to newbies and veterans alike!

  11. Thanks for taking the time to compile this list and help to quantify the value of twitter.

  12. another way is to get free tools such as real time content and implement it into your website

  13. Social media should definitely be taken into consideration whenever analyzing new Business opportunities, Find out who your competitor is, and the target market of your customers, and check to see if your targeted Business is already on Social media networks such as Twitter or Facebook.
    Almost every niche can now be seen advertised on Twitter and the ones that haven’t begun using twitter yet soon will.

  14. Great round-up. I also use http://socialoopmph.com for keyword alerts (similar to Google Alerts). I get a daily e-mail round-up of the tweets related to topics that I’m interested in. I also use it to track my name, book titles, website URL mentions, etc.
    Thanks!

  15. Social media, and Twitter is not the “magic potion” that suddenly brings you tons of new customers. However it is one way. The key to marketing strategy, is be where your customers are, and give them what they want. Simple, but not easy.

  16. This will be an invaluable resource for many of my clients that are still umming & ahhing about the value of social media, especially Twitter. Some are starting to come around & I believe, this could open some eyes! Thank you!

  17. I use twitter for my Franchise Consulting business all the time. These tips will certainly help me expand on that. Thank you soooo much.

    When blogging there is a wordpress plugin that you can get for free that allows your blogs to be automatically posted to your twitter account too.

    .

  18. I’m finding this extremely useful as both a kick starter for my own thought process on applying Twitter effectively and an extensive (yet succinct) way to communicate the benefits to others.

    Thank you, Lisa!

  19. Lisa – awsome and most useful list. Great tips for me to add to my arsenol when working with clients and helping them understand the benefits. Good job.

  20. Hi Lisa,

    What a great all-inclusive list. I will refer to it often.
    You have a new follower, for sure. Excellent.

  21. The twitter frenzy is a great brand marketing opportunity for marketers, although I’d have to say Facebook is the Bomb with 175 million users in comparison to 6 Million Twitter users. Facebook users spend an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes on the site per-month the highest average time per-person amongst the 75 most popular brands online.
    The best way to succeed in social media overall is to engage into multiple social networks, not only engaging yourself in Twitter, but also engaging into various other social networks as well.
    This can truly multiply your exposure.
    There are also programs that can help to post to all of your social networks at once.

  22. I found this to be an inspiring quote:

    “Think of social media as a cocktail party about how to create buzz online. “You don’t go to a cocktail party and scream at the top of your lungs, ‘Buy my product.’ What works is you have some meaningful conversation first. And that’s just how social media works.”

    -David Meerman

  23. It’s important for business to look professional.
    I like to call it “pro-fesh”

    Checks! mean business

    http://www.securechecks.com/?e=10090

  24. these tips will help new and small entrepreneurs to build credibility on web.

  25. 80 Ways To Use Twitter As A SMB Owner: excellent! I didn’t know you could do so many things with twitter. You’ve really put in a lot of hard work. Thank you!

  26. Wow, fairly exhaustive list and I appreciate the SMB focus. I’ll be saving this list. I’m kind of surprised there weren’t more additional one-off suggestions in the comment thread though.

  27. This is a terrific list for any business, so many people think that Twitter is just for socializing. this list shows how much more can be done! Thanks for writing it all in one place.

  28. #11 is a great one – linking social networking accounts and website saves time on tweeting – time better spent on running the business.

    nice job on this!

    Bradley A Giddens
    Founder / Freelancer
    Stitch Marketing

  29. that’s really a great work with useful info.

    Thanks Lisa.

  30. What an amazing list. Can you please do something about adding a few more hours to the day as well please ;-)

  31. Great list, very helpful! cheers Ted

  32. You’ve done a great job on this article. It offers so many great tips AND reminders on how to make Twitter effective and fun!

  33. it is wonderful. actually your opinions are all right. Twitter’s function is so huge. i wanna try.

  34. Awesome list Lisa, I just hit the print button on this stuff, it’s gold. I know I will be using these tips, and recommending these to my clients as well. I found using social proof in your tweets is a great way to get more visitors. Something like “10,000 people have already downloaded my free report”, seems to work very well.

    Joel.

  35. Nice long list. In B2B, I have found twitter helpful, but the problem is that most of my followers are simply spammers who are wanting to increase their own follower number – hoping that I will follow them. Haven’t found the right B2B strategy yet for using Twitter.

  36. What a great list for those who need convincing that Twitter is a great tool for small business!

  37. “Grow Ears” Lol! Twitter offers endless opportunities to build a company’s brand and to attract new leads and customers. But for a new business it takes time and a well devised strategy to build a following on twitter, but I do feel the time invested will provide long-term benefits.

  38. This is a great list for any business, I thought Twitter was just for socializing. Now I have started using it for my painting business, and I can really see the benefits. Thanks for putting the list together, You’re the best!

    Andrew.

  39. Very informative post Lisa. Find referrals and give referrals is limited to RT for me. Thanks for reminding of Twellow and WeFollow. Great post. Love Twitter, despite the time used in it, in the hope one day it will all payoff.

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