Of the leading challenges small business owners report that they face, sales has always been in the top three. But, since 2008 (recession), sales has been the top answer (National Federation of Independent Business monthly survey).
The other problems listed are different sides of the same coin and are solved with increased revenue. So let’s talk about some marketing strategies for small business that will help your grow your sales. In this article, I’ll give an example of how you can use Twitter effectively.
When you zero in on the basics of marketing and sales and focus on providing a solution to a problem in a trustworthy way at a reasonable price, you can bring that emphasis to a variety of communication and interaction platforms; such as Twitter.
Twitter can be one of the best marketing ideas for small business and a powerful lead and sales generator if you put a bit of time and effort into building your presence the right way. I’ll cover three steps that you can take that are simple, don’t take much time and will help your sales grow.
Meet and Interact. Twitter allows you to search profiles and tweets to find users and content. Log into Twitter and go to: https://twitter.com/search-advanced. From here, you can select areas to search and enter your terms.
If you are looking for clients, think of the language they might use in their profiles. I would also recommend brainstorming about what they might search for or ask questions about. Then pick a place by zip code or country and conduct your search.
In your search, click on people that look like people who might be interested in your service (not necessarily right now, but long-term) and “follow” them. If they follow you back, send them a quick note thanking them for connecting with you. While you only have 140 characters, it’s still person to person, remember to act with politeness and grace – it makes a bit difference.
Provide Value. Then, monitor what your connections tweet about or questions they ask and interact with them. Let them start to see your personality a bit and try to answer any questions they post.
Post links to articles that you’ve written with titles that tell what they are about instead of shiny or flashy catch phrases. Share other content that you find that will be interesting to your followers.
If you find a number of your connections having similar issues, write a blog post about ideas for solutions. Or, again, find articles that have been written and let them know about them.
Providing value begins to build trust and makes you a resource and connection that they value. Picture a neighborhood deli where you’re greeted by name and given samples and suggestions based upon who you are and what you’ve been interested in before. Relationships like that tend to create customers, have people talking about you and making people repeat customers. You can do something similar by being “human and helpful” on Twitter.
Move the Conversation to Your Sites. Building trust and interacting means more people will pay attention to your tweets and they will be more likely to click on them. The average tweet will only be seen by 6% of your connections because there is so much information flowing by.
When you have built relationships, people will put you in their lists and make a point of following what you have to say. When you publish a link or blog post, far more than 6% will see it and many will click on it too.
This takes the conversation and moves it from Twitter to your blog or your site where you can have a more in depth interaction, present more value via offers and ideally, have people sign up for your email list. Once they sign up to receive email from you, the conversation can become more engaged and interactive and you have the opportunity to present solutions that you sell.
Twitter may seem inefficient or high maintenance, but follow the three steps I outlined for 10-20 minutes a day and in short order you’ll have added a powerful way of marketing for your small business.
Michael Nelson ”The Cogent Coach”