Twitter for small business owners is anything but wasted time

The data shows Twitter is worth a small business owner’s time. About 95 million Tweets are sent by Twitter users each day, according to a Dec. 8 posting from Twitter. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says 8% of American adults who are online use Twitter. (Three quarters of American adults say they have access to the Internet.)

Big deal, right? Wrong.

What if just one of those people is tweeting about a small business, the service, the décor, the staff. That’s free marketing. And that’s exactly the type of stuff that gets tweeted, especially in cities, where residents are twice as likely to use Twitter than people who live in rural areas, according to the Pew research.

The people who use Twitter are the epitome of a social network. They use the 140-character platform to tell others what they are doing, to debate politics and sports, to discover a great restaurant or Netflix movie do a lot of it. They are interested and active participants. The information is easy to find – just search for a word or topic, or a hashtag (#).

In other words, they are just the people small business owners should be courting. They pay attention and they crave information.

Lots of small business owners say Twitter isn’t the right place for them. But to avoid Twitter is to throw away the possibility that those adults discover and talk about a business. For all we know, they are talking about that business, even without the owner’s consent or involvement. It seems logical to be part of the discussion, rather that act as if it isn’t occurring.

The number of people joining Twitter is only going increase beyond the estimated 190 million, according to Quantcast.com. If I told a small business owner that he could potentially talk to millions of people who might be interested in what he or she has to offer, would the owner dismiss me? No way.

As a small business marketing consultant, I help businesses to see that Twitter is a great platform for branding, product awareness and company information. I also help them to see Twitter as a platform for showing customers and others that an owner has a personality, a life, interests beyond the items sold. Sales, coupons, special offers and other promotions mesh well with the immediacy of Twitter. People who go to their Twitter page are interested in the here and now.

Successful use of Twitter by a small business takes some work, but it can pay off.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is missing out. Are you? We can help.

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