If you’re an entrepreneur or start up, you’re probably always looking for a way to leverage new internet tools to grow your small business. Today, we’ll be talking about ways to use Twitter to your business advantage. Twitter is a tool that allows you to communicate with followers in short, 140 character bursts. If you’re wondering about how to use Twitter as a business tool, here are a few tips and tools to consider.
You can search twitter for user names and tweets that contain specific keywords. This will allow you to see who is talking about your business, and what they are saying. If you use more general keywords, you can find Twitter users who are talking about your industry, or might have an interest in your products. You can then follow these users, and in turn, many of them may start following you.
You have a couple of different choices related to tracking keywords on Twitter. If you have an SMS device or IM service set up on your Twitter account, you can use simple commands to track and untrack keywords. If someone uses a keyword you’re tracking, an alert is sent automatically to your cell phone or IM platform. For example, if we wanted to know who was talking about Startup Story on Twitter we could use the command “track startup story” and we would be alerted every time startup Story appeared in a tweet.
If you’d prefer not to receive updates by SMS or IM, you still have a couple of options. You can use a Twitter search engine such as the one at Terraminds to manually search the Twitter stream for keywords. You can also use an application like Tweet Scan to have keyword results emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Publicize Blog Posts
If you have a business blog, you can automatically alert your Twitter followers when you publish a new post using a service like Twitter Feed, or a plugin that you install directly on your blog. Twitter Feed allows you to set up an account where you provide you feed URL, as well as customization information like intro text and how often you want the application to update your feed. Once you have it up and running, which takes just minutes if you already have an OpenID, Twitter Feed does everything for you.
If you’re looking for a plugin for your WordPress blog, Twitter Tools can publish your blog posts on Twitter, as well as pulling your tweets into your blog. A word of caution here though – for some reason I had problems with having multiple tweets for each post if I went back and made edits. I didn’t find a quick solution to this issue, so I ended up migrating over to Twitter Feed.
These are just a few of the ways you can use Twitter as a business marketing tool. I’d love to hear more about how you’re using Twitter in our comments!