Not sure how to use Twitter for your business?  Here are 5 ways to get you started.

1. Follow Influential People Or Companies

Find a mentor, a person you admire, a person who you would like to learn from and follow them on Twitter.  It’s amazing how much wisdom influential people can impart in 140 characters or less.

2. Follow your competition

One of the best ways to find out how your competition interacts with clients is to follow them on Twitter.  If there’s a new product, your competition will tweet about it.  If there’s a special event, your competition will tweet about it.  If their clients love them, your competition will tweet about it. Instead of looking at the competition as competitors for the same dollar, look to them from a “what to do” or “what not to do” perspective.

3. Follow your clients and potential clients

There are over 115 million active users every month on Twitter.  What are the odds that your clients and potential clients are on Twitter too?  I’m going out on a limb here and saying that the odds are pretty good.  By following your clients and potential clients, you’ll learn about those things that are important to them and you can interact with them.  As a bonus, not only will your clients be flattered that you followed them, but they will be more likely to tweet about their experience(s) with you, now that they know you are listening.

4. Provide excellent customer service

When I’m happy about something, I tweet about it.  When I’m unhappy about something, I tweet about it.  I admit I’m curious as to which companies are monitoring their online reputation.  No matter what wrong-doing occurred, receiving a response from the company I tweeted about always puts a smile back on my face and keeps me coming back to them.  I recently had an experience at a local Sheraton Hotel.  I wasn’t unhappy with them at all, I just wasn’t thrilled about the customer service I received from the Starbucks inside that particular hotel.  Both companies were mentioned in the tweet and the Sheraton responded minutes after my posting.  I appreciate their customer service and their willingness to resolve the issue.  I will be going back to that hotel. As for the Starbucks in that hotel — well, I’m still waiting.

5. Share information

Twitter gives you a powerful platform to educate your customers on products, services, methodologies, processes, etc.  You can guide your customers and teach them how you, or your product,  can improve their lives.  You can share with them the latest news of your industry, what the latest reports are saying, what your CEO is talking about at your next meeting.  Bring them into your world by sharing your world with them.

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