Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Are You Using Twitter for Maximum Benefit?


So long as you’ve not been living under a digital rock for the past few years, you at least know of Twitter. You may be fully aware of the nature of this viral micro-blogging service, or you may simply know that there’s a thing people do called “tweeting”. One thing that you may not be aware of is the immense benefit Twitter can be for the small business.

Twitter may seem to be more geared toward impromptu restroom announcements rather than an appropriate means of communication from the board room, but nothing could be farther from the truth. According to Twitter’s own figures, as presented by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, as of September 2011, Twitter has 100 Million Active Monthly Users. When considering a potential audience for your business’ marketing and news, that’s not a number to scoff at.

In broad strokes, there are two parts of any successful business usage of Twitter. I’ll refer to these parts as the “art” and the “science” of Twitter. For the scope of today’s post, I will be focusing mostly on the science of Twitter as the art is a vastly more varied and in-depth field that I can approach in this space.

So, what do I mean by the “science of Twitter” and why do I approach it first?

The Science of Twitter
This needn’t be anything daunting or intimidating, we’re not talking test-tubes and helium-neon lasers here, but rather clients. In other words the nitty-gritty, “what you use to tweet”. Some may argue that you technically do not need a Twitter client to tweet, in much the same way as you do not need an e-mail client to use Gmail, it has a built-in interface accessible from your Twitter page to perform rudimentary tasks appropriate for the general public. You can read those who you follow, re-tweet, post tweets of your own, etc. using nothing but If, however, you’re a business user, you’ll probably want to use something a bit more robust and it’s best to stabilize on your client first before you get too in-depth, which is why I chose to discuss this first.

Aside from iPhone, one of the most used Twitter clients is TweetDeck. TweetDeck, now owned by Twitter, offers many features appealing to businesses who wish to leverage social media to build client relationships and find new clients. Using TweetDeck you may:
• Schedule outgoing tweets and check-ins
• Manage multiple twitter accounts
• Preview short URLs within TweetDeck
• Integrate with LinkedIn
• Record and share video clips using TwitVid
• Avoid twitter spam
• More…
TweetDeck runs on Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms and requires AdobeAir as an execution environment and is available for both major mobile platforms, iPhone and Android.

HootSuite is quite similar to TweetDeck, however it is a product of HootSuite Media and comes in free and paid flavors and is browser based. Many businesses will find that HootSuite, particularly the premium versions are well suited for their business. The paid release includes:
• Unlimited social profiles
• Enhanced Analytics
• Unlimited RSS Feeds
• One Team Member to help you manage your social media
• Reports
• No ads
For $5.99 per month the above features, plus others are available over the free HootSuite plan and may be appealing depending on your social media strategy.

In addition to these there are literally hundreds of other clients. HootSuite (free and pro) and TweetDeck have risen to the top given their ease of use and feature sets. Your VA can be of help when determining what client, with what options is right for you when you lay the groundwork for the twitter portion of your social media campaign.

Photo credit: Matt Anderson

Posted on December 5th, 2011 by Team CVA

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