The importance of using twitter for small businesses:
Twitter, the online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called “tweets” already counts with with 200 million users sending over 400 million tweets daily and without any doubt this social network can certainly be an effective channel for communication for any small business. Contrary to popular belief, Twitter is not only a place for teenagers or celebrities talking about their daily activities. The importance and advantages of Twitter as a marketing tool has been proven by many small business owners, who have used this social network to grow their businesses. Bearing in mind that its free to market any product on Twitter, small businesses, without a doubt should start using this modern internet marketing tool to enhance their marketing activities online.
How can Twitter help small businesses?
In this post I’ll write about some of the factors that make emphasis on why Twitter is important for small businesses and how can they benefit from it;
- Connects your business to your customers
Twitter counts with millions of users and more people are joining daily, making it one of the best places to look for potential customers. Small businesses that cater to a niche market or people of a particular geographic area can use this famous microblog to connect with them. Not only that, as a small business owner you can also connect to your existing customers and interact with them to learn more about how your products, brand or services are perceived.
- Build relationships
Once you start gaining followers on Twitter, you should try to build a positive relationship with them to grow even more your business. To this end, an effort should be to publish updates and tweets that your customers find interesting and useful. Keep your direct marketing or sales pitch for later, since too many marketing ads may not be very positive to your image at first. In addition, avoid sending too many messages from your Twitter account in a given period, as an activity of this kind could be considered as spam.
- Create brand awareness
As you all know the big brands don’t need presentation to get followers. But small businesses owners, who want more people to know about their line of products or brand, should use Twitter to build their branding. People generally prefer to interact with a person rather than with a logo, unless it is well-known brand. Thus if you’re owner of a small company that’s still in its early stages, it’s best to first create a personal profile, and then create a profile for your company, and once you’ve created a profile for your company, you can use the Twitter account to introduce new products under your brand or product line.
- Provide information
News travels faster online than it does across the radio or television. You can use your business Twitter account to make important announcements and share any valuable news that your customers would like. While a TV or radio commercial can do the same job for you, Twitter is free and the message is sent to millions of people in a short period of time.
- Survey and feedback
Twitter can be a great tool for interacting with customers and market their products and its also a very effective weapon to collect feedback from customers and their opinions on your company’s products and services . All you need to do is to follow the conversations about your company’s products and get the answers without even asking. If you have something specific to learn, you can do so by asking directly to customers or by carrying out a survey through your Twitter business account.
- Manage your online reputation
You can also use Twitter to learn and control what is said about your business products and your company in general. A lot of people use Twitter to communicate what they do and how they feel about everything and anything. So there are many possibilities that a dissatisfied customer or a competitor might be using the micro -blogging site to create a negative publicity of your products. Keeping a tab on the Twitter conversation involving your brand can help you solve these situations and manage your online reputation in a professional manner.
- Keep an eye on the competition
The use of tools such as “Twitter Search” can be a great way not only to check your Twitter reputation, but also to keep an eye on your the competitors activities and their reputation as well. Learning about your competitors can help you plan your business marketing strategies better and help you avoid mistakes that could affect your business.
- Twitter can be viral
Once you gain popularity on Twitter, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of seen your tweets go viral. A message on Twitter can be Retweeted any number of times, which means that any message useful or interesting enough can be transmitted to a large number of Twitter users in a very short time . This strategy when applied to your marketing or promotional tweets can bring great results.
- Promote your company’s blog
If you have a company blog as part of your small business SEO strategies, the best way to promote it is through Twitter. If you believe that the information provided in your company’s blog would be appreciated by your followers, simply share the link and Tweet it. This will not only divert traffic to your blog, but will also make your message go viral if your customers find your content useful enough.
And remember, the best part about Twitter is that its free, making it the ideal solution for small business marketing. In any case the advantages of using Twitter for small business is a big plus and if you are a local small business you should definitely take the steps to ensure that this powerful tool is used properly in your for your benefit.
Twitter’s black market for fake followers continues to grow..
Have you ever wondered how much can 1000 followers on Twitter cost? There are sites that sell Twitter followers, retweets and likes where anyone can purchase packages starting at $5 dollars while a package of 50 Retweets can have a cost of around $10 dollars.
With an estimate of 500 million users Twitter has become one of the most successful startup companies of all time by market capitalization, revenue, growth and cultural impact. However, it is estimated that 20 million users on this social media network are fake, representing 4% of the total users.
The above figures are part of a study by two Italian researchers, Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli as published in one of the New York Times blogs. The researchers used several of the best sites to purchase Twitter followers. Something similar had been done in the middle of last year by Barracuda Labs, which to date remains one of the most comprehensive reports on the subject.
Stroppa and Micheli found that, to a large extent, the problem originates with the ease of been able to create fake accounts on Twitter. One seller said they owned a software that could be able to create 100,000 new Twitter followers in 5 days. The same seller stated that even “a kid could avoid Twitter’s defenses”.
Fake Twitter accounts vary widely in sophistication, from the most primitive, with no profile image, no biography description and only a few followers or activity, to accounts that could pass for authentic with a detailed Bio, a couple of thousand followers and with a live stream of recent tweets. The black market of Twitter followers has indeed grown without precedents. It has become a very advanced game and the earnings in this industry are starting to rise rapidly. Merchants sellers can earn up to $3 to $ 30 per account and it is estimated that this business could be reporting earnings from 40 to 360 million dollars annually.
Why doesn’t Twitter do anything?
Although last year Twitter sued 5 companies creators of spamming software, including TweetAdder, this clearly is not enough. Their statement regarding fake Twitter followers is that its not that easy to detect these false accounts, since 40% of the users only reads and writes little or nothing. A study from 2013 analyzed 36 million accounts and revealed that:
- 25% of Twitter’s users have never sent a tweet.
- 6% of the users don’t have any followers.
- 10% of Twitter’s registered users don’t follow anyone.
- 60% of the users don’t have a Bio description.
I’m not sure how much more difficult this bullet points statements can make it for Twitter to delete these fake accounts since the patterns of use of inactive users are very different than the bots or false accounts. Without a doubt its certainly more complicated to review an account activity with account facts, but Twitter would do well to devote more time into this problem, because it is something that can become a serious problem. There are tools to verify this in our accounts, but a solution at the level of the entire platform is needed ASAP.
In the meantime, the problem with Twitter followers, retweets and likes for sale remains and it doesn’t seem like is going to disappear soon. As long as there are “professionals” and unscrupulous agencies to fool their customers, and worse still, as long as there are brands and companies that only use the number of followers as the only metric of success, traffickers of followers will continue to see their business grow like never before.
What do you think of Twitter’s black market of followers? Would you buy Twitter followers for your business?