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In the last decade social media sites have brought people together, but Twitter and other social networks have since defied their original purpose.

Back when Twitter was conceived, over millions of strangers would post wishful thoughts like having their honeymoon in The Bahamas or the newest diet to lose that holiday weight. However, it is now swimming in both the social networking terrains and the rough business waters.

twitter

Twitter – not just for shouting, it’s for engaging

Big brands like Absolute Radio, Adidas UK, Alter and Airbnb owe much of their continued success to Twitter.

Despite reports to the contrary, there is no trick in using Twitter for social media marketing. It is just hearsay.

In case you’ve missed it, here’s a few interesting Twitter facts (2013):

1. 106 million people use Twitter (60% outside USA)

2. 52% post an update daily

3. 25% of people follow a brand

4. 67% of those brand followers will buy that brand

A lot of small business owners rack their brains for the best tweeting ideas that will actually work for their business. Clever tweeters are business owners who are able to think outside the box and come up with solutions to their business conundrums, by sharing with their followers. Although you know your business better than anyone else does, social media is not a pulpit to talk about yourself and your business to the exclusion of all others. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, with demanding subscribers wanting insights and information that can benefit them!

Twitter Tip: Include a link to a photo or video to get double the audience engagement.

If you run an accountancy firm, then you must have met a plethora of individuals who talk about Twitter being just an electronic billboard and Facebook not being able to gain any positive results. Regarding Facebook, as we blogged earlier on this year, their advertising leaves something to be desired.

Some business owners speculate that Twitter isn’t great for B2B businesses. They are right, in saying that it hasn’t worked for their business yet. However, Twitter has been shown to convert at a much higher rate than LinkedIn or Facebook, and can be a driver of top line sales. It’s a great way to introduce the brand to new prospects, since it could be their first exposure, undertaken on their own terms. Just don’t expect Twitter to be the final touch in the sales cycle, because that’s not where it delivers peak ROI.

With a blog in place (an important step in your marketing plan undoubtedly), you will have designed the wheels for business success but to need a push to get them rolling – enter Twitter. With every article published, you should get online and tweet about the new blog post. This is a great way to engage your followers in discussions and comment based on those who re-tweet, mention, and even criticise. It doesn’t end there, since the more you publish absorbing articles, the more long-tail search engine traffic you will attract. Top that with social mentions, like a tweet, and enjoy the bonus social media traffic and boost your search engine rankings will receive thanks to this social media visibility.

This is a sustainable, recurring way to legitimately build an ever increasing number of visitors, and hopefully sales, to your site.

January to April is always a difficult time for most companies. They run here and there trying to prepare their taxes for the year. With the ever-changing corporate tax laws, most businesses struggle to stay on top of the ever changing landscape of documentation requirements. This can be a great time to offer information or links to articles with great information on these changes.

However relevant tax tips may be during tax season, there is something to be said for the concept of being remarkable. Whether or not you’ve read, and believe in the principles put forth in, the book Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki, the central concept is too true – Be Remarkable.

When 50,000 other people are blogging about and tweeting tax tips during tax season, the voice of the 50,001st person will rarely stand out from the crowd.

If you feel tax topics are a must-do, then think of what approach, angle, or insight you can bring to the conversation in standing out. Care to share some tax time horror stories? People do enjoy the misery of others, hence the popularity of outtake footage, bloopers and Rude Tube. Have an interest in the unique case of taxes for self-employed couriers, aircraft electrical engineers or full fat cheese producers? Take your specialty knowledge and leverage it so that people see you as Jane from Acme who knows everything about aircraft electrical, not tax tweeter 50,001.

Two Ears, One Mouth

Twitter is a great tool for educating your clients on current industry happenings. People love to find out about the newest of just about everything, from headline news of industry associations to technology and geeky gadgets to make their life easier. By being first, or ahead of the pack anyway, you are positioning yourself and your business as being highly relevant, in touch with the times, and obviously aware of what is going on in the industry. If you have ever visited a website where the copyright notice in the footer is years out of date, or the most recent blog post was 2010, then you know first-hand how important it is to keep up with the times and communicate that to the world.

Please remember that Twitter is a place to engage and converse with others. It is not a 30 second commercial spot on the radio, billboard along the motorway or per column inch newspaper display advert. Giving valuable insights is great, but you must also listen to audience responses and deal with them appropriately. You don’t need to agree with everything that everyone says, but remember that netiquette is remarkably similar to offline etiquette. Please and thank you should be a part of the vocabulary, just as sharing your gastrointestinal discomfort following a long night of beverages out on the town is not something to be shared with everyone – whether online or offline.

After you’ve taken the world by storm through Twitter, think about taking a look around the site at everything from articles on marketing and business to an exciting free trial of KashFlow online accounting software and let KashFlow take the pain out of small business accounting so that you can focus on what you do best – run your business!

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