During the course of my business day I make a lot of use of Social Medial tools, including Twitter, to assist my clients in driving business their way. Twitter is a great marketing tool if you know how to use it, here are basic tips to generate business -- but never use social media for hard sell approaches.

Do you have a Business Account?

Many people use Twitter as a way to follow people having similar interests, others use it to keep in touch with old colleagues, some for family.

We are normally involved in a conversation with those in our circle that regularly share things. You should also have a Twitter account for your business, one that is focused on the needs of your business, you should connect with many of the people you already know, your competitors, and others interested from your industry.

Get as many followers as you can

Followers are essential, they are the people who will listen to what you have to say.

It's essential that you do not build up any deadwood in your network, ensure you stop following people that do not follow you back, it may seem perverse, but it's an essential part of growth. Your goal is to get masses of people following you, and amongst them will be your future clients and often that may be difficult to discern, so sometimes following anybody works.

Have you got a Blog for your brand?

It's essential that almost every product or brand has a blog, it's a way of you showcasing the product, its capabilities etc. If you don't have one then you should consider setting one up -- you will find it a powerful marketing tool.

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Set up a Listening Station

With very little money or effort, it's possible to see what's going on in your industry. Use the Twitter search feature for words or phrases that are key to your industry. Firstly, this will help to find people to follow, but secondly, it will indicate topics discussed in your industry. If there are questions raised in the industry then you need to be seen to be answering them through the brand blog. Answering general questions and even how to fix a competitor's product will help you be seen as a market leader and will win you future business.

Create an Email List

When you have a large following it can sometimes be difficult to get the attention of the right person. They may be a client, someone who has purchased from you in the past, or someone like a journalist who has an interest in your marketplace, this enables you to provide a more specialized message or forge links with those who can help you spread your message.

Make it easy for others to Tweet on your behalf

This is where the little "Tweet this page" icon comes in useful, provide it on all your pages (whether they are static web pages of your brand blog), it makes it easy for others to tweet about your brand.

You will find some people become a regular mouthpiece, get in touch with them, forge a relationship, get their email address (if they will give it) offer to put them on the 'special' list of people that are first to know about the advances you make.

Managing Customer Feedback

One of the most powerful uses you can put your listening station to is gathering feedback on how your brand is perceived, this is not simply the customer feedback loop, but how your brand or product may be perceived in general.

Offer Deals

Offer deals to to your most loyal followers. There are some companies that specialize in offering deals through Social Media, it may be worthwhile working with them. It's also possible to Tweet a link to a deals pagethat's either on your site or your blog. The deal must be genuine and not one that disappears as soon as the user arrives on the page (I have seen too many of these and they lead to bad reputations).

Conclusion

Each of these steps is of course straight forward, but if you have any difficulty in making them work for you, then a social media or marketing consultant, like myself, may be able to assist you in getting the best out of Twitter.

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