Most people react quite strongly when I ask if they use Twitter as a business marketing tool. The responses range from “Yes, its fun” to “Yes, my website traffic has doubled” to “That’s a total waste of time, why would I?” to “That’s what youngsters use, not business people”.
Now, I’m fairly biased, as any of you who follow me on twitter know but I do think Twitter CAN be a powerful tool for small businesses, if used well. I get a lot of work through it, about half my website visits are from tweeters and it’s done my profile the world of good.
I meet A LOT of other small businesses on twitter, way more than any other social networking site I use (imho) and very few are ‘youngsters’ (indeed, the average of a twitter user is 39!).
What I thought I’d do is share a story of success a local small business has had on Twitter – that way you can’t accuse me of bias
Graham Cartwright from Geeky Creative – a Telford based design agency offering logo design, website development, search engine optimisation, pay-per-click campaigns – explains:
“A B&B in Shropshire sent a simple Tweet – “Can anyone recommend an iPhone developer in Shropshire”…
Someone I follow retweeted it and we sent them a direct message asking if we could help. We followed each other. We built up a rapport on Twitter over a couple of weeks and Several DMs later we started swapping emails. A brief was formed and we then produced a couple of estimates.
Despite NEVER speaking to the client on the phone or face-to-face we have secured a large contract to develop an iPhone App and website.
The client carried out background checks on us, samples of work, written testimonials and telephone interviews with other clients but have only ever Tweeted us. Just goes to show the power of Twitter!”
And that really is the power of Twitter; the ability to reach potential clients you might not otherwise find and get work without having gone to endless networking meetings, sending out endless e-newsletters etc – you catch my drift. The ability for someone to gain enough trust in you to hire your services or buy your products without ever having met you continues to amaze and delight me.
I’m sure there’s the odd person out there who thinks you could easily get burned by doing this; I’d simply say exactly the same can come through networking and all other ways of doing business, you just have to trust your gut instinct.
If you’re not using Twitter for business, yet, talk to someone who is – try it and see the ever growing opportunities!
If you have a Twitter success story, please share it here