December 1, 2013 | Valerie Wong
In the last two years, the microblogging service called Twitter has been adopted by millions of people around the globe, making it one of the most popular websites on the Internet, and the second most popular social networking site after Facebook. Many different individuals use Twitter for various purposes. Some use it to give the world a glimpse of what is going on in their daily lives. Some will log in to Twitter to see what their favorite stars are doing. And others use it as a platform to voice their political opinions. But Twitter isn't something that is reserved only for individuals. In fact, businesses can take advantage of the microblogging service in numerous ways.
Twitter can be a crucial component of your overall online marketing, advertising and corporate communications strategy. It can be seamlessly integrated with other communications platforms, such as your business website, blog and other social networking accounts. If used properly, Twitter can definitely help you in many ways, such as by giving your business additional exposure in the online world and giving you a channel with which you can communicate with your current or prospective customers.
You may already have a news section on your website, a corporate blog, or an email newsletter. However, Twitter offers some advantages over these communications channels. Remember that unless they are serious fans of your business, few people in your target audience will take action and visit your site on a regular basis to see if anything is new with your company. Email newsletters, while sometimes effective, have one major drawback: few of the messages that you send will actually end up being read by the recipients, as most people already receive a dozen or so of them from different businesses.
When someone follows you on Twitter, they will be able to get an at-a-glance look at updates from other Twitter users they are following. If you send out a Tweet, there is a much higher chance that they will see it, as opposed to an email message or on-site update. Twitter's 140 character message limit can be used to your advantage, simply by writing something concise, yet highly engaging to your target audience, then adding a link to an external resource (product page on your site if you're selling something new, entry on your blog if you've written commentary about your industry, etc.)
Furthermore, Twitter can make a great “backup” communications channel for you if your main website becomes temporarily inaccessible or is having issues limiting its functionality. By sending out a Tweet if an issue arises with your site or an online service that your business offers, you can reduce the number of customer contacts about the issue and also publicly reassure your customers and site visitors that you are working to resolve the problem rapidly.
Essentially, Twitter can be used for a variety of purposes, such as sending out promotional messages about your products, sharing content that you've produced, like YouTube videos, driving traffic to your blog posts, providing updates about the evolution of your business, as well as communicating with your customers should service on your website be disrupted. As it costs nothing to create a Twitter account for your business and to send Tweets to people that are interested in it, you should definitely integrate it into your social media strategy.
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