Don’t think of Twitter as a branding device. It’s not the digital equivalent of a Super Bowl ad. It’s a way to be helpful to your customers by offering free advice or relevant news about your business. So, for example, a sushi restaurant in San Francisco uses Twitter to spread the word about its fresh fish of the day. A day spa in Cincinnati uses it to promote featured discounts on manicures and pedicures. In essence, Twitter does exactly what a sandwich board propped outside your physical office does.
To recap, get started on Twitter by doing the following:
- Post about a time-sensitive promotion or event. This could be a “deal of the day” or an announcement that your mobile business will be in a particular area.
- Post a factoid or statistic that people might find useful.
- Post a link to a blog or a Web article that you found interesting.
And last, two areas of caution. First: you can promote yourself on Twitter, but be sparing and specific when providing relevant information about your industry or service. Cite an item in the news or a relevant survey that backs up the value of what you offer. Second: if you don’t have the time or the interest to really participate in Twitter—which means posting something fresh at least once a day—then just don’t promote it. It’s worse to have a “dead” Twitter account that never gets updated than to have no account at all.