As a small business consultant, I find Twitter to be a powerful tool. I can use it to find where my clients might need help, attach clients to prospective business, and find new clients as well. Even if you are not a consultant, you can use some of these ideas to expand your own business and gain a stronger relationship with your clients. It also might expand your knowledge of the benefits of Twitter for business.
Prospective new business from clients
If I notice my clients running extra sales ads than normal through Twitter, I realize that it might be time to pick up the phone. Using Twitter excessively to push discounted merchandise might be a sign there is too much product and my client needs help turning it quickly. Simply remembering previous clearance posts really helps.
Monitoring employee satisfaction
I find myself following some of my client's workers on Twitter. If these workers begin complaining about work online, I realize my client is having (or on the verge of having) an employee satisfaction issue. This can lead to new work from an old client.
Searching for posts with a company's name can turn up valuable information. If a significant amount of customer complaints are found, the business owner needs to be reminded that I can handle customer relations issues. Sometimes, taking a look at someone else's business can benefit your own.
I like to drop private messages through Twitter to my clients. I might ask how a new product is doing or how a plan we came up with is working. This is an extra line of communication with my clients that I try to embrace as much as possible. It is personal without taking a long time to write or being dragged on through a telephone call.
Sometimes I notice a client posting something new about his or her business. By reposting, I show my client how interested I am in the company's success. This also lets a client know someone is reading the posts. Sometimes, this can be the most important. Knowing someone is there and is trying to help you get the word out about your business can bring people back for years.
Clients to business
Many of my clients have some type of overlap. Maybe one is a supplier for another or a client to a third. I like to point out important posts one might want to know from another. Often posts about sales, specials, or expanded capabilities are missed.
Too much/too little
If I notice a client is posting on Twitter all the time, there might be something wrong. Could the company not have any business right now? If the client dips in the number of posts, it could mean there is too much work at the present time and regular activities are not being taken care of. Both are issues which might warrant a phone call.
Sometimes clients post about how they are working with a new company. Once a new company is brought to my attention, I can contact my client for a business referral. This is often done through a private message on Twitter, but can also be discussed over a business lunch offline.
Twitter is a tool which can open new doors for any small business owner. At the same time, it can help to keep doors open which might be closed without constant communication. The old adage tells us how communication is the key to any relationship. Twitter helps to keep that true in the business world.
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