In today's fast paced world, it can be difficult to engage with your clients in a way which is relatable, but also convenient and that doesn't take up too much of your time. Social media is, perhaps unsuprisingly, the way in which many small businesses choose to solve this issue.
Without meaning to state the obvious, or question anyone's intelligence, it is probably taken as a given that Twitter is the most user-friendly, time efficient way in which to engage with your audience. 120 characters means you have to get straight to the point of what you are trying to communicate, without leaning on fancy words or lengthy terminology - cutting out the waffle that many companies use to sound bigger or cleverer than they actually are! It is also a really good way to promote short links to websites or ecommerce opportunities.
My personal favourite way to use twitter to its full potential is to use is as a tool for giving your company a bit of personality - crack a few jokes, throw in a hilarious gif or 7, and post interesting 'behind the scenes' photos of your day. All these things show potential customers the humans behind the business (especially useful when working in tech!) People like to feel that they are able to form a relationship with companies they are working with - especially if its likely to be a long-term project. This sort of engagement is key to making people feel comfortable, and actually makes business easier as clients are more likely to be open and honest if they know, like and trust you. I like to think that it also brightens people's day up a bit if they check your twitter account and are occasionally greeted by a dancing cat rather than a sales pitch!
If you are a small, start up company, or opening in an unfamiliar area. I would also strongly recommend using Twitter Chats to your advantage. Twitter chats are usually a user with a dedicated hashtag which others can use to take part in a conversation - essentially like online networking from the comfort of your own desk. As a relative newbie to Twitter Chats, I have learnt that there has to be a balance struck in order for them to be effective. Obviously you are there to promote your business, but you are also there to form connections with other businesses, and people will quickly become turned off if you are bombarding them with website links and promotions. It also helps if you are particular about the chats you engage in. If you are new to an area, research local twitter chats and get involved with the community that way. Similarly if you work in a specific industry, try and find related chats where you can engage with like minded individuals. By striking this balance you know that everyone within the chat could be a beneficial contact within your industry. The danger of taking part in the larger, more generic, chats is that you get a little bit lost in the system and can also lose sight of your purpose. An important thing to remember is not to feel obliged to follow everyone who follows you - its your business and you can afford to be selective about the sort of accounts you engage with - if its not relevant to you or your customers then you don't have to follow them just to bump up your numbers.
The key to great client engagement on Twitter is to be yourself, as with all successful networking, people will be more likely to want to work with someone who they feel is approachable and understanding to their needs. Simliarly other companies will be quicker to recommend you to others if they like you (as well as knowing you do an excellent job!)
Now I'm not saying to neglect any mention of your services or promotions on Twitter, but it is important to take the time to build up your connections before you start selling them anything, and once you are using Twitter to promote your company, remember to maintain the relationships you have made. By all means post links to your website, or glowing customer reviews, but every once in a while chuck in a video of baby monkey on a pig for good measure - (youtube this, you will not be disappointed).
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