For small businesses, social media sites such as Twitter are a great tool as they allow the company to be in direct contact with its customers. However, many businesses are missing out on this useful and easy to use tool because they don’t know how to use it effectively.

Here are three steps to follow when using Twitter for your business.

1.  Get Started

Customise your profile so that every element reflects your business. Your name, bio, website and profile picture should all work together to tell your story; who you are and what you are about. Let your personality, or that of the employees show through in your tweets. Even though you are tweeting on behalf of the company, you can still use a casual and friendly tone to relate better to your audience – people respond better to friendly, conversational tweets.

2. Engage your Audience

Before you tweet, follow and observe businesses similar to yours. This way you can see what works, what doesn’t, and learn from their mistakes. Now it’s time to start tweeting! A good place to start is to provide your followers insight with information about your business that can’t be found elsewhere. Make sure to always reply, retweet and favourite your followers tweets, especially people who are praising you! You also need to respond promptly to critical tweets about your business. If there is too much back and forth in a conversation, it may be a good idea to ask the customer to direct message you with their contact details so you can better resolve the issue. You also need to make it a habit. Make a plan of daily tweets that can be posted informing followers of special promotions or helpful tips.

3. Amplify your impact

Promote your Twitter @username on everything, including business cards, your website, signage and advertising, product packaging and email. Create tweets that encourage followers to retweet or refer other people they know. You can also offer a discount or extra service to people who mention your business. Make sure you measure your results. This can be done by looking at the growth rate of your follower base and seeing if people are retweeting or favouriting your tweets.

To find out more about social media and how it can benefit your business email