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Making Twitter Work for Your Business

Posted on February 23, 2011 by Josh Mc

We have written on the topic of Twitter before, but as one of the most popular social media platforms, I felt a good Twitter for businesses guide was needed. Twitter is one of those sites where you can easily gain a thousand followers and yet see no interaction with any of your tweets and no visitors to your site. This can be quickly disheartening for businesses as they think more followers should equal more visits and integration on Twitter but that is not always the case. In contrast according to the Twitter statistics released last year, Twitter users tweet an average of 55 million tweets a day, meaning your companies tweets can easily get lost in the mix. This post is designed to help you better take advantage of the users you have.

Incentives Work

The below infographic shows the results of a study eMarketers did on “Why we Follow Companies on Twitter.”

Twitter for Business Infographic

Just simply looking at the results should help you to better understand individuals motivations for following your company, as well as spur ideas on how to better interact with them. For large businesses obviously getting updates is a big reason people follow, but for smaller to medium businesses I don’t feel like these are as relevant as tweets pertaining to receiving discounts, getting updates on sales, and samples and coupons. Therefore, if you are a smaller business you should at least consider that the reason someone decided to follow you may have a lot to do with them hoping you will tweet a discount. A discount that they can use to purchase something they want and / or retweet to their followers to provide a benefit to their Twitter stream. If your business is not doing this then you are missing out on potential engagement. 

But is it simply enough to tweet a coupon and watch the sales role in? If it was everyone would be doing it. You first have to engage with the followers to make sure that your tweets are not simply lost in the endless stream.


Giveaways are a direct line to a Twitter users heart. In today's society we all are striving to receive the biggest benefit with the least amount of work, and Twitter has provided this. A simple giveaway of a hot item can garner thousands of tweets, if a tweet is all it takes for an entry. Not only does this provide an instant boast to your Twitter account, but it provides an interaction between the company and the users. This interaction makes the users more interested in what your next tweets will be as there is a possibility there is something in it for them. Setting up a quarterly give away is a great way to gain new followers and retain the ones you have.

Customer Service

Unlike any other service, Twitter gives us the possibility for interaction that is normally outside of your reach. I could tweet President Obama my thoughts on foreign policy right now, there is a 99.9% chance he wont read it, but there is more of a possibility of me getting through to him on Twitter then there is by calling up the White House. This level of interaction is something that is both good and bad for the modern business. Where before the customer had to follow your preferred methods of contact, they can now simply craft a 140 character message and send it to you instantly. While this is scary for many business owners it is an exciting new way to interact with the customer and keep them visiting your site. If you prove to be a good source on Twitter and prove that you respond to your customers in a timely manner you can easily establish engagement and show other potential customers that you care and will answer their questions however you can.

Obama Twitter

These are just a few of the tips I use on Twitter to help promote a business. What are some others you have seen?  Make sure to leave them in the comments.


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