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Discover what Twitter can do for your business

Brian Lavery (@lavbri), partnerships manager at Twitter, works to help small and medium-sized companies across Europe use Twitter to grow their business. Here he discusses the four main areas to focus on.

With 500 million tweets a day from more than 230 million active users, Twitter brings people closer to the things they care about, whether it’s the news that affects their lives or businesses down the street.

That’s especially true in the UK, one of the busiest countries for Twitter globally. Small and medium-sized businesses here are increasingly taking advantage of Twitter to connect with their customers, making it a core part of their marketing and operations. That’s true whether those customers are consumers or other businesses, and across sectors.

But for those just starting out, Twitter can seem a little intimidating. That’s why we’ve joined up with O2, a long-time advocate of Twitter for business (follow @O2 and @O2BusinessUK for proof!). O2 has even created Social Insights, a free leaderboard-style tool that tracks UK businesses’ performance on Twitter – and there’s a free £50 credit in Twitter Ads for all businesses that join.

At Twitter HQ, we see small and medium-sized businesses approaching it in all sorts of ways. When considering how to improve your Twitter presence or when asking yourself what to tweet about, our advice is to look around. Small and medium-sized businesses succeed with Twitter in four main areas.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start. As you notice other businesses’ tweets falling into the categories below, it should become easier to manage your own activity in the same way. We’ve picked examples from two business-to-consumer (B2C) companies here, but we’ll profile a mix of industries over the coming weeks.

1.  Building your brand

Twitter allows you to showcase the personality of your business. By investing a little time into creating a good profile page, and tweeting content that reflects the identity of your business, you can build the foundations of your brand.

Poncho 8 (@Ponchono8), a London-based burrito shop, does exactly that by serving up a lively mix of tweets focused on customer dialogue about its products, garnished with a quirky tone of voice.

2. Direct response

Twitter is also a powerful tool for driving your audience to a specific action, like clicking through to your website or subscribing to an email newsletter, with so-called ‘direct response’ tweets. This pre-Christmas tweet from Pact Coffee (@pactcoffee), a high-end mail-order coffee supplier, is a good example – ‘the clock is ticking, so you’d better get clicking’:

3. Customer service

Don’t let yourself forget that Twitter is live and conversational – which means that it’s perfect for showcasing how good you are at customer service. Check out another example from our friends at Poncho 8, and the phenomenal customer response:

4. Market research

Finally, the best conversations start with a question, so don’t be afraid to ask! Use Twitter to find out more about your customers and what they want, or to get feedback on your products and services, simply by posing a question to your followers. This example shows Pact Coffee kicking off an impromptu Twitter feedback session. You can also use Twitter search, and follow hashtags, to stay on top of topics relevant to your business.

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