How to Tweet for Your Small Business

A friend and photo blogger, recently emailed me a great blog post titled: How Do You Write Personal Blog Posts When You’re a Private Person? My first instinct was to forward the email. I paused to consider better options. This was a good candidate for Twitter. If I don’t force myself to stop using email for everything, I will never understand social networking.

I thanked her and suggested she tweet the article since it would be valued by her Twitter followers. I would then retweet it. Retweeting gives the originator a mention and adds to their credibility. Barb was not on Twitter and wasn’t sure if Twitter was worth her limited time as a small business owner.

Twitter: Simple, Brief and Powerful

In my opinion, Twitter is the most important social networking service. Its power is in simplicity.

Twitter is a microblog where every post is limited to 140 characters. Therefore, every post amounts to a headline. You can scan a page full of Twitter “posts” in an instant. Combine speed with lists, hashtags, alerts and filtering and you have a powerful, dynamic network.

The social media sites you choose are influenced by your personality, goals and profession. Twitter’s simplicity gives it a general appeal. It’s a common denominator between a diverse set of people.

Twitter is a great accent to other social media sites. For example, you can display your latest tweets on the sidebar of your blog or Facebook page. When you post a blog entry you can tweet about it to draw in readers.

I get a fair amount of email that references an interesting web page or photo and adds a short comment. This is perfect for Twitter. If such email were tweeted instead, it would make our inboxes that much less cluttered.

An indication of Twitter’s significance is that Apple integrates it into iOS and will be integrating it into the next Mac OS – Mountain Lion.

Twitter is so simple that it might take a while before you “get it”. I suggest trying it and observing how other’s use Twitter for a while before you write it off.

Tweeting For Your Small Business

She replied: “Even though I am a photographer and my twitter account would reflect that, I’m always finding things that are not photo related. To best market a pet photography business, I’d need to stay pet and photography focused. Right?” she referenced this post: Why Twitter Isn’t Working For You.

I started to reply “Hey, this should be on a blog post…”  (the following is what I would have put in the email)

I’m new to Twitter but will offer my two cents… If you are tweeting on behalf of your small business, your content should be respectful and relevant to your industry. You should not be afraid to let your personality shine through. The idea is to focus on what is valued by your followers. If all your tweets are promotional then they won’t be valued much more than those packets of coupons that show up in my recycling bin.

If you are tweeting as you, then you are representing your own personal brand. You can tweet about whatever interests you. Keep in mind clients and potential clients may be reading.

It’s common for people to have multiple Twitter accounts. However, I am unsure how these accounts should work together. For example, should your business account retweet relevant content from your personal account, vice versa or none of the above?

Your Thoughts?

Do you think Twitter is important for small businesses? Should people separate use of Twitter for business and personal use – if so, how?


  1. I would think whether you separate a personal and business Twitter account would depend upon your potential clients, and your goals for your business. I also think there is a lot of grey area or overlap, cause how boring would that Twitter feed be if it was just about your business.

    Does anyone have any demographics on who uses Twitter? Age, sex, financial info? Cause if your target market isn’t using Twitter, it might be a waste of your time.

  2. One thing to consider if you are a small business, is what is your goal in using Twitter? Do you want to drive people to a particular page on your website, do you wish to gain more followers of a certain niche, or perhaps you have a message around a promotion or event that needs to be shared with with many people quickly. What you wish to achieve will help determine how you use the tool.

    Many small business can utilize Twitter in conjunction with Facebook to have thoughtful conversations with their friends, fans and followers. Facebook is a very real and viable way to reach your target audience, and have a conversation with them about the business brand, products and services, and customer facing policies. Twitter would be a great way of sharing the content created by these conversations to reach with more people quickly.

    Finally, here is an interesting infographic I found around the demographics of Twitter: