The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Small Business: Taking It 140 Characters At A Time

Just starting your small business? Looking to take it to the next level?  Twitter is where you want to be. So lets get started!


Twitter was founded in San Francisco and is used by millions of people all around the world. Twitter is an online social networking service that allows its users to send and read messages in actual-time consisting of no more than 140 characters, known as Tweets. Twitter connects your small business to consumers in real-time and enables you to quickly share information with people interested in your products and/or services. Twitter helps build the authentic relationships you want with your customers, influencers, and partners. From brand awareness to promotions, Twitter offers your business a simple way to reach your specific audience. Chris Brogan states that, “Twitter is excellent at providing rapid, real-time information. There’s a place and value for Twitter”. To understand Twitter’s place and value to you and your business one of the best sources you can utilize is Twitter itself. The site details how to be the best at what, when, and how you Tweet. Best practices such as, creating Tweets that resonate, keeping Tweets short, Tweeting often, following interests, utilizing @reply, and staying on top of trending topics, are covered and are the keys to success for your small business. I also suggest following the twitter handle @TwitterSmallBiz, which is Twitter’s official team dedicated to helping your small business succeed.

Twitter has a whole section dedicated to smaller business along with a guide that you can have sent to you that covers the following:

Get started

  • Understand how Twitter works so your business can actively and effectively join the conversation.

Engage your customers

  • Learn how to tweet shareable information, plan for a weekly content calendar, and give your business a unique voice.

Grow your audience

  • Learn how to work with partners, highlight your username in other marketing channels, and extend the reach of your message through Retweets

Twitter connects you with your target audience, gets your business’s message across, and helps you discover ways to grow your small business. At this point I bet you are thinking… this all sounds dandy but show me result, give me real life proof. Well I’m glad you asked I have some great success stories for you! (For Twitter advertising, product updates, tips, news, and success stories a good handle to follow is @TwitterAds.)

small business

Drew Ressler (@Rukes), a DJ photographer, travels the world photographing electronic dance music (EDM) DJs. Ressler wanted to find more people who would be interested in his business and photographs. His challenge was his busy travel schedule and the fact that he is the sole owner and only employee of his business (talk about a small biz). He needed a cost-effective, easy way to connect with a targeted audience interested in music and niche photography. Ressler turned to Promoted Accounts to find followers on Twitter who would want to hear about and see his small business. He was able to set a max daily budget and targeted Twitter users across the globe. Promoted Accounts then automatically identified other Twitter users who were similar to his current follower base, including those interested in the EDM scene. Twitter displayed the @Rukes profile everyday to those users in the suggested “Who to follow” section and he only had to pay for each new follower gained not the ones he didn’t. The results were incredible to say the least, in just two months Ressler took on 1,300 new followers! Key points to Twitter success that Ressler employed were: he Tweeted a variety of relevant content and he brought his followers closer to other influencers in his industry. You can read about several other success stories including a small coffee biz, a small bakery biz, and even a small dog biz here.

For more advanced Twitter tips you can check out Mashable’s article: 5 Advanced Twitter Tips For Your Small Business. Also below you will find a very informative webinar by Erica Ayotte, sm manager from Constant Contact, that breaks down how to effectively use Twitter as a small business.

Now that you are onboard with Twitter and understand the power of a Tweet its time to mention your next step in social media as a small business. Blogs. Check out my next blog at the end of the week to find out why!

Did you find this article helpful? Something about Blogs you are burning to read about in next week’s post? Please feel free to leave a comment, share this post, and/or subscribe!

small business

Suggested Thought Leaders:

Eric Tung @ericttung: Social media guru

Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer: Author of Tao of Twitter. Specializes in social media strategy/training and clients include both start-ups and global brands such as IBM, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and the UK government.

Jeff Korhan @jeffkorhan: Global keynote marketing speaker and coach for mainstream small business.

Recommended Reads:

If you’re looking for a book with a wider focus, BusinessWeek bestseller Groundswell by Li and Bernoff, is your ticket. It is a groundbreaking book on the true business worth of social media.

Tao of Twitter (my personal favorite) by Mark Schaefer can turn your business Twitterverse around. He not only gives you Twitter strategies, times savers, and tips to live by, but also talks about building influence, audience, and competitive advantage.

Photo Credits:

Twitter text logo – CC

Social Media People – CC


Category: Blogging, Small Biz, Social Media Marketing 101, Social Media Marketing 201