Updated March 30 at 12:29am

Tweet your way to the top

'It's a terrific tool for a variety of purposes.'


Slowly but surely, many business owners are realizing that Twitter is a terrific (and free) tool for a variety of business purposes, including marketing, customer service, branding and PR and generating leads. Those who use it effectively are generating traffic for their websites, building networks and getting closer to their customers.

Using Twitter specifically to generate leads is something that works differently for different types of businesses. You should try out different approaches and see what works best for you. Then go with that.

Here are things you can do on Twitter to attract prospects to your business:

• Tweet about special offers you have available at your business. But follow this tactic judiciously. Tweeting too often about business offers can get you labeled as a spammer. One nice way around this is to weave offers into a blog post or article on your website. Then simply tweet a link to your article, with some “teaser” text to spark interest.

• Create your own business-branded page on Twitter. This makes it easier to generate leads. An enhanced business-profile page increases your Twitter presence by prominently featuring your most important content and visually branding your page. Your enhanced profile page is completely public – users can view it without joining or logging into Twitter. Twitter is still in the process of rolling out this feature to all businesses.

• Use “featured tweets.” This is available from your business-brand page and lets you display select tweets at the top of your page for an extended time. Normally tweets move down the page as you add more, but these stay put and are a great way to feature special promotions or offers.

• Answer questions. Two out of three Twitter users say they are more likely to buy something from a local business that answers their questions on Twitter. So while that begs the question of how many of your customers and prospects are actually on Twitter, it’s a safe bet that whatever that number is, it will only get bigger.

• Chime into Twitter “chat.” On Twitter, “chats” are similar to hashtags except more granular. There’s a publicly available document posted on Google Docs call “Twitter Chat Schedule” that lists more than 600 chats on specific topics.

• Create a customized Twitter visitor welcome page for your business website. Once you have this, you can include the link in your Twitter profile and in your tweets. Anyone who clicks on it will arrive at your special welcome page for people who’ve found you via Twitter. This customizes your message and makes them feel especially welcome. It also opens up the possibility of special offers to Twitter users. •

Daniel Kehrer can be reached at



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