Get Your Tweet On

Get Your Tweet On


The thing about Twitter and entrepreneurs is that SMEs were the first to realise the potential of Twitter to promote their businesses. From day one, they’ve been using Twitter to build meaningful relationships with their customers, and the customers they’d like to have, talking to them directly, in real-time, on an open platform.

Successful small business owners intuitively know how to build meaningful relationships with their customers. Today, some of the most effective marketing campaigns we see come from smaller, local, or Internet-only businesses. Take a look at the success of frozen yoghurt brand, Wakaberry, which has almost 27,000 followers on Twitter (@wakaberry).

Twitter reflects what people are interested in, so it can help brands deliver content to users that matches their interest. The result is that a lot more people click on or interact with branded content on Twitter than normal display or banner ads.

Research from Market Probe International shows that 72% of people more likely to make a purchase from an SME after they follow or interact with them on Twitter and 30% more likely to recommend a business that they follow on Twitter.

And, especially in South Africa – where so many people access the internet with a smartphone or tablet – Twitter lets you have relevant and targeted

conversations with your community on the go. Say someone is new in town and tweets that they are really craving a seafood meal. You’re a great seafood restaurant. Right then and there you can respond, providing useful and appropriate information, perhaps even a discount, and win a new customer.

Here are our top tips for using Twitter to promote and grow your business.

Find your voice:

Don’t be afraid to let your and your employees’ personality come through. Business styles vary so find a tone that works for your business and your customers.


Research the conversation happening on Twitter around your company, your products and your competitors.


Use Twitter to convey insights and information about your company that your customers can’t find anywhere else. Ask your followers questions and listen for constructive comments.


Reply when people tweet about you. Favourite and retweet positive messages, and thank those who are supporting you. Equally important is not to  ignore Tweets just because they are critical. Rather take the opportunity to address issues and gain valuable feedback. Where appropriate though don’t be scared to take conversations offline.

Keep it fresh:

The real time nature of Twitter creates a short shelf life for content so Tweet often and about relevant topics. Engage with trends and hashtags that fit with your company.

Offer value:

This can mean different things to different people. For some it’s behind-the-scenes info or witty observations, for others it’s competitions and special offers. Find out what your audience likes and tailor your Tweets. Remember, not everything has to be about your products or company.

Tweet something sharable:

People engage more with interesting content, so include a photo, ask a question or share a Vine video.

Amplify your message:

Once you’ve found your Twitter groove, Twitter’s Promoted Products can help you grow followers and reach more customers.

Promoting Tweets and your account can help you reach more of the right people to build your community, share your voice, bring old customers back and new people in the door.

Barry Collins
Barry joined Twitter in 2013 to work with Small Business across EMEA get the most of out the Twitter platform. He has extensive experience in the technology industry having previously held senior positions in Dell, Skype and Microsoft. He is @BarryCollins on Twitter. Find out more about Twitter’s Promoted Products at