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Twitter is an online social networking service that is heavily used on smartphones. Members post short articles, called tweets. Tweets are 160 characters or less.

More than 300 million people actively use the service. They follow other member’s tweets. They retweet tweets, meaning that a business’ tweet can be widely spread. Tweets can easily be set as favorites. A business that develops a healthy following has an active funnel bringing existing customers back and reaching prospective new ones.

Like with any social networking service, the rewards to a business of using Twitter are reaching a lot of people, building the store brand, engaging with current or prospective customers, and getting feedback.

Twitter, though, has the highest percentage of members who willingly follow businesses or brands. People may happily jump on a new business. A business Twitter Profile looks good out of the box – no customization necessary.

Use Twitter when a regular flow of new content is available. When the content does not have to be lasting. When the target demographic is younger. When the time is available to tweet what’s new and now several times through the day to be seen amid other posts that clutter members’ Twitter feeds.

Once a decision is made to use Twitter, set up an account, jump in and start using it right away.

The user name for the account should be short and memorable. Complete the business profile with location and contact information. Add a business logo or other image. Change the Twitter URL. That’s all.

Adding content is always the best way to build followers. The trick on Twitter is to post something memorable in 140 characters or less, and to post frequently. How frequently to post? When there is something to share that customers or prospects may be interested in.

Possible content to share via Twitter includes news stories that relate to the business or its industry (without promoting any competitors), a business’ new product line or added services, behind the scenes look into the business or – as these are local brick-and-mortar locations, occasional community information. As always, before tweeting be certain that there really is a reason to tweet.

Twitter’s analytics will show impressions, retweets, likes and other information related to a specific post. Their analytics also shows how often an account is tweeting, its top tweets, number of followers and a lot more. This information can show the types of tweets people eagerly consume - the types of tweets that a business may want to post more often.

Internet Marketing

Twitter is also an easy choice for a business that doesn't have an advertising budget. But if the analytics indicate the need to reach even more people, then go ahead and advertise on Twitter.