How Has Twitter Hindered or Helped Your Business?

Once again I'm looking for feedback from fellow Bonfire members for a future article on the main blog. Your replies may be included in the article with a link back to your Twitter profile. Simply leave a reply in the comments here if you wish to contribute feedback on the topic.

The Question:

How has Twitter helped/hindered your business?

Views: 209

Tags: marketing, small business, twitter

Comment by Morgan Barnhart on February 17, 2012 at 9:28am

I began Twitter when it first came around in 2007 and then it was just a place where people could talk about when they were going to the bathroom. Hah. But since then, I've build a steady following of people that I know IRL & online that I truly rely on and trust for business info & good conversation. Twitter has certainly helped my business. In more ways than one. I get to interact with people on a much deeper level than with Facebook or any other network. I get to personally reply to people instead of replying to them through a big long strand of comments. Twitter seems to get a better response than Facebook as well, especially when it comes to sharing blog posts & as I said, connecting with others.

Comment by Larah Ritchie on February 17, 2012 at 9:28am

Hi Emily! 

Oh Twitter! The two of us have a strange relationship to say the least. When I first launched my website & started trying to develop an online network, I followed all the "rules."  I engaged in all the right conversations on Twitter, jumped into relevant Twitter chats, RT'd articles and made quite a few fantastic connections.   

It was great. People loved me. I was so sure I was well on my way to making insane amounts of money. But the money didn't follow.

These wonderful, amazing people who loved me and totally got me and were equally passionate about the work I was doing...they weren't my target market. They were my new coworkers.

The funny thing is, I knew that going in. I had a profile of my target market and these people didn't fit that. Somewhere along the way, I got confused and started assuming if the co-workers loved me, then they'd share my stuff with my target market.

But that's not how it works in real life.

So the answer to your question is yes. It's done both. Twitter has helped me develop an unbeatable support network of like-minded, creative, world-changing entrepreneurs. It's helped me establish social proof.  On the flip side, Twitter has led me into the fog or into the echo chamber...causing me to listen to the wrong voices when seeking feedback on what my ideal client wants. And it's made it all too easy to pretend like I'm being productive when I'm not.

Now, I spend a LOT less time in Twitter. A lot less. Less as in 2 hours a week instead of 3 or 4 hours a day! I'm now committed to using Facebook and...most importantly...venturing "into the wild" and talking directly to my clients and would-be clients. 

I hope this is helpful to you in writing your article Emily.  Have a great weekend!   ~ Larah

Comment by Emily Suess on February 17, 2012 at 9:36am

Morgan & Larah,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses. I'm really interested in this idea of Twitter as kind a two-edged sword that simultaneously helps people connect while completely distracting them from other workday tasks. I appreciate your insights and feedback on the topic and for giving me new things to ponder! 

Comment by Carol Amos on February 17, 2012 at 10:34am

Hi Emily,

I'm just starting to venture into Twitter so I'm not sure how it will help my business. It's great to read the previous comments from Larah Ritchie and Morgan Barnhart as a couple of been there and done thats.

As a Twitter newbie, it's all a bit overwhelming and confusing. For example, some of the people that are now following me make wonder WTH and how did that happen? And why?

Looking forward to reading your article and more comments. Thanks for sharing your experience Larah and Morgan!

All my best - Carol

Comment by Charlotte Bumstead on February 17, 2012 at 10:53am

Hi Emily,

I love Twitter. Probably a little too much. But I definitely believe it has helped more than hindered. Not only has it been a fantastic resource of information, but it has allowed me to engage with fellow writers/small business owners I never otherwise would have had the opportunity to meet. I wouldn't say it has been the main source of traffic to my website or that it has brought in any dollar signs (yet), but the knowledge I've discovered since joining the Twitter realm is worth every penny of my time.

Then again, I do believe it is important to stick to a schedule for when you will be using Twitter and when you will be strictly focusing on other work. It can definitely be a tempting distraction and a time suck at that. But as long as you use it wisely, I think it all pays off.

Hope that helps! I look forward to your article.

Cheers,

Carly

Comment by Leora Wenger on February 17, 2012 at 10:53am

Emily,

As I said on Google+,  I found one of my best customers by tweeting with her back and forth a bit on Twitter several years ago. Others have followed me for a year, then asked me to do their website. One has to put in the effort, but for me, it works well.  I do find some days one wonders what one is doing with all these tweets!  One piece of advice: think target audience.  For example, I follow a lot of New Jersey people, because my clients tend to be local.

Look forward to your summing this up in a post.

- Leora

Comment by Emily Suess on February 17, 2012 at 3:06pm

Thanks Carol, Charlotte, Leora & Karen for joining the discussion. I'm learning so much from all of you and hope that the end result is an article that truly benefits Bonfire members.

So often we hear that we need to be engaged on Twitter as small business owners -- like there's no question of its benefit and there's no real choice to make. But it's not nearly so simple.

I wonder how many people are signed on simply because they're afraid they'll miss out on snagging a client if they don't sign on every day.

Comment by RoseAnn Waters on February 17, 2012 at 4:39pm

I love Twitter, in fact, I have two accounts - one as IMPACTgal, for my coaching business and one as NiagaraDines for my online restaurant directory.  Does it "work"?  Depends, I think on what you're utizlizing it for.  It's great to create name brand recognition - to get you known.  However, I think it really takes awhile to build a following - the right following.  In other words, if I want to hit my target market, then I have to build relationships on Twitter, just as I do IRL!  Then, people feel comfortable in RTing and sharing.  As the name brand recognition grows, so does my business - because Twitter is more creative, than directive, we I ever truly know how much business comes from my Tweeting?  Probably not, it is definitely an important part of my branding/marketing package. So, yes, I believe it does help my business, as long as I remember to keep the balance between all my Social Media and doing what I need to do elsewhere to grow and maintain my coaching practice!

Comment by RoseAnn Waters on February 17, 2012 at 4:40pm

um, please excuse the spelling errors, my passion overrode my spellcheck! ;}

Comment by corinna.rake on February 18, 2012 at 3:33am

As a fairly new convert, Twitter has been very much the double-edged sword you speak of Emily. Time suck, for sure. But I've also met lots of other like-minded entrepreneurs that may turn into collaboration - who knows, it's still early. 

I have found the easiest way to get involved is joining Twitter chats - there are all kinds to choose from. In fact, I'm going to be adding one, co-hosting with two other mompreneurs, starting in March! 1st & 3rd Wednesdays at noon EST - in case anyone here is interested, follow hashtag #BizMomsKnow and myself @RakeConsulting.

They're a great way to help others, share your expertise and raise awareness of your brand, especially if you can find the right chats to be a part of - all of which can lead to increased revenue.

Looking forward to reading your article Emily, and hopefully connecting with you and the others on Twitter! :)

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