Sponsored by Visa Business:
Building and maintaining relationships is a key component of a successful small business strategy. In fact, fostering small business relationships can give you a unique competitive advantage.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money for you to build and maintain connections with current and potential customers. For example, you can use Twitter lists to follow specific types of people or content, and to join relevant conversations.
The following are five ways you can start using Twitter lists to build relationships that could turn into sales.
1. Engaging with Prospective Customers
To get started, create lists of Twitter users who fit your target customer profile. You don’t have to follow them and they don’t have to follow you in order for you to add them to a public or private Twitter list.
You can monitor the tweets published by users on this list and jump into conversations as appropriate. Don’t sell! Instead, add useful information to the conversations happening, and you’ll start building relationships with prospects that can turn into sales later.
2. Interacting with Current Customers
You can also create a Twitter list of your current customers and monitor their questions, referrals, etc.
Be sure to acknowledge when a current customer says something positive about your business! Even if they don’t include your Twitter username, you’ll see their tweets if you have them in a smaller, easier to manage, Twitter list.
3. Monitoring Competitors
Don’t be afraid to create a private Twitter list to monitor your competitors. You never know what opportunities you might spot!
Keep Twitter lists that you’re using for monitoring private, but lists that you want to use as a way to recognize other people can be public.
4. Listening and Communicating with Wider Audiences for Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Remember, Twitter lists can be used to build relationships with a wide variety of people. For example, the relationships you build through a Twitter list filled with key members of your local community, online influencers of your target audience, or journalists who write about the types of products or services your business provides, could all lead to word-of-mouth marketing that drives sales.
5. Subscribing to Lists Created by Other Twitter Users
You can follow public lists created by any other Twitter user simply by visiting their profile and selecting from the lists they’ve created. When you find a list you like, there is no need to recreate it. Just click the Subscribe button, and you’ll be able to monitor the list.
Keep in mind that when you subscribe to a list, it appears publicly on your Twitter profile. If you don’t want anyone else to know that you’ve subscribed to a specific list, you’ll need to recreate it as your own list and make it private.
How do you use Twitter lists to build relationships that turn into sales for your small business? Leave a comment below and share your tips.
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.