It's common knowledge in business circles that social media sites can help your company rise above the competition. However, most business owners tend to focus on Facebook and ignore the other options. Did you know that using Twitter can also profit your small business? Here are five ways you can benefit from tweeting.

Customer feedback

Twitter can completely change your customer service experience. You can tweet responses to problems much faster than replying by email, and make your solutions publicly available at the same time. By monitoring what people are saying about your business, you can also get insights into brand perception and how to best position your company. Combining these two benefits helps you to alter public perception, reassure your customers that you care about their concerns, and show that you are ready to go the extra mile to provide outstanding support.

Customer interaction

Twitter is a great tool for a business to interact with its customers, even beyond the essentials of support. By posting quality content and responding actively to comments on Twitter, you build loyalty. This can help leverage your customer base as brand advocates, encouraging your customers to re-tweet and share your posts, thus bringing more traffic to your site. And more traffic means more business!

Monitor your competitors

Twitter is also useful for monitoring your competitors. Few small business owners have the deep pockets of multinationals, and Twitter is an excellent, cheap alternative for market research. Don't stop with keeping an eye on the competition's feeds, though: if you know the hashtags they use, you can quickly find out what people are saying about them, and hence monitor their strategy.

Get new customers

Just like any social media site, Twitter allows you to connect with new people. This directly improves brand awareness and recognition. Moreover, you can take advantage of your current following by encouraging them to advertise for you. A simple promotion with coupon codes or a prize for the best advertiser can get your followers re-tweeting your business to thousands of potential new customers. Remember: people trust reviews and suggestions from people they know, and Twitter gives you the means to create such marketing.

Become a recognised expert

Twitter allows business owners to create branded profile pages. You can use your page to post useful content pertaining to your industry. This, in turn, establishes you as an expert in your field. As you continue to post, people will begin to think of you as the go-to person when they have a particular problem or need. As your reputation increases, so will your following, your reach and your customer base.

Whatever your business, Twitter can be an extremely useful tool for generating brand awareness, providing better service and finding new customers. The important thing is to make sure you know how to tweet properly before you start, so that you define a profitable strategy and reap maximum benefits.

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