Consumers are increasingly making business recommendations on Twitter, according to new research. Image courtesy of: Spencer E. Holtaway/Flickr.com
Micro-blogging platform Twitter has seen a 663 percent increase in consumers using the site to ask for business recommendations, according to research from Orange Business
Small businesses looking for word-of-mouth recommendations should be proactively using Twitter
to take advantage of this trend.
"Today, Twitter represents a compelling word of mouth engine that can deliver significant business opportunities
to small businesses across a wide variety of sectors," said Mike Tomlinson, small business marketing director at Orange Business.
According to the research, consumers looking for professional services on Twitter were most likely to search for web designers
, solicitors, accountants, copywriters and architects
"The current economic conditions being what they are, it is critical for small businesses to utilise whatever technology they can to win new business," said Tomlinson.
"With 10 million people in the UK on Twitter, what business can afford to ignore that many potential customers? By accessing Twitter whenever and wherever they can professionals can keep a closer eye on any requests for services and respond before the competition does, keeping them an important step ahead in rough economic times."
Orange Business advised SMEs enhance their Twitter profile using the following tips:
1. Mobilise your Twitter account:
Being able to access Twitter wherever you are makes it easier to respond to work requests in a timely manner and allows you to make the most of any 'dead time' to see if people are shopping for your services.
2. Be prepared to offer advice:
Professionals need to showcase their expertise and accessibility over Twitter. It's not about giving away free counsel but showing you know what you're talking about and sharing information which might spread far and wide. Your words of wisdom will reach far more potential customers than your silence.
3. Be quick:
Twitter is all about the now. If you don't offer your services to somebody looking, your competitors will.
4. Reach out to communities of tweeters:
The more networks you are engaged in and the more people you follow and engage with, the fewer degrees of separation there will be between you and potential business leads.
5. Demonstrate 'real-world' credentials:
Make sure you can easily link from your Twitter profile to a website
that showcases your location, qualifications and credentials. Show what you can on your profile.