Should a Small Business use Twitter?
Oprah and Ellen say yes! Isn’t that enough? It was for the masses, but you’re a busy business owner who’s a little apprehensive about spending the few precious moments you have tweeting instead of tweeping (that’s sleeping in Twitter-speak).

Well, I have the answer for you! Yes…and no. Allow me to explain.

Small businesses all over the world are using Twitter to boost their business; from local pizzerias to your neighborhood mechanic. Just jump on Google, or use the Twitter search engine, and search the words “Twitter success stories” and you’ll see hundreds of stories about the small-town guy or gal who tweeted their way to a 400% increase in revenue. But for every success story, there are a hundred other stories that can be summed up in three words: waste of time.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s ok for you to fall on either side of the statistic. Just make sure you don’t flounder somewhere in the middle. That’s when Twitter becomes most dangerous – a time-sucking habit that provides no return on your investment (time)! I’ve outlined a plan for you below, and by staying consistent and scrutinizing your results, this should help determine if Twitter is right for you.

So here’s some guidance in giving it the old college try:

– Set up a Twitter account for your business. It’s ok to be the owner that is representing a business. People love knowing the owner is on Twitter!
– Tweet at least once a day. What should you tweet about? Anything that your customers (or potential customers) would find interesting/valuable/amusing about your business. Also, engage people. Don’t make it a one-way tweet. Ask questions and answer questions.
– Use Twitter’s search feature to find conversations to engage in. If you are a florist in Atlanta, Georgia, search for “flowers Atlanta” and see where you can add value to a conversation.
– Use and find local people to follow.
– Offer occasional offers/coupons/discounts to get people from Twitter inside your store or on your Website!
– Measure the results! Ask people where they found you. Allow them to print a coupon that you only put on Twitter so you can track its effectiveness. This is critical to deciding if Twitter is right for you.
– Give it at least three months before making a decision. It takes time to get good at Twitter.

Once you’ve completed the above list, evaluate how Twitter is working for you. Have you seen results? Has it become quick and easy for you to keep up with? Bottom line: is it worth your time? If the answer is no to one or more of those questions, take a break or stop all together. Just like with any other marketing strategy, you have to evaluate and be willing to abort mission if it’s not producing results. And don’t be discouraged to admit that it’s just not for you. That might be the best time-saving decision you’ll ever make.

I hope this has given you some insight as to whether or not Twitter is right for you. I’ll leave you with the three keys that I believe are critical to having success with Twitter: engage people, be consistent, and have fun!

About the Author
Corey Perlman is the author of the #1 bestseller eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business. The book provides easy-to-do strategies and techniques to help market your business on the web. It covers topics such as social networking sites, Web site optimization, online articles and press releases. You can follow Corey on Twitter or learn more about how to purchase the book at