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How We Use Twitter in Our Printing Business

In conversations that I have with business associates and my fellow AlphaGraphics owners, we frequently start discussing what each of us is doing in the Social Media area.  As most of my followers know, I am very active with postings to my blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  I have just started experimenting with Namyz, but that is really a job search site and I am not actively looking for a job.  When we start talking about Twitter, I get a lot of questions about how Twitter could possibly benefit my business.

How can posting a 140 character status update a few times a day possibly benefit my business.  In one of my older blog postings, I referred to Twitter as the “Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona” application.  Most people have this impression of Twitter.  I’m at the coffee shop. I am having a bad week. I can’t sleep. My flight is delayed.  I’ll be glad when my kids are back in school.  I think I have seen almost all of these status updates on Twitter over the last several months.
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So, how do I use Twitter? First, I use it as a resource tool.  I am immersing myself in the marketing and social media areas of my business.  I have started following many experts in this field, both their blogs and their Twitter accounts. By following these people on Twitter, I get a sense of what they are reading, thinking and saying at all times.  Some of the people I am following in this regard are John Jantsch, David Meerman Scott, Chris Brogan, Lisa Barone, Matt Cheuvront, Lee Odden and Seth Godin.  Every day I find someone else I should follow in order to learn more in this area. When these people post, they often give a URL link to either their latest blog post or to an interesting blog post that they just read that is informative and educational. I especially like following Lisa Barone on Twitter because she not only has a lot of insightful things to say, but she also is very entertaining.

The second way I use this tool is to keep up with what is happening in our communities.  Following entities such as the local chambers, the united ways, various city departments, certain news reporters and politicians. Following these sources on Twitter allows me to keep current with what is happening without having to refer to their specific websites for my information.

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The third way I use Twitter is to promote my AlphaGraphics websites, my blog postings (this may be the way you got to this posting) and various aspects of what is happening in our business.  Since our business is mainly business-to-business, I do not use Twitter to broadcast any promotional offerings because I believe that the fastest way to lose followers on Twitter is to start promoting specific services. The hardest thing I found to do with Twitter is to grow a following of local businesses and customers.  I do spend some time searching for companies that have a Twitter account in the areas where by printing businesses are located.  I then start to follow them with the hopes that they will someday start following me.  I have had some recent success of growing my local business contacts on Twitter but this is a big work in process for me.

At the time of this posting, I am currently following about 300 people and I have approximately 150 followers.  I am finding that following 300 people on Twitter is becoming somewhat overwhelming when it comes to following postings.  Since a lot of people I follow make their livings by posting to Twitter and by blog postings, these people put out a lot a stuff. There will come a time where I will have to stop following the postings of all the people I am following and start to identify only those people that I have an interest in.

So, how are you using Twitter.  I would like to know.  Leave a comment below and give me your thoughts on how Twitter benefits your business or how Twitter seems to be a major waste of time. 

You can always contact us at the following websites:

AlphaGraphics Mesa on Baseline – Printing and Marketing
AlphaGraphics Tempe on Elliot – Printing and Marketing
AlphaGraphics Phoenix – Northwest Valley – Printing and Marketing

Follow me on twitter: @steveadams291

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