To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Engaging via social media has quickly emerged as the new way to drive brand awareness. For the past five years, we've watched the rise of social media via beauty blogs, Facebook, and YouTube, and while many continually predict an inevitable bubble burst, it doesn't appear to be bursting anytime soon. Why? Because it's consumer driven. This is where Twitter comes into play. Its tagline, "What are you doing?" is one four-word sentence that can make the unknown known and solidify a company's brand culture. Interacting with your clients, rather than talking at them, has a profound effect on sales, brand loyalty, and positive word of mouth.



Short bursts of conversation in 140 characters or less, otherwise known as a "tweet," define the essence of the free microblogging service. Users basically "follow" those they have a connection to, such as a friend; those they have an interest in, such as a celebrity or company; and those with whom they share something in common.

Reasons to Consider

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David Berkowitz, from the blog Inside the Marketers Studio (www.marketersstudio.com), devised a checklist to help decide whether Twitter is the right social media platform for business. Here, I've shared his checklist along with my own thoughts:

1. Domain Squatting Grab your business name on Twitter before someone else does, as it is important for search engine optimization (SEO).

2. Brand Mentions Search for your spa by name at search.twitter.com. This lets you monitor Twitter for conversations about your spa and utilize it as a customer service tool.

3. Topical Mentions Are people on Twitter discussing topics relevant to your business such as spa treatments, skincare, spa products, and so on?

4. Location Mentions Twitter search has an advanced feature where you can find Twitterers based on location and keywords. This gives you the ability to be a local resource.

5. Target Audience Twitter's median user age is 31, and approximately 53 percent of its users are women. If you are a spa owner, your target audience is on Twitter.

6. Competitiveness Utilizing Twitter is one way to gain a competitive edge.

7. Sales Cycle Complexity Twitter allows you to educate spa-goers. Being a resource for knowledge helps influence sales.

8. Purchase Frequency How valuable is it to you to stay top-of-mind for your business?

9. Acquisition vs. Retention Twitter is a great place to generate conversation with existing customers and acquire new ones.

10. Bandwidth and Resources Do you have the time to incorporate it into your daily routine?

Following the less talk and more (inter)action model of dialogue, consider that "talk" is when the information you present is all about you. Think of it as advertisements, press releases, and your website. Interaction is a multidimensional and multifaceted conversation. Such interaction turns the conversation into, "How can we help you? How can we meet your needs?" This puts the focus on generating informative engagement between your brand and your target consumer. Tweeting multiple times daily in the spirit of arming followers with knowledge and building strong relationships will be the key to your Twitter success. —Shannon Nelson

Shannon Nelson is a beauty blogger and a social media consultant. She launched A Girl's Gotta Spa! (www.agirlsgottaspa.com/blog) in 2005. She later came on board as chief blogger and publicist for Pierce Mattie Public Relations, where she now serves as corporate communications director. You can reach her at [email protected].

Follow American Spa on Twitter at http://twitter.com/americanspamag

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