Social media marketing is an important strategy that is becoming more and more vital for all businesses. Maintaining an online presence for your company and updating it with relevant and (hopefully) engaging content will enhance your branding efforts, and can even be used for effective lead generation. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to spread the word about your company is through Twitter. Although all social media marketing is important for your marketing strategy, focusing on Twitter could make a serious difference for your business.

For everyone who might be unfamiliar, Twitter is a website that allows you to share 140 characters or less with your audience. Twitter lets you connect with your intended audience and allows you to share your brand’s updates with a wide pool of potential customers. If someone becomes familiar enough with your business through Twitter, they will be more likely to use your services in the future— which is what social media marketing is all about.

Here are a few tips on using Twitter to your advantage:

1. Find People who Might be Interested in Your Brand

You need to find the right people to tweet for or else you’re just wasting your time. Search for people who could potentially be interested in your product and start following them. If you sell shoes, for example, find people who might be interested in fashion. Don’t immediately try to sell them something – don’t forget, most people are on Twitter to have fun, not to be sold to – but show them that you’re interested in providing what they want. Although they may not be ready to buy from you today, they might see that you provide something they need or will need in the future.

2. Build Relationships with Potential Customers

Like I mentioned before, do not start trying to sell people your product right off the bat. Don’t spam them with your website or bug them with dozens of direct messages. Strive to make your tweets useful and even fun without being annoying or invasive; otherwise, people will unfollow you in a heartbeat. Social media marketing should be used to build a relationship with your customers and to gain their trust.

3. Share Your Own Content with Twitter

If there’s something you wish to share with your followers regarding your company, Twitter is the perfect place to do it! If there’s something you wrote that will help promote your company, link to it! Social media marketing allows you to share your content, so don’t waste your potential. Twitter is an extremely simple way to get your company in the mix.

4. Share Relevant Content

Potential customers might see that you are not only concerned with your own business, but you are open to sharing other useful content with them. Building up the reputation of your brand is about engaging your customers and showing them that you care about them. Set yourself up as a company to be trusted. Most importantly, try to foster two-way conversations with your followers, rather than simply broadcasting your own content. There might be an article you found interesting or inspiring, so don’t hesitate in sharing it with others.

5. Answer Messages or Tweets Directed to You

If you ignore customers or people interested in your product when they try to engage with you, you will destroy the relationship you have—or will potentially have—with them. Customers like to feel as though they are important to your company and their business means something to you! Go out of your way to keep them engaged and they will keep you in mind when they need something that you provide. Sometimes, a friendly interaction with your customers makes all the difference.

6. Understand How Hash Tags Work

Adding hash tags (#) to your tweets will help others find you who are interested in the topic you’re discussing. For example, if you’re talking about social media, you can hash tag #socialmedia and people will be able to find your tweets. Using hash tags will bring in followers who are more likely to be interested in what you’re selling. This gives potential customers the opportunity to find you, which makes a huge difference. When you utilize hash tags, you’ll be able to find information easier and you’ll be able to share information more efficiently. Hash tags are basically a way to search for information, allowing similar accounts to find each other.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to fully utilize the potential of social media marketing— Twitter is the perfect example. By sharing short, well thought-out tweets, you can reach a massive audience. As a presence on social media sites becomes a necessity for any business, use these tips to stick out from the crowd and make your company memorable.

Good luck!