Spreading your wings with Twitter
How your local business can use Twitter
You don’t have to have a huge list or a huge marketing budget to make Twitter work for marketing your business. Local businesses can use Twitter in the same way that multinational corporations do. In fact, your local business will probably get better results than a large corporation because your target audience is smaller and so your offerings will be more direct and relevant.
First thing you need to do is set up your Twitter account correctly:
If you can use a headshot and not your logo for your profile photo. People want to buy from people they see and if they see your face and eyes they’re more likely to trust you as a person rather than a nameless, faceless corporation. Here’s ours….
Make an awesome header
Twitter allows you to set up a background and header complete with your logo and branding. Take advantage of this in order to differentiate yourself from others.
Write an eye catching bio
In 160 characters you’ll need to write a bio that stands out, so be direct and say what you do and where you’re based. Also add what problem you solve.
The next thing you need to do is start following the right people. You want to follow people who are your target audience or who service your target audience but are not directly competing with you. You can find the right people by using Twitter search and searching by keyword and location.
Take a look at someone’s profile before you follow them. There is no point following people who aren’t either somehow related to or are your actual target audience.
We’re a new business so we’re just beginning to build our following so currently as you can see above we are following more people than are following us. This is fine to begin with, you just need to keep adding people you think are right but don’t forget to ‘unfollow’ those who aren’t right on reflection or who never use Twitter! A great free app for checking this out quickly is Crowdfire (used to be Just Unfollow).
Create Twitter lists
This is one of my favourite features on Twitter as you segment people by using the list function. Lists allow you to look at a particular group of people you’re following to find out what they’re talking about at a glance. This saves you having to trawl through a mass of tweets!
You can create a list of customers, potential customers, complementary businesses, whatever makes sense for you and your business. I have several lists on my social media Twitter account, including clients, charities and organisations I support, so I can find messages they’ve tweeted and retweet them, sharing them with my followers, quickly. However, I hadn’t set up any for Be Your Own Graphic Designer so I recorded this video to show you how simple it is to set a list up.
Using Twitter for business
Using Twitter to promote your local business is not about sharing what your dog is doing, who you follow politically, or even what team you support. Keep most of your Tweets focused on business but not necessarily on selling your products or services every moment. Rather, focus on the problems you solve and customer relationships, not on controversial issues outside of your business’s domain. If you want to make that kind of comment, have a personal Twitter and a business Twitter and try to avoid accidentally tweeting something of a personal nature or vice versa, on the wrong account!
Use polls, coupons and questions to interact with your followers. You can offer specials to only people who are following you on Twitter. Remember, most people tweet from their mobile devices, so particularly for restaurants, tweet a ‘Twitter only savings’. It’s likely you’ll get at least one response if you keep doing this in a regular basis. I recently tweeted on my @MorrisonSMedia account that I had a spare place on a course I was running and had someone sign up within an hour via Twitter.
Don’t forget that the news media use Twitter all the time to monitor what is going on, not only all round the world but locally too. Following and interacting with journalists can be a great way to get more publicity for your local business.
Finally, send out tweets on a regular basis (something we’re currently guilty of not doing but are working on that!) so that your followers don’t forget you and you’ll find that Twitter works wonderfully as an online marketing tool for your local business.