As a small business owner, you could write volumes about your business and the industry at large. To grow your business, though, you may only need 140 characters. Twitter is a free and useful tool for marketing your business online, but the trick is to know what to tweet and who is paying attention. To get started, try these simple ideas to join the Twittersphere.
1. Create a conversation with customers.
Twitter, like other social media platforms, allows businesses to engage their customers in a two-way conversation. Whenever you tweet, your customers can show their support by “favoriting” your tweet (think Twitter’s version of a “like”), re-tweeting it to their followers or replying to you with a tweet of their own. What’s more, you can do the same for their tweets.
In your tweets, ask customers to share their feedback, ideas and suggestions with you. For example, if you’re considering expanding your inventory, ask your followers what new product they’d like to see on your shelves. If a customer mentions your business in a tweet, be sure to re-tweet it to your followers and reply with a thank you!
2. Offer exclusive deals.
Give your Twitter followers a reason to check out your business in person by offering an exclusive deal or discount just for them. Tweet out a hashtag that customers can mention in person at your location or a code that they can use online. This way, you’ll turn your tweets into new customers, more brand loyalty and, hopefully, even more followers!
3. Share information from influencers.
Twitter isn’t just a place to engage customers; it’s also an opportunity to connect with the brands you stock and the experts you get your inspiration from. Follow these accounts and re-tweet their helpful or interesting messages to your followers. In the store or on the job, your customers look to you as a source of expert information. By re-tweeting other experts in your industry, your followers will continue to see you as a helpful source even when they’re not calling on you in person.
4. Track engagement with hashtags.
Twitter is especially useful for monitoring the trends that people talk about. Hashtags allow you to see all of the chatter about a particular topic. Create your own unique hashtags for your business and encourage your customers to use them. If you host an event, ask your guests to share their photos and tweets using a event-specific hashtag, like #BuyLocalBBQ or #MainStreetMeetUp. With these hashtags, you’ll be able to see what people think about your business or event, even if you don’t follow them. Don’t forget to re-tweet or reply to the best ones to show your customers that you appreciate their support!
5. Go viral.
Not everything you tweet has to be serious and strictly business. Keep your followers interested and entertained by sharing relevant viral content that you find online. This content includes articles, videos, infographics and more that relate to your business in a funny or interesting way. For example, if you own a local bakery, tweet a link to your favorite online cake-decorating tutorial. If you own a sporting goods store, share an article like, “10 Things All Runners Hate.” You’ll probably see some of the brands and influencers you follow sharing these sorts of things, so be sure to re-tweet whatever you find funny or interesting.
In 140 characters or less, you can gain real promotion for your business. Keep these ideas in mind as you tweet and subscribe to the Independent We Stand blog for more small business tips.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering at www.independentwestand.org/membership/. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local and find local businesses in your community at www.independentwestand.org/take-a-stand/join-the-movement/.