Small businesses have big opportunities with social media. This guide will help you to understand how Twitter is used by consumers and deliver practical advice on what your business can do to reach them.
Your Customers Are OnTwitterTwitter is the second most popular socialnetwork in the US.
Your Competitors AreOn Twitter78% of small business owners report usingTwitter, and 67% of Twitter users reportfollowing a business or brand.
Twitter Users AreMobileHalf of all Twitter users access the networkthrough a mobile device.
And Twitter is GrowingRapidlyActive users in the USA increased by 94%in 2012, faster than any other socialnetwork.
How Can You Keep AGreat Twitter Account For Your Local Business?
Create MessagesMeant To Be SharedContent on Twitter can spread rapidly.The best tweets are short, but interestingenough to pass on to others.
Tweets can contain upto 140 characters, butstaying around 120allows room for linksand user mentions.Users who RT (retweet)your message in full willhelp your contentspread.
Reward Your FollowersAccess to specials or discounts gives yourcustomers a reason to stay connected withyou online.
Treat your followers onTwitter to specials andinside info just for them.Tweet a “secretpassword” or askcustomers to mentionTwitter when they comein for a special offer.
Tweet FrequentlyKeeping your updates fresh gives people a reasonto follow and stay connected.Users tune in Twitter at different times during theday, so you can share updates several times eachday without overdoing it.If your account goes too long without updates, itmay appear inactive and users may unfollow you.
Share A Look BehindThe ScenesKeep things interesting by posting photos ofdaily happenings around your business.
Images are an effectiveway to increase visibilityin your customers’Twitter feed and connectyour online presenceback to your real-worldbusiness.Candid shots oftenmake the bestimpression, snapshotsfrom your phone’scamera work great.
Connect With YourCommunityFollow the Twitter accounts of other businessesin your neighborhood or local communityorganizations.Use RTs ("retweet" sharing) to cross-promotewith your Twitter business neighbors and tap into each other’s social networks.
Show Some Love ForYour CityTwitter users seeking local happenings aresearching for their city name.
Including names of localplaces in your tweetshelps your content reachpotential localcustomers who arelooking for businesseslike yours.
Think In Real TimeTwitter is a social network that’s all aboutwhat’s happening right now.
Mentionweather, holidays, localevents (conventions, in-store, sporting, etc.) and ofcourse, your dailycustomer specials.Timely calls to action canmove customers offlineand into your business.
Engage The PressMost local news outlets and 84% journalists havetheir own accounts on Twitter. Following newsaccounts in your area or industry keeps you betterinformed and provides new content to share.Following and interacting with these accounts alsoallows you let them know what’s newsworthy aboutyour business and help you tap into their audience.
Respond To MentionsSet alerts or watch for mentions of yourTwitter account to know when yourbusiness is being talked to… or about.
Let your customersknow you are payingattention by answeringtheirquestions, responding totheir concerns, andthanking them forpraise.
Ask Questions AndListenFind out more about your Twitter followersand potential customers in your localcommunity.
Inviting feedback givesyour fans a sense ofownership and inspiresconversation about yourbusiness on Twitter.You can also find localusers to engage orfollow by searchingnearby for relevantterms to your business.
Find InspirationFind out how businesses like yours andbusinesses near yours are reachingcustomers on Twitter.
Perch is a free mobileapp designed for smallbusiness owners.Use it to find, view andcreate a Watchlist ofother business socialmedia in your area.