Top Tips for Local Business Outreach using Twitter

Twitter is a key tool to drive traffic to your website, but it is also about interacting with people. Take a look at our essential tips to get to grips with the power of those 140 characters…

  • Firstly, you’re here to publicise your product and services, advertise new information, and provide links that channel followers to your website. Tweets that contain links are more likely to gain more attention, but don’t bog down your feed with self-promotion. Having a blog on your website links followers to your brand’s opinions and makes for a more engaging read than a blatant drive to commercialism. Nobody wants to talk to a logo.
  • Ask questions! This encourages interaction from followers; ask about their recommendations, their thoughts on the industry, a review on your services. Twitter is the quickest way to form an opinion poll on how well your company is being received – it proves a commitment to improvement and an enthusiasm to your industry.
  • Try to share the burden of maintaining the social ‘presence’, get some help from trusted employees. Changing up the voice can keep the variety and enthusiasm in your feed and for a local business, helps to give it more of a family feel, rather than the lone voice of a single person! Whilst scheduled tweets are more cost effective, and can help to bridge the gap over the weekend, engaging voices that are colloquial and less like spam are preferable to the common follower.
  • Twitter is the fastest news source on the internet – use the discover tab to see what is going on and join the conversation. Engage in local problems and news in your area, sharing links to other ongoings in the community. Many local businesses contribute to area discussions (see #yorkshirehour, #northeasthour) on a weekly basis – find out when yours is and get involved. Being part of a community of businesses that can help each other out is a key benefit.
  • Remember Twitter allows you to connect with customers from all over, not just those friendly faces in the shop/business, so promote your place but also your area!
  • As Twitter is in real time, make sure you update your feed regularly, don’t just schedule tweets, get involved in what is topical THAT DAY.
  • Advertising promotions on Twitter is a great way to get new followers. Setting up deals like “100th RT gets a free…” will encourage more people to follow, re-tweet, and keep following until the giveaway is announced. This gives you a window to occupy customer’s attention and give them reason to keep following after the promotion runs out.
  • Twitter is also about listening and interacting – make sure you reply to all your mentions and thank frequent re-tweeters. Engage positively with customers who have left encouraging feedback, even if a negative comment appears make sure you don’t ignore it. It is far more professional to reply with information on how to fix the problem and if tweets are replied to quickly, customers feel assured that their issue is important and that they are in reliable hands.
  • When it comes to people you follow – make sure they’re the right people. Find other business you can relate to through the search bar, then save the searches. Re-tweet other peoples blogs and links to break up your company’s publicity, be seen to be doing others favours. Be sure to comment on others tweets, build a community through conversation.
  • Follow and re-tweet key influential companies that you service or supply for – it is better to follow and engage with people that have a larger database of followers than yourself. Ten re-tweets of this company on your feed might only equal one re-tweet in response, but will bring you in many more followers.
  • Respect people’s privacy and use the direct messaging service – especially when dealing with customer complaints. Share emails and details of orders through private messages only so customers aren’t put in compromising positions in public.
  • More than anything make your feed approachable and have a sense of humour. Twitter is not only about getting the attention of loyal customers, or those specifically interested in your industry, but moreover a chance to appeal to new customers. Engage with followers as you would on the phone or face to face – polite, colloquial, but of course business appropriate.

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