By Netanel Baruch
Small business owners will often turn to the latest social media hangouts, trying to squeeze a little traffic that might bring clients. The problem with trying to be everywhere is that often you end up working a presence nowhere. Doing social media right takes time, effort and planning.
Since time is a precious asset for most business owners, we recommend sticking with what’s proven to work – especially when you’re just starting to dabble with social media as a marketing tool.
You’ll get the best results by focusing first on tried and true Twitter tactics. We’re talking about actionable tactics that have consistently proven effective for small businesses with limited budgets and time.
There’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel when the following methods clearly work for so many small business owners out there! Just follow this simple action plan:
Use Twitter for casual conversations and creating connections
Twitter is all about keeping casual conversations on the go. It’s about consistently chirping a song that speaks of your world. You compose this melody by tweeting interesting little tidbits that will resonate and connect with like-minded people. If you check out largest twitter followings out there, you’ll see there is massive potential for audience building within this platform!
As you can imagine, this quality lends itself very well to business promotion of any size. Small businesses in particular have much to gain from using this free platform, and there’s a real potential to create a relevant audience of followers, it you play your cards right and learn to use twitter effectively.
It’s actually simpler than it sounds, really. Once you understand the underlying strategy and figure out the best way to structure your efforts and integrate Twitter promotion in your everyday routine, you’ll find it won’t take much time at all – and it can actually be enjoyable… especially if you’re using specialized services like Commun.it to automate and streamline the process.
Advertise #yourbrand and use it to grow a presence
Creating your own branded hash tag should be one of the primary directives behind your Twitter marketing action plan. Your branded hash tag is simply just a hash tag with your brand name or a unique phrase related to your area of activity… but its usefulness is incredible!
You must make sure to establish #yourbrand right from the very start of your marketing efforts because you’ll bring it up often and you’ll want everyone else to do the same, while growing a presence in the network.
This will be very beneficial to your business since the more your branded hash tags is mentioned, the more popularity and social presence will be associated to your brand. It works similarly to direct @mentions in drawing attention to your account.
Since Twitter users now get an option to follow hash tags, this gives your audience yet another alternative to receive regular updates from your brand.
It’s also important to establish #yourbrand since this magic hash tag will be instrumental to your other tactics. You can think of it as the virtual cornerstone aligning the pillars in your small business marketing efforts.
Now, let’s look at some of those pillars.
Announce giveaways, promotions and daily specials
No twitter account is relevant unless it provides value to its followers. As a small business owner looking to create a marketing plan to grow a presence on Twitter, one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to offer value to your audience is to use your account to announce giveaways and daily specials.
It doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on special prizes or freebies – you can limit those to special occasions. Advertising daily specials can be equally effective, and it’s a great way to move stock that’s nearing the expiration date.
In other words, you can use Twitter to turn expiring stock into exciting promotions – on the fly.
All your promotions and giveaway specials should include your branded hash tag, and typically you should ask clients to retweet your message and/or call out #yourbrand to qualify for the offering.
Showcase your twitter feed off-line to build your following naturally
Here’s a little mentioned secret about effective Twitter promotions: you will get a lot more traction if you align your online efforts correctly with offline activities.
Think about it: why do so many celebrities seem to be able to grow a massive list of followers out of thin air, when they join a network like Twitter? Because they already have a fan base offline, and they simply connect both worlds to get immediate results.
Anyone who runs their business from a physical store can leverage the same principle, although on a smaller scale: you can find many creative ways to gently remind people coming through you store to follow you on Twitter. You never know when some of those people might turn out to be micro-influencers!
A nice catchy way to do this is to simply set up a flat screen TV to prominently display your businesses’ Twitter feed non-stop. This tactic alone can do wonder for increasing follower count and engagement, since it will give people something to do while waiting in line.
Keeping your twitter feed displayed live in your physical store can be a powerful strategy. Your clients will instantly know you’re on Twitter, and they’ll see your business handle and branded hash tags as well as any available promotions and deals of the day. Is there a better way to gently draw in relevant followers with no efforts involved?
There may be no better way, but there are other ways to be considered: print your twitter handle and brand hash tags whenever possible! From your business cards to everyday paraphernalia such as napkins, boxes, wrapping tape… all those objects present great opportunities to advertise and grow your on-line Twitter presence – directly from the off-line.
Ask your happiest clients to let you post their photos
Asides from creating a solid business presence on Twitter that’s fully structured and easy to maintain, you have also taken action to grow that presence right from your business store. That’s a perfect start! So what else can you do to have a highly magnetic Twitter account?
The third and final pillar in your Twitter marketing efforts should be customer interaction. Look for ways to motivate your clients to join the fun and invite them to stand in the virtual spotlight whenever they like. A great way to do this is to encourage happy clients to post their best selfies.
A simple way to get that social proof train on track is to simply ask your happiest looking clients to let you post their picture (holding your product) on your Twitter account.
You can even take it further and have a daily special where anyone willing to let you post their selfie in your small business Twitter account will get a special freebie.
If done right, this request can come across as flattering, and it will give you an opportunity to associate your brand with happy faces! In layperson terms, it’s a win-win.
As you can see, you can leverage your small business through your Twitter account, and simultaneously use your Twitter account to leverage your small business! It won’t really be much time-consuming after you set up everything according to this plan.
The results will be well worth your efforts, and you may just find it can be actually fun to run a lively Twitter account promoting your small business.
Netanel Baruch, an Online Marketer at Commun.it – after 3 years as a business owner as a Wedding planner, join to the worlds’ entrepreneurship with a passion for marketing and especially for content marketing. Managing the marketing activity of Commun.it, and our community on Twitter. If you have a crazy idea of how to cooperation, feel free to share with me.