When looking into Twitter success stories, a lot of the most obvious winners are major companies and national brands – Ford, Dell, Johnson& Johnson. However, if you think that means Twitter is only for the “big dogs,” think again. Hyper-local marketing was one of the top 10 ways Time Magazine predicted Twitter will alter the landscape of American business, and they’re right. Through Twitter, businesses can engage directly with the consumer – and without the expensive middleman of advertising or the less-effective shotgun marketing approach. Here are some ways to leverage Twitter to connect directly with your best prospects:
- What’s new? – Many small businesses have new offerings all the time, like a restaurant taking advantage of local produce in its dishes or a boutique showcasing handcrafted treasures from local artisans. Printing and distributing frequent updates would be cumbersome, but Twitter makes spreading the news an instantaneous possibility. In the mere tapping of 140 characters – which you can even set up to do via text message – you can give them the value-adding latest information they want to hear while sparing yourself a barrage of phone calls.
- Reward your fan base – To loyal customers, you’re not just a company – you’re a part of their routine, whether it’s kicking off their morning with your coffee or getting their favorite books from your store’s shelves. Give back to those who make up the base of your business by offering promotions and giveaways through Twitter. It can be as simple as tweeting a keyword they should present at the register for a discount or promising a free sample to the first person to retweet a message from you. Make it fun by offering freebies to the first person who gets some nugget of company trivia right. Customers will enjoy feeling part of the party and seeing that you appreciate them as much as they appreciate you.
- Connect with your customers – Especially in today’s tech-heavy marketplace, consumers are looking for a meaningful human connection. Does it seem counterintuitive to make that personal connection via technology? It might – but it works. By responding personally to tweets targeted to you, customers will see that there’s a human being at the other end of that digital line. Don’t be afraid to let your hair down once in a while, to mix in a tweet about your personal interests or life here and there. Don’t make it too personal, obviously, but your followers might enjoy that geeky Star Wars YouTube video just as much as you did – and they’ll appreciate getting a glimpse at what makes you tick, too.