Editor’s Note: I’m thrilled to introduce you to my favorite – and funny – social media expert, Grandma Mary. She’s here to share her favorite Twitter tips for small business owners just like you. –Pamela Wilson
Thanks Pamela, for letting me hijack the Big Brand System for the day. Because I’ve got a beef about all the information on how to use Twitter. A lot of it is directed towards large corporations and managing the “big brand” as you say. But what about the smaller businesses – how are they using Twitter?
We hear a lot about how Best Buy and Whole Foods and Comcast are using Twitter yada, yada, yada. And that’s nice for them – they have a team of tweeters. But how about the ones that don’t have their own Social Media department? Maybe that marketing department, accounting, and customer service is all one department and that’s you.
So How Do You Fit Twitter In?
You are busy. Here are some strategies to make sure you are managing your Twitter time and getting the most out of it.
1. Targeted Searching
Make sure you are communicating and connecting with people who are tweeting about keywords in your niche. Use twitter.com/search-home to look up keywords within tweets. Use the Advanced Search (the link right under the search box) to target an area if you are a local business. Or you can target exact phrases in the Advanced Search.
2. Targeted People Search
Use Twellow.com to target new people to follow. Twellow is the “Yellow Pages” of Twitter and it is used to search people’s bios. About 50% will follow you back when you follow them. So if your ideal client is a mom in Cleveland, put those keywords in there and find anyone with a bio that has mom and Cleveland. Use variations of the words also. You can also use the Twellowhood tab to drill down into cities and find all the tweeters in that city.
3. Schedule a Few Tweets
I know you are busy so it doesn’t hurt to pre-schedule a few tweets throughout the week when you won’t be able to tweet out information, links and helpful tips.
Don’t use it too often: you have to interact, people, that’s what Twitter is all about! But a little doesn’t hurt. You can use SocialOomph.com or Hootsuite.com (my favorite – does much more than schedule) to schedule tweets.
4. Tweet Out Specials, Events and Contests
A lot of restaurants and stores do a great business giving Twitter-only specials. @LindsaysDeli in Boulder is a small place, but they bring in a lot of customers with their tweets. Just make sure you are also interacting and talking with people once in awhile.
5. Give Customers a Behind-the-Scenes Peek
Use Twitpic.com to share special moments at your place and let people get to know you. @ddpizza tweets out pictures of them making pizza, eating pizza and drivers delivering pizza – that’s fun!
6. Take a Poll
You may not have 1.7 million followers like Whole Foods, but you can still leverage Twitter to connect with new customers and current clients in a meaningful way. It’s going to take a little time to get ramped up, but Twitter doesn’t have to take all your time as a small business. And who knows, you start small and you go Big, baby!
About the Author:
Grandma Mary is a Social Media Edutainer. Learning social media is wayyyy more fun with Grandma Mary. Need a step-by-step guide to Twitter? Check out her new book How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business.