Congratulations you’ve launched your company in Hertfordshire and you’re now open for business. You’ve heard Twitter for local business is a ‘must have’ and whether you’re a B2C or a B2B business one thing is certain, connecting with local businesses will certainly help drive your success – it’s all about who you know, how you can help them and how they can help you.
Online, where better to start than Twitter? It’s an organism built up of millions of communities connected through interests, stories and most importantly for you, location.
So how do you use Twitter for local business?
First things first, learn the ropes
From your Tweets, DMs and Moments to your hashtags – do your research. Once you have a good grasp of the basics you can use this real-time social media platform to help you achieve your business goals. Take a look at other accounts who use Twitter for local business in your area too to give you a good idea of the type of content being published and how engaged audiences are. This type of research will also give you a good indication of who the main influencers are in your local area. Take local business in Hertford as an example … @yohertschamber the Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce would be a great account to follow as they’re connected to literally hundreds of companies across the county. If it’s all a bit overwhelming, local digital marketing agencies often offer social media training sessions to help you get to grips with the basics.
Next step … set up a Twitter profile
Every element of your Twitter profile should reflect who you are as a business, this includes: setting up a Twitter profile picture (usually your brand logo) and cover photo, writing a short description for your bio and a link to your website. You want to make sure you’re attracting the right type of followers to your page so give as much relevant information as you can to capture their attention. Ensure you let your audience know you’re there too – from adding a link to your Twitter profile on your website to promoting in your shop or office.
Build a content strategy
Twitter for local business can be brilliantly effective if you use it in the right way. Always develop a content strategy if you can – it can evolve over time but should give you a good sense of direction when you first launch your Twitter account. If you’re a local Hertfordshire florist for example, think about who might be interested in your services and what they might want to glean from your Twitter profile. Remember Twitter is about real-time updates so if you’re a busy florist in the run up to Mother’s Day snap photos of your team at work creating bouquets, share most popular flower orders and give top tips on how your audience can spend Mother’s Day in your local area. They key is not to be too sales focused and think outside the boundaries in terms of the direct product you sell.
Connecting with other local businesses is where your influence on Twitter begins to really grow. Retweet content from other local businesses e.g. if your local restaurant is promoting a Mother’s Day lunch offer or a beauty salon is offering Mother’s Day pamper treatments share their activities on your page too.
Endorsement and referrals can also reap rewards when it comes to using Twitter for local business – recommend services that complement your business that may be relevant to your audience. For example as a local florist in Hertfordshire it would be a good idea to connect with local hotels in Hertfordshire who may be looking for flower arrangements.
Twitter for local business doesn’t have to be overly time consuming either. There are a number of scheduling tools out there including Hootsuite and Sprout which enable you to pre-schedule your Tweets on a day and time that suits you. Over time you can optimise these days and times based on the volume of engagement you receive.
Grow and engage your followers
I’ve mentioned connecting with relevant local businesses on Twitter, this could include everyone from the local paper to complementary products and services and the local council.
Keep your content fresh, engaging and relevant and try where possible to engage with likeminded businesses. In the case of Hertfordshire there’s a great Twitter hour on a Monday 8-9pm where local businesses Tweet to share news and engage with other local businesses for support. It’s a great way to engage and support each other and more often than not new business opportunities can bloom. If you’re planning to use Twitter for local business in Hertfordshire you can engage in this conversation using the hashtag #HertsHour and join in every Monday evening.
Monitor your results
As with all digital marketing activities, monitor, report, review, analyse and optimise should be a key part of your strategy to ensure you are reaping the rewards of your investment in using Twitter for local business. Your Klout score will give you a good indication of how powerful your influence is on social media but also bear in mind how engaged your audience is with your content to help you when creating and scheduling your tweets.
Thinking about using Twitter for local business? Get in touch with the Cariad team we’d love to be social together with you.