ReachLocal's Web Presence Professionals (WPPs) are true experts in social media for local businesses. As such they know that getting started using a social media site, such as Twitter, to market your business online can seem overwhelming. Writing tweets, sharing tweets, finding links to share, discovering who to follow and how to build your followers, the list seems neverending. But how do you know which Twitter tips work best for local businesses?
That's where ReachLocal's brilliant and social media savvy WPPs come into play. Our WPPs are social media professionals who practice these Twitter best practices on a daily basis for local business owners across the globe. So let's hear what they have to say about how you can market your business via Twitter.
To get started, follow local twitter users to build local reach. When getting started on Twitter, it's best to start building your reach within your local community before branching out further.
"If you're having trouble finding 'real' local people to follow and are only following other businesses, find the Twitter account of a local celebrity, public figure, or person of interest. See who's following them and you'll likely find those 'real' local people to follow!" - ReachCast Web Presence Professional Jen Holub
As a local Orlando business owner, here are some good people to follow locally on Twitter:
- Kimberly Williams from Wesh - @WESH2Kimberly
- JJ Redick from the Magic - @JJRedick47
- Syan Rhodes from Wesh - @SyanRhodes
- Johnny Magic from XL 106.7 - @JohnnyMagic1067
- Local 6 News - @clickorlando
- Wesh 2 News - @WESH
- Fox Orlando - @myfoxorlando
- Dan Savage - @dan_savage
- Colleen Burns from Yelp Orlando - @YelpOrlando
These are just some great ones to get you started. All have over 1,000 Twitter fans and are local to the Orlando area.
140 characters is pretty limiting, so you have to be extremely creative in how you utilize those characters. As WPP Vanessa Mosharaf states, "Get creative with wording to maximize your character count but don't let spelling and grammar go out the window...The best tweets can be read in a matter of seconds without confusing code or abbreviations" - ReachCast Web Presence Professional Vanessa Mosharaf.
Be concise and professional. Even though Twitter tends to be more of an informal platform as a business owner you still have to maintain your professionalism.
If you have more to say than can fit in 140 characters, link to a blog post or video.
The best way to garner goodwill among your Twitter followers is by retweeting their tweets. As WPP Bradley Bowen states, "Don't be afraid to retweet! Many businesses are hesitant to use Twitter's retweet feature, but it can be helpful to your efforts. People love to be retweeted so make a special effort to retweet customers, especially when they mention or check in at your business in a tweet...And if you give, you shall receive Those who retweet are more likely to be retweeted, meaning more exposure for your business on Twitter" - ReachCast Web Presence Profesional Bradley Bowen
For social media newbies, the best policy is to start by giving. Would you want to follow someone who only talked about himself or his business? Build your base by sharing what others are saying.
As new people follow you on Twitter, recognize them. You can do so by directly thanking them (such as @jibberjabberorl – thanks for following me. Can’t wait to read your tweets!) or by including them on a Follow Friday tweet (#FF Here are some great Orlando peeps to follow @jibberjabberorl @lesliewhittaker @rcdawnb). Follow Friday is symbolized using the #FF and is a great a way to thank someone because you are now recommending these people to all of your Twitter followers.
WPP Ashley Stalnaker says to “mention any new followers and to simply thank them for following. This can help followers grow at a much faster rate. People want to be mentioned on Twitter, and if you mention them, they’re likely to mention you as well” – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Ashley Stalnaker.
In social media, humanity is key. Consumers are tired of the impersonal corporate jargon; therefore, it is essential to talk like a human. Whether you are speaking as yourself or on behalf of your company, you need to speak with personality, not like a corporate drone.
WPP Germain Paul does a great job of summarizing the importance of talking like a human. “Think of your Twitter account as a walking, talking personification of your entire company. Depending upon your brand, you can take this idea to the limit: Use the first-person and invent a Twitter personality for the brand! This personality can discuss current events, community activities, and engage in pop culture so your consumers can relate to you and to your brand.” – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Germaine Paul
Get involved in the conversations. Don’t be afraid to participate, join in on what is being said. It’s the best way to develop a loyal and active Twitter following.
“When it comes to using Twitter for your business, it’s important to not only provide business and service-related information, but also make it a conversation! Engage with your followers and they’ll remember your effort and give you a call!” – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Hayley Wood
“The best Twitter campaigns I’ve seen are done by businesses who use it for more than just promoting a new deal or item. Have fun and just try to talk with your followers like you would offline! You’ll find that more people will want to follow a business that is having a conversation with its followers as opposed to a business that uses it strictly for promotions.” – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Ryan Thompson
Make use of third party tools to manage your Twitter tasks. There are a lot of third party applications out there that can be extremely beneficial to helping you manage your Twitter account.
“You can use third-party tools to help your business get more out of Twitter and generate more quality leads. For example, take advantage of third party Twitter tools such as Qwitter, Manageflitter, WeFollow, etc…to help you manage who you follow on Twitter to get better results and make better use of your time.” – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Nick Marino Jr.
Here are some useful third-party Twitter tools:
- Qwitter – see who has unfollowed you on Twitter
- ManageFlitter – clean up and manage who you follow.
- WeFollow – know who to follow on Twitter.
- Twaitter – allows team accounts, scheduled tweets, RSS integration, etc…
- TwitterLocal – allows you to address local audiences via Twitter, ideal for small businesses
- Twilert – like Google Alerts for Twitter mentions, catches most of them
Partial content and photos courtesy of the ReachLocal ReachCast blog.
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If you'd like to learn more about crafting your social media efforts and establishing a dominant Internet presence contact:
Dawn Bishop | 321.422.6600 x133
Leslie Whittaker | 321.422.6600 x122
TeamBishop is your local Internet marketing consultants with ReachLocal Orlando. Our mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven online marketing strategies. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.