Small Coffee Shop Finds Twitter and Gains 14,000+ Followers
Posted by Resource Nation on January 6, 2014 in Marketing, Sales 2.0, Social Media, Social Networking [ 0 Comments ]
The Internet has a lot to offer small businesses, but, for the most part, they have yet to establish themselves with as strong a presence as their larger, more robust counterparts. A new study suggests that’s about to change.
Research from j2 Global, a digital media company, found that more than one-quarter of small businesses plan to increase their online presence in 2014. One of the most obvious ways these companies can take advantage of the Internet is by becoming active on social media networks, such as Twitter. Like the Franktuary in Pittsburgh, a small hot dog shop, companies can use social outlets to push special online marketing promotions, answer questions and interact with customers.
Getting Started on Twitter
Like nearly all free social networking platforms online, Twitter is not exceptionally difficult. A company can create an account in a few minutes, upload a picture and write out a few explanatory lines for its profile, and then it’s ready to start tweeting. However, before an organization starts churning out 140-character messages like a factory, it’s first important for marketers to develop a strategy, understand exactly what it is their respective business hopes to accomplish from their new outlet and here’s how to do it:
Don’t Be a Robot
Like most things in business – and life – Twitter is not a guaranteed home run.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter currently boasts a small-business membership of roughly 4.5 million. There’s a lot of competition out there and it’s easy to get lost in the mix. However, standing out isn’t impossible. It’s all about how a company presents itself online. Take, for instance, Coffee Groundz, a small shop in Houston. A while back, the small Southern coffee house began using Twitter as a means for customers to place orders – one of the first businesses to do so. Their unique offering garnered the shop more than 14,000 followers – some local, some not. Coffee Groundz now uses its bite-sized posts to provide loads of targeted promotions, like offering local university students 15 percent off when they bring in their I.D.
What Coffee Groundz did was use Twitter to give itself a personality and a place where customers could interact with the store. Small businesses should work to foster a similar feel with their own page.
Post Enough, Not Too Much
Twitter is one of the most unique social platforms because it limits its user to only publishing small, digestible posts. While good in theory, this often backfires as the ease of posting lends to much more frequent tweets. Companies should be wary to not fall into this trap.
Constantly publishing post after post can become exhausting, even if the reader is excited about the author. The truth of the matter is, taking over a person’s timeline – i.e. the real-time scroll showing the tweets of all the accounts the user is currently following – can be annoying, and the result will likely be the loss of that particular follower.
There’s no universal schedule to ensure a company is tweeting the perfect amount, but businesses should seriously consider their audience and then determine a strategy suited to them.
Snap a Photo
People like seeing pictures. Because Twitter doesn’t allow for things like elaborate photo albums with tags and facial recognition, there tends to be ample amounts of text. Even though text delivered in smaller portions, it’s still one-dimensional. Small businesses using Twitter should be on the platform to attract attention and customers. Pictures not only add a little more flare to posts, but they also give advertisers another color to add to their palettes. Restaurants may post pictures of their food, bookstores may show new releases and companies can create new promotions specific to Twitter users.
A small bakery in Los Angeles called Kiss My Bundt Bakery, regularly includes pictures of its pastries to entice new followers and customers. Chrysta Wilson, owner of the shop, recently told SproutSocial that she likes Twitter because it gives her shoppers another outlet through which they can learn about the bakery and new promotions it’s running.