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    How To Use Twitter To Market Your Local Business (Strategy+Tools)

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    There are many easy ways to use Twitter for local marketing and general visitor attraction.

    Local businesses can use the Twitter and the Interwebs for marketing in the same way that multinational corporations do.

    In fact, local small businesses will probably get better results than a large corporation because their target audience is smaller, their offerings will be more direct.

    AND… you don’t need a big list or a huge marketing budget to make Twitter work for marketing your small local business.

    Before getting into the Twitter tools (bottom of this post), here are some important things to start with.

    First thing you should do is set up your Twitter account correctly:

    1. Choose a great headshot

    Yes, use a headshot and not your logo for your profile photo. People want to buy from people they see and if they see your face and eyes they’re more likely to trust you and see you as a person rather than a nameless, faceless corporation.

    2. Make an awesome background and header

    Twitter allows you to set up a great background and header replete with logo and branding. Take advantage of this in order to differentiate yourself from others.

    3. Write an eye catching bio

    In 160 characters you’ll need to write a bio that stands out without a browser needing to click through to see the entire bio. Be direct, and say what you do right off. What problem do you solve? Say so.

    4. Start following the right people.

    You want to follow people who are your target audience, or who service your target audience but who are not competition to you. You can accomplish this using twitter search and searching by keyword and location. Take a look at the profiles before you follow them. There is no point in following people who aren’t somehow related to, or your actual target audience.

     5. Segment people by using lists.

    You can create  list of customers, potential customers, complementary businesses, and more. This will enable you to organize the people you’re following as well as help you find new people. Lists are kind of like a group in that you can look at a particular segment of people you’re following to find out what they’re talking about at a glance. It’s a great way to focus your listening skills.

    Using Twitter to promote your local business is not a time to share what your dog is doing, who you follow politically, or even what team you support (unless you are in the sports niche or similar). Keep most of your Tweets super focused on business but not necessarily on selling every moment. Rather, focus on the problems you solve with your business and customer relationships, not on controversial issues outside of your business’s domain. And, depending on your organizational setup, you may use a personal Twitter as well as a  business account. Avoid accidentally Tweeting something of a personal nature or vice-versa … on the wrong account.

     6. Remember to promote your Twitter account in all your online and offline literature.

    Promote it on your business card, Facebook page, website, blog, letterhead, commercials and more. The more people who follow your Twitter the better.  Use some caution when using twitter and avoid sending a public tweet when what you really want to send is a direct Message. Think about what happened to many stars and politicians when they send a private Tweet publicly. It can end up very embarrassing and kill your business. Probably best to not Tweet anything private whether business or not to avoid the problem in the first place. Finally, send out tweets on a regular basis so that your followers don’t forget you and you’ll find that Twitter works wonderful as an online marketing tool for your local business.

    Local Twitter Tools and Resources for connecting with like-minded people in your area:

    1. Wefollow.com – search broader topics, and drill down into interests and local regions
    2. NearbyTweets.com – Local mapping, tweets and keyword search
    3. Monitter.com – search terms, drill into “columns” for each result
    4. Tweetgrader.com – drill into location and geographic regions
    5. Klout.com – research “authority” of a twitter profile (not necessarily local)
    6. FourSquare.com – Local twitter app, search, check-ins, badges and much more…
    7. Bing.com/maps – under “Map Apps” (top), install the Twitter App, enter keywords and location, and see local members on the map. Click.Engage!
    8. Followerwonk.com – use to broad search, drill into detail, and discover top authority figures for your niche – and more.
    9. Search.Twitter.com – use this for advanced search syntax. You may want to start here.
    10. TwellowHood.com – part of the Twellow service. Create a free account, confirm it, and go!

    What other tools do you use – and what did I miss?

    Comment on my Facebook page here.

    Here’s To Local Marketing With Twitter…Cheers!

    photo credit: Dave Catchpolecc

    How To Use Twitter To Market Your Local Business (Strategy+Tools) by

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