An Alternative Twitter Strategy for Local Businesses

    September 3, 2009
    Chris Crum

You’ve had dozens (or possibly hundreds) of articles about how to use Twitter for your businesses hurled at you over the last year or so. There are a lot of good ideas, a lot of bad ones, and a lot of contradictions. What do you expect though? The marketing world is still trying to figure this whole social media thing out. Some are having great success, and some are just wasting a lot of time.

There is no question that social media can be very time consuming. Whether you are generating successful relationships and campaigns out of this time can be decided by many variables, but when it comes down to it (as you’ve probably heard before), social media is just that – a media. It’s not a strategy. How you use it is up to you.

Kevin Breuner Keven Breuner, a local Portland musician from a band called Hello Morning wrote a guest post at the Hypebot blog about how he has been using Twitter in a time-efficient manner to promote his band and get gigs. According to him it has been working pretty well, and really his advice probably doesn’t have to be limited to bands.

Breuner provides 5 steps to take, and they could easily be applied to a small local business just the same. Granted, the strategy will not be ideal for every business, but I could see where some could find great benefit. His steps are:

1. Clean your feed
2. Follow with a purpose
3. Focus Locally
4. Interact
5. Take the relationships into the real world

To summarize this particular strategy, reduce the number of people you are following to a list that is easy to manage and interact with. Reduce the noise that is coming in, and it will be easier to keep up with. You don’t have to follow everyone that follows you. Follow people you could potentially work with.

Once you have a small, manageable list, it will be easier to communicate with the people on that list, and in some instances, it may pay to turn these into offline relationships. Meet people in person when appropriate, and you can get things done, and let people get to know you. Let me reiterate the "when appropriate" part. Don’t become a stalker or anything.

Now there are certainly examples where it pays to follow a lot of people. For instance, I benefit from having a lot of information coming into me, since I write about the marketing and tech industry. But as they say, "different strokes for different folks."

If you’re serious about using Twitter for business, and are still not sure how you want to approach it, I would suggest reading the following articles:

Driving Traffic with Twitter
More to Retweeting than Meets the Eye for Businesses
Twitter Conferences are All the Rage