Of the three big social media outlets (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), I find that Twitter conjures the most resistance in marketing plans for local businesses. Facebook is easy for them, everyone from tweens to grandmas are on Facebook. LinkedIn, every professional has a profile. If you don’t, consider yourself out of the game. But Twitter takes a little more convincing.
The biggest response I hear is, “Why do I want to know when people are brushing their teeth?” and “I don’t want people to know what I am doing!” If that is your perception of the information on Twitter, you are missing the double rainbow.
With almost a billion tweets a week, an opportunity for you to share your brand to a community of friends who are already interested in you, is being placed right in your hand. What are you afraid of?
Yes, we’ve all heard the twitter tales of brands falling victim to blunders and over-sharing. In fact, I tweeted about it, The 7 Worst Twitter PR Fails. There are lessons to be learned for sure, but the majority of us tweet responsibly and connect with people on a daily basis. And the magic word here is “connect”. A connection puts a human face on a company.
For example, 2 years ago I went to lunch at Gordon Biersch in the Power & Light District. My hamburger was fantastic, definitely top-five. I hardly ever go to P&L, but last year I went to Gordon Biersch again and had a wonderful meal. I noticed they were on Twitter and began following them. Over the course of the year, I began to feel a personal connection to this restaurant. I have not been to Gordon Biersch in the last year (I just haven’t been in the area), but I have recommended them to at least 30 people. These were not ordinary recommendations, they were passionate recommendations. I really made a convincing argument of why they should eat there. I became an invested consumer. I can guarantee that I would not have been that passionate (after only two visits in two years) if I didn’t have that personal connection on Twitter. You can’t buy that kind of connection. You can’t get it from a direct mail piece or an ad in the newspaper. That kind of passion comes from creating a personal connection that you can only get from social media.
Why Twitter? Simple, you have to go where your audience is, even if you are uncomfortable with it. Twitter is much less of a commitment than a blog or even Facebook. It’s fast, it’s easy, and there are fewer distractions than Facebook.
Local business should not be scared to use Twitter; they should be scared of what happens if they don’t.