When should local businesses launch Twitter marketing campaigns?
By Chris Marentis
GenNext Media Corp.
When initially embarking on local Internet marketing campaigns, many owners of small- and medium-sized businesses find themselves taking pause in response to the scope of social media marketing possibilities. Let it be known, we all suffer from momentary technophobia, but local business owners have a duty to determine whether or not incorporating a healthy dose of Twitter will help them accomplish their business goals. Once the decision is made, they can start planning.
The right local market segments for Twitter
There are two broad local marketing segments that are ideal fits for Twitter:
1. Businesses in the restaurant and retail category can experience success on Twitter due to the immediacy of information conveyed on the platform. Retail and dining businesses can benefit from immediately communicating current sales, deals and promotional events on a highly accessible and text-based platform. One of Twitter's most successful features is its ability to capitalize on impulsive consumer behavior.
2. Twitter marketing can effectively be used as a means for lead generation in higher-end sales and ongoing client relations. This “lead generation” category encompasses almost any small business that relies on converting leads into sales. A few examples include financial advisors, law firms, independent medical practices, contractors, and real estate brokers.
Twitter can be used for increased brand exposure, positive public perception and name recognition. Broadcasting new and industry-specific content can help build credibility and connections from neighboring industry segments. In this cluster of industries, Twitter is best used as a secondary channel to support direct marketing and sales.
It is important not to throw a local business into all aspects of Internet marketing at the same time. Come up with goals, objectives and clear plans for how and when you will use each platform.
When to start focusing on Twitter
Local business owners should start to branch out and focus on platforms such as Twitter after all business basics are running smoothly. It is important to iron out any details not initially addressed in business plans before embarking on new marketing endeavors.
Twitter can be an ideal platform for growing an existing small business. It is important to have all of the basics, including a fully functional website and an engaged social media presence on platforms such as Facebook and Google+, before focusing on new social media initiatives. Build your social media following slowly, and put ample thought into local Internet marketing strategies. Investing in paid Twitter marketing campaigns
Paid Twitter advertising is relatively new. It can be valuable to start experimenting with paid Twitter advertisements after your business has built an organic social media foundation on Twitter and other social media networks such as Facebook. It is important to build enough capital to slowly and thoughtfully reach out on Twitter. One of the most promising paid Twitter ad strategies is lead acquisition.
What to expect from Twitter in the near future
Twitter is a highly malleable social media platform that can be used to market different local businesses in two primary ways. Twitter has changed from a somewhat obscure social media networking platform to a top social media giant in the past several years. It is important to reiterate that advertising on Twitter is still a largely uncharted online advertising endeavor. The next frontier for Twitter is likely more focus on multimedia content and the types of Twitter ads are expected to increase. Stay tuned for updates!
Four tips for financial professionals on Twitter
The secret to Twitter search: using operators
35 Twitter hashtags for financial professionals