Let's deal with the second question first. Do you NEED to do it? No - but you also didn't need to get a website, or a phone number or business cards either - but it sure helps in establishing a business presence. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are just new tools in reaching the community.
So let's set up a sample client with a fictional Twitter account. They are a restaurant with fantastic meatball sandwiches - and they feature great lunch specials every day. In fact, their lunch trade makes up over 50% of their business.
So what are some of the ways Twitter could help this restaurant owner? Simply Tweeting a link to the restaurant menu is frankly not going to do much. Tweeting should always be something meaningful and have the relevant hash tags associated so people who are monitoring Twitter looking for those same hash tags will see them.
I know - what is a hash tag? It is # followed by a key word that would help identify a place, product, store name or other search term. Since the restaurant is in Newmarket you might consider the following hash tags #Newmarket #York Region #Restaurant #meatball sandwich #Joe's Sandwich Shop . That sounds like a lot - and it will eat in to your total amount of characters (140) but it will start getting you into new followers.
(As an aside - I recommend using a Twitter program called Tweetdeck. It is free and can be downloaded at www.tweetdeck.com. It sits on your desktop and once you put relevant search terms will show Twitters coming from your area and these can be re-tweeted by your account with additional information.)
So you have put your tags in - now what are you going to say? If you have a special - or you are trying to lure in new customers - consider some kind of promotion for Twitter followers. Come into Joe's Sandwich Shop - today only for Twitter followers - $7.95 meatball sand. for just $5!
I am going to be honest when I say - Likely no one is going to come in after your first tweet, but if you start scheduling and staying consistent with your messaging people will start to notice and give you a try. Then you build up a following by advertising your Twitter Account above the cash and on your website. Have a contest where people put their business cards in for a free lunch draw. It is a great way to get email addresses - to promote your website - Twitter Account and weekly specials.
We will do other case studies with the fictional Joe's Sandwich shop but your homework assignment is to get your Twitter account going - log in to TweetDeck and see what is happening out there. It is the digital equivalent of a CB Radio - and it takes some fine tuning to start hearing/seeing the information relevant to what your needs are.
If you have any questions or would like a free telephone assessment of your website - please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading - and next week - we will help out with more marketing ideas for Joe's Sandwich Shop! See more of the Four C Communications website - go to www.fourccommunications.com