July 26, 2011

Building Your Twitter Followers

So let’s say that you were all inspired by yesterday’s post and signed your business up for a Twitter account.  Now what?  First of all you need to start building your followers.   The benefit to you is two-fold.  First of all, Twitter is an easy way for you to meet and learn from other interesting people all around the world.  At the same time, the rule of thumb with Twitter is that if you follow someone they will, most likely, follow you back (as long as you don’t appear to be a spammer).  So start by doing a search for Twitter accounts in your area and see if any of those people might be a good match for your company.  In you’re based in San Antonia, for example, you might try searching for other Twitter accounts that are also San Antonio-based and who like gourmet food.  As an example, in addition to numerous foodies, I also follow Twitter accounts like the New York Times Small Business, Inc. Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine to help keep me up-to-speed on what’s going on in the small business and entrepreneurship realms.

Of course this “following” is a two-way street and you should, in good conscience, follow those who follow you.  The exceptions to this are the spammers, the “make a million dollars working from home” tweeters, as well as anyone whose tweets become outrageous or offensive.

Speaking of tweets, the way to truly grow a solid Twitter fan base is by sharing information on Twitter that your audience cares about.  In addition to specials or sales you’re running you want to provide your followers with information they would benefit from.   Everything you post doesn’t have to be specifically about your business.  Twitter can help you develop a personality and relationship with your followers outside of simply providing them with great artisan food.  For example, if you read an incredible book about the food industry and think others might like hearing about it tweet a short review and link to the book.  Or if you write a particularly great blog post then tweet a link to it.  

Of coures if you decide to have an active Twitter account then you should also include a link or mention to it in all of your marketing material.  Place a link on any e-Newsletters you send out, mention to customers who visit your store or farmers’ market booth that you have a Twitter account and ask them to follow you, and include your Twitter information on any print marketing material you give out.   Twitter should be a fullyintegrated part of your marketing strategy to be fully effective.

That’s not all though!  Here’s what’s on tap for the rest of this ‘Tweet Week:’

  • Wednesday: Some Basic Twitter Etiquette
  • Thursday: Make Twitter Work For You
  • Friday: Twittering Journalists – How to use Twitter to help you get press

And if you follow me (@smallfoodbiz.com) I promise to follow you back!