If you are a small business, Twitter offers a great way to have a conversation with your customers, and enlist their help in becoming your advocate. As a social media guy, I say this all the time, but it really helps to see what a good job looks like in real life.
Check out MyHelpfulAce. The folks running the Twitter account are doing EXACTLY what ought to be done when using Twitter as part of your marketing mix. Some business Twitterers (and Bloggers and Websites) spend all their time talking “at” the visitor. Everything revolves around the great products, great service, great history etc. The missed opportunity is to describe to the visitor how the business can solve a problem the visitor has.
In the case of RockyMountainAce.com, it is clear that the Tweets are all about the customer, not about the Ace Hardware stores. It would be tempting to lard up the tweets with sale items or coupon offers. This would be easy, and probably would be effective to a point, bu that isn’t a conversation, and it really isn’t centered on the potential customer. Note these excerpts from their Tweets:
A Helpful Tip – MyHelpfulAce is offering a helpful, eco-friendly tip to help the follower solve a problem.
@ZeekDuff Did you know you can buy praying mantis eggs, which will hatch this spring & eat mosquitoes? Cheap, eco-friendly pest control.
Thanks to a Customer – Here we have them saying a thank you for the business.
@momander Thanks for picking up your cordless lawnmower at one of our stores. They’re very popular – easy to use and great for environment.
Inform followers of a Sale – Some say that Tweeting isn’t for busnesess solicitation. In this case I think it is perfectly appropriate given that MyHelpfulAce is putting out plenty of other tweets centered on the user.
Today (Sunday 4/26) – Buy One Lawn & Garden Item Under $30 & Get One 50% OFF! Find stores at http://www.myhelpfulace.com…
Encouragement & Offer – Note this exchange: MyHelpfulAce is obviously paying attention to their followers. They ask a question, get a response and offer encouragent as well as an offer.
@geekedout You bought worms… for composting, by any chance?
@geekedout Vermicomposting is great! Some of our stores do carry the red wigglers. You using ladybugs and praying mantis for pest control?
If you are considering using Twitter and other social media to promote your business, I would reccomend that you follow MyHelpfulAce and watch what they do. So far, they have done the best job I’ve seen for this type of enterprise.