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It happens every day. A small business creates a Twitter account, bombards the social media website with tweets for a week, and then completely abandons the whole platform. Twitter followers who were once well informed about business specials, extended hours, and seasonal sales are now left out in the cold. What gives?
Simply put, small businesses and their employees often have other worries and concerns on their minds and would rather put those first. Should Twitter be one of those first priorities? You bet! Look at the world around you in 2012. People are continuously plugged into their smartphones, iPods, and tablets, completely oblivious to traditional means of advertising and marketing, such as television, billboards, radio commercials, etc.
To put it kindly, there is no excuse for not having a thorough, well-executed social media agenda. Even if you have to hire a college or high-school student part time to update your Twitter account, it’s well worth the investment. In fact, younger generations, such as Gen Y, are more in-the-know when it comes to understanding and utilizing Twitter. It’s hard to grasp how to manage a good Tweet system, but a few businesses and public figures have managed to do so. Here are five great social media campaigns that your small business can learn a thing or two from.
Airlines can be a headache to deal with, whether it’s a canceled flight or high ticket costs. Southwest Airlines has mastered a way to stay engaged with its customers through its up-to-date Twitter account. The airline replies to complaints, questions, and requests publicly and directly through Twitter. In the meantime, the company also manages to inform customers of exciting news, such as “Today is our 41st Birthday! If you are flying with us today, you can celebrate with a free cocktail! Cheers to 41 years!”
Coffee. It’s a staple in everyday life and could rival water in a popularity contest. Starbucks has changed the face of coffee beans around the world, and Starbuck’s Twitter account only further improves the company’s famous marketing campaign. The beverage corporation’s Twitter account engages in quirky, witty dialogue, retweets positive and negative customer reviews, and subtly advertises various company events and promotions. Most people don’t respond well to blatant marketing, but Starbucks keeps things short and sweet with tweets like “For our old school fans, the original Starbucks logo t-shirt is now available, exclusively online.”
This one-time-hippie store has transformed into a vastly successful lifestyle corporation. How does the company bask in such wealth and success? They engage well with their customers. Whole Foods promotes its philanthropic work, seasonal produce offerings, and customer complaints right here on the Twitter-verse. The store’s continuous social media presence has garnered the company over two-million followers, with more and more following them every day.
No, Roger Ebert isn’t a small business, but he’s certainly the face of a well-known brand as one of the nation’s most famous film critics. Ebert sticks to tweeting his reviews and opinions, and the way in which he crafts his tweets is poetic. He easily writes engaging, well-put thoughts in 140 characters, which is the character limit for each tweet, or less. In composing business tweets, look at the way in which Ebert sums up his points. Learn how to abbreviate popular words and know when it’s okay to leave out punctuation or implied verbiage.
The Huffington Post is known for its conglomeration of aggregated news stories. The online newspaper’s website is hard to navigate through, but its Twitter account is thorough. For every story on the website, there is likely a tweet to match it. Small businesses can follow this model and address the numerous products and services they offer, but be careful: there is such a thing as too much tweeting.
Social media is one way citizens of the world stay engaged with one another. By skipping out on Twitter, you are doing yourself and your business an injustice. These five Twitter accounts will help you in knowing how to be a good tweeter.
This guest post comes courtesy of Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer who offers online colleges advice throughout the interwebs, and welcomes responses at firstname.lastname@example.org.