Free Twitter Ideas that Will Engage Customers and Build Loyalty

Twitter. Schmittter. It’s just a community of like minded people talking to themselves, right? WRONG. No matter what you do for a living – and especially if you own a small business – you can make Twitter work for you.

My suggestion: think tactical, get tactical.

Here are five ideas and some useful links. And just like Twitter, they are FREE!

Ideas for Any Business that generate retail traffic (e.g. a doctor or dentists office, vet clinic, dry cleaners, restaurant, grocery store, jeweler, florist, etc).

Idea # 1: Invite existing customers to follow you. Create a Twitter profile (or more depending on who you enlist to tweet in the shop) and put a sign up on the front door that clearly invites your customers to “Follow us on Twitter.” What you can promise your customers is that you’ll keep them informed with useful news. What’s useful? It depends on your business. If you run a florist, then you can let your followers know when and what new flowers come in. Or maybe it’s almost closing time on Saturday and you want to clear out the remaining flowers before you pick up a new batch on Monday. If they choose to follow you, they’ll appreciate the inside scoop.

Idea # 2: Get the front desk tweeting. If you run a veterinarians office, for example, you probably have more content than you know what to do with. Get Tweeting about all those animals. Use Twitpics (www.twitpic.com) so they can post pictures of all those adorable dogs and cats than come through the door every hour. It’s an animal lover’s dream and it demonstrates what most owners are looking for in a Vet – a love for animals.

Idea #3: Time your tweets to influence the behavior you want. Restaurant owners, pay attention. Lunch specials should go out at 10:00am. Dinner ideas between 3:00 and 4:00. There is so much than can be accomplished in a simple tweet to your existing customer base. I recently started following Typhoon Restaurants, @Typhoon, to see what they do. How does this sound?

“Steamed Mussels. Spicy Seafood Salad. Death by Asparagus. Crab Phad Thai. Summer Curry.
Pineapple Fried Rice. Drunken Noodles. YUM!!!!!!!!!!”

With over 1,400 followers, if even 0.005% come in as a result, that’s 7 extra covers that cost you nothing but the time to type 140 characters.

Ideas for Realtors

I’m working with my friends at iEnfluence to help real estate professionals build their individual brand to create a point of difference, but Twitter, and every other Social Media tool, is useful for the real estate industry. You can check out what we’re doing at www.ienfluence.wordpress.com

Idea #4: Get following and get followed. Use the Twitter search capability to find people who are talking about real estate in your area. Follow them. And start tweeting about real estate in your area to get followed. If you have a listing, use a URL shortening service to share that listing. http://searchengineland.com/analysis-which-url-shortening-service-should-you-use-17204 If you have a showing or an open house, twitter about it. Share the location and the times you will be there. This is also true for your status updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc.

Idea #5: Create a specific Twitter User Name for each property you list. Put it up on the yard sign and on the website you create. If someone is interested in your listing, they can send you a direct tweet for info about the property, like the price (which is what most people want to know). You can then create a direct dialogue with a prospect, let them know about the property, price changes, open houses, offers, upgrades, and anything else that is motivating about the property. It’s manageable with applications like Twitter Split http://twittersplit.com/. Plus, you’re building a base of potential clients and “friends” who will tell their friends, and so on, and so on.

These ideas work across the board for all types of businesses. Remember, the question is “What are you doing?” How about contractors. Twitter about the job your working on. Share photos and show your work progress and quality. Or the Jeweler who’s making that custom diamond ring. The fish shop who is offering sushi classes. The coffee shop that has live music. The band that is on tour. Even the marketing consultant who drives down the street and sees opportunity everywhere.

Now for some useful links (or just Twitter for help; it’s abundant):

Twitter 101, Part 1 http://searchenginewatch.com/3633223

Twitter 101, Part 2 http://searchenginewatch.com/3633276

25 Apps that add form and function to Twitter http://www.the20life.com/2009/03/31/25-apps-that-add-form-and-function-to-twitter/

Universal Connection Platform http://www.tiseme.com/

Get Twittering people. It’s there for the taking, for free. Think about what you’re doing and why it matters. You might be surprised to find that you have loyal customers who will follow you, share (and care) about what you’re doing and hopefully stop by during business hours.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Conversation Economy and Web 2.0

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16 Comments on “Free Twitter Ideas that Will Engage Customers and Build Loyalty”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Wow! thanks for the great tips. I have bookmarked this and will definitely retweet. Now, how would you use twitter to the best, if you were a personal trainer?


  2. These were fantastic ideas. I am thinking of how I could use it for my travel business and of course, my blog.

    Thanks for the information.

    Joyce Jacobsen


  3. Nice list, I will definitively follow some of these tips.

    Thanks a lot.

  4. Hugh Allspaugh Says:

    Lisa, it looks like you blog a lot so definitely use twitter to drive traffic to each new blog posting at MsFitUniverse.

    What about creating some kind of twitter competition between your clients, or followers. How about Twitterfit ideas that you send out daily as simple reminders or exercises. The key is to personalize based on what you are all about, so think creatively and start trying it out. Not everything will work, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know.


  5. […] Free Twitter ideas that will engage customers and build loyalty (Via: @stejules) […]

  6. etjb Says:

    your reference twipic, but you mean twitpics, no?

  7. etjb Says:

    but, you see, you link to twipic.com


  8. Hi, interesting post. I have been thinking about this topic,so thanks for posting. I will certainly be subscribing to your blog. Keep up the good posts

  9. erik voskuijl Says:

    Hugh, you made my day with these tips. Working on a new real estate project in amsterdam (a new trendy center for creative companies) and your twitter tips are just great. Will also advise my local dentist…and my brother in law who is plastic surgeon. Erik

  10. Out to Own Says:

    Awesome……I Love It!

    Most people talk about Twitter in terms of getting to know people, building lists and using followers. But for marketers and business owners, that’s just the start.
    You’ve only got 140 characters to work with, so you have to be concise. This works in your favor because it simplifies your message in the same way an AdWords headline does. Simple is good.

    http://outtoown.com/

  11. Out to Own Says:

    If you’ve been using TweetDeck or another Twitter service that uses bit.ly links, then here’s a great tip:

    Go through your timeline and pull out bit.ly links, paste them into your browser, and add a “+” on the end.

    This will automatically send you to the bit.ly statistics page for that link, which gives you conversation
    history, clicks and regional analysis.

    Not only is this a great way to yank out and measure the effectiveness of your tweet history, but it also gives you the opportunity to analyze your competitors!

    Want to know how well someone else’s tweets are faring? Pull out the “+” and you’re in business.

    http://outtoown.com/2010/10/14/3-ways-twitter-analysis-can-enhance-your-marketing/


  12. There’s no doubt that the micro-blogging platform Twitter has significant marketing power. In the last few years, several companies have combined the simple networking function…Twitter Marketing Products

  13. Claude Says:

    whoah this blog is wonderful i like studying your posts.
    Stay up the good work! You already know, many persons are looking round for this
    info, you could aid them greatly.


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