Recently, I signed on a new client, a local restaurant with two locations in New Jersey. As I reviewed their Twitter account, I noticed that the person who had set it up was following Rock Stars in South Africa, and other foreign celebrities in the Philippines and elsewhere. The owner’s teenage daughter had set up the account and it was pretty obvious, there was no real strategy for using Twitter to help this client’s restaurant. (Unless they deliver pizza to South Africa, but I was pretty certain they didn’t.)
This is not the first time I’ve seen businesses new to Twitter jump on and start following celebrities or other Twitter users who have tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of followers. What business owners and social media managers need to understand is that unless that individual follows you back and interacts with you, they are completely useless to your marketing efforts, unless they are sharing relevant content that you can then share with your followers.
So, if you sell pizza, who should you be following? Local businesses in your area. Business owners and employees eat pizza, and fellow business owners understand the need for helping eachother on Twitter. You Retweet their posts, and they’ll do the same for you. That adds value. Other folks to follow, all those Foursquare users who are checking in to businesses in your area. There is a very easy way to set up a search query on Hootsuite, that will catch all mentions of the towns you designate. When someone checks into Shoprite or BestBuy or another establishment in the town you are monitoring, you will be getting introduced to new folks in your area on Twitter. It’s a free way to get noticed by potential clients.
For more tips on starting off on Twitter on the right foot, check out my Top 3 Tips here. For a recap of my recent “Mastering the Twitterverse” workshop at First Financial Federal Credit Union, click here.