Will Twitter Make Local Businesses and Small Towns Successful?

by Joanne Steele on January 18, 2011

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Should Small Towns and Local Businesses Be On Twitter?

I get this question from small town local business owners all the time. It’s easy to reflexively say, “Yes!” because saying “No” is like saying no to mother and apple pie! It’s iconic.

Twitter alone won’t make your business or small town successful.

an information network

An old-fashioned information network in action

It is a social media information network tool among many that you should consider. If it is a good fit and you use it well, it will help you grow your business.

An article explaining the difference between Twitter and Facebook posted on Mashable last fall points out some key features of Twitter that should help a small business owner decide if it is a necessary social media tool.

Here are some things a small business owner needs to consider when deciding whether to use Twitter or not.

Twitter is an Information Network. People follow primarily for information not social interaction. (Facebook, on the other hand is a Social Networking tool)

People who use Twitter to search for information and follow the people who are providing that desired information, even if the people are complete strangers!

If you have vital, interesting, valuable, timely information to get out to people interested in your small town, your field or your business, you should probably be tweeting.

Who would that be?

Small town visitors’ bureaus tweeting events, weather, news, information links.

Guide services tweeting things like fishing reports, weather conditions, gear review links, links to customer success stories etc.

Restaurants tweeting specials, hours, links to recipes, table availability, fun locivore facts, whose cooking etc.

You get the picture.  People who follow your tweets don’t have to like you or be your friend. they just want information. Tweets must be timely, interesting and rich with links to further information.

This all takes time, so if you don’t have news to report, an information network  like Twitter may not be the best use of your social media time. With 1000 tweets posted a second, what you say will be up and gone in minutes. If it’s a social comment, it will probably do you more good on a Facebook Page.

Other Reasons for considering Twitter

Twitter is more than a billboard for posting your latest news.

It is a good way to find information and monitor what is being said about your industry and possibly your business. Check out three options for doing that in this post.

The key to social media success is to be where your customer is looking, providing timely, useful information.

If that’s Twitter for your business, commit to it and do it well. Your time is limited, so  carefully evaluate your social media options. Pick one that will connect you with your customers. Do it well.

And when you’re ready, add another social media option.

Here are several other posts I’ve written on Twitter that might make it easier to get the hang of this Information Network.

How to use Twitter for Small Town Tourism Businesses

Use Twitter To Answer Visitor Questions Just Like the Big Urban Destinations

Rural Businesses: Get your Social Media Organized With Hootsuite

How to Use Twitter to Generate Press Coverage for you Rural Tourism Town

photo on Flickr by Woodley Wonderworks

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