It’s easily done. You start posting on a business Tweetup session such as #staffordshirehour or #LeicestershireHour and you tell everyone about how wonderful your business is.
You’ve only got an hour – most of these Twitter sessions last for 60 minutes on one weekday evening a week – so you fire off as many self-promotional Tweets as you can. The only problem is no-one is Tweeting you back or Retweeting your posts.
This is disastrous because as well as not connecting with any other local businesses you are not encouraging any of them to endorse or promote your products or services to their social media followers and, most importantly, potential customers and clients.
There is an etiquette to social networking for small businesses and here are three pointers to help you do it effectively:
1 Include the right hashtag in every post
People follow these business Twitter forums by searching for the relevant hashtag, such as #BizHour or #SheffieldHour , so if you have forgotten to include it no-one in the forum will respond to you.
It’s also worthwhile checking the spelling of the hashtag. If you spell it wrong it’s as big a mistake as leaving it out altogether.
Potential customers or clients from your area often search for the hashtag after the forum has finished so if you’ve used it they will see your Tweets and recognise your business as being local to them.
2 Post live Tweets and never schedule them
I’ve posted in countless business Twitter forums for small businesses and there are usually at least four or five companies which schedule their Tweets ahead of the forum.
It becomes obvious when you try to interact with them and get nothing back – this is almost always because they have posted scheduled Tweets, probably earlier that day or week, to be published during the forum.
It’s the same as not attending a physical venue for a business networking meeting and sending flyers to members instead. You just wouldn’t do it.
3 Ask questions of other Tweeters
I always liken business networking to dating. If you talk about yourself all night your potential partner will get fed up and eventually ignore you.
Ask how their week has gone at work. Ask them what their best selling product or service is or what they have planned for the coming week.
Make a connection and they will respond and ask you about your business. Their followers will see the Tweets and become aware of what you have to offer. The golden rule is to post perhaps two or three promotional Tweets during the hour. Less is more in this case.
Click HERE for more advice on how to use social media for small and medium-sized businesses