Yes, Twitter can help small local business promote themselves.

It kills me when small, local business don’t believe Twitter could help their business other than as a promotional tool. As an avid tweeter with my marketing glasses on, here are the…

Biggest Pitfalls that Small Businesses Face when they get on Twitter:

1. Not knowing how the hell it works, and getting fed up with it quickly.

Fix: Find the online discussions of people in your industry (#naturalhair for hair professionals, and #ttot for travel bloggers for example) and ask the pros! Twitter isn’t just a way to promote your business, but a way to learn more about your competitors and your target market.

2. Only pushing the products and not taking the time to use Twitter what it’s for.

Fix: Know that the point of Twitter is to start conversations. If you keep this in mind, it makes sense that you should say interesting things, respond to questions and comments coming your way, and not just talking about yourself. Offer content about the industry your in, review other people’s tweets, say hi to your new followers.

3. Taking Twitter too seriously.

Fix: Make jokes, tweet cool quotes you come across, or just comment on people’s tweets that have nothing to do with your product. Yes, your followers follow you to learn more about your business, but that’s not always the best conversation starter. Loosen up!

Here are some local businesses success stories on Twitter that I love to follow & why they win at life.

@banff_squirrel: Unlikely Spokes-Squirrel of Banff and Lake Louise Tourism in Banff National Park

I discovered Banff Squirrel while he was tweeting up a storm on the online travel discussions I frequent, #ttot (Travel Talk on Twitter) and #tni (Thursday Nights In). This personality is hilarious! He perfectly balances the push of the product with consumer interaction. Banff Squirrel takes business seriously and tweets about things like how much snow there is in the Rockies, promo events at Lake Louise. But makes great jokes, stays in character 100% of the time, and won over 10000 followers. An amazing success story for a small tourist attraction in Alberta!

@ChambarWine, the wine sommelier at the prestigious Chambar restaurant in Vancouver.

Robert Stelmachuk is clearly a professional wine connoisseur, tweeting great wine articles he is interested in, liquor law issues in BC, and my favourite tweets of all: describing wine flavours in the best ways. “El Linze- the Spanish gallion of treasure! Like sitting on a saddle dipped in bakers chocolate, smokin’ a cherry cigar,” and “SLW ‘Ne Cede Malis’ Petite Syrah-a mythical creature feasting on your darkest fantasies. A ballerina w/ leather whips.” I love it.

I hope my slice of insight is..insightful!

Shiv 🙂

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