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Twitter is a powerful platform for building relationships with people in your local area as well as reaching a larger audience, near and far, with varying ages and interests. With 328 million monthly active users, there are conversations happening right now on Twitter that your business can engage in to get new customers and grow your business.

At Main Street Hub, the marketing platform for local businesses, our team is full of experts who are skilled at reaching out and starting conversations on Twitter and helping thousands of small business owners to leverage engaging conversations on the platform to get more customers in the door.

Using insights from our social media marketing strategy for local businesses, we created this list of the actions your small business should be taking on Twitter right now to grow your business:

1.) Outreach and Conversations

By searching for and participating in relevant conversations on Twitter, you have the opportunity to get new eyes on your brand and get new customers.

Start by brainstorming search terms. Pro tip: A good place to start brainstorming is to think about who your typical customer is, what kinds of conversations they would have on Twitter, what your business’ personality is, and what kinds of conversations you would jump into that would make sense for your business. Once you have ideas relating to your customers and your brand, you can start looking for tweets containing relevant terms.

For example, if you own a pizza restaurant, use the search box in the upper right corner for the hashtag #pizza, #hungry, #craving, or #lunchtime to find people who are about to make a purchase decision.

If you want to take it a step further by searching for those hashtags in your specific location, use Twitter’s Advanced Search feature. Here, you can add a location to specifically target people in your city, town, or neighborhood who are tweeting about their next meal, ensuring your chances of reaching out to someone who might swing by your restaurant for a visit.

It’s important to note that this tactic applies to any industry. It’s all about finding the right search terms for the demographic you are trying to reach. If you run an auto shop, #cartrouble could be what you’re looking for, but if you own a salon, using terms like “need a haircut,” might be more effective than using a hashtag.

Now that you’ve found a relevant tweet, your business can leverage the social aspect of Twitter to interact with potential customers the moment they’re ready to buy.

Reach out to this potential new customer and start a conversation! Respond to tweets in a personalized, engaging way to make your business seem relatable and down-to-earth. You don’t have to mention your business right away.

If a user you tweet to responds back, you have the chance to get in front of all of the friends and followers of that user — this helps increase brand awareness and spread word-of-mouth about your business for groups of people you would have otherwise not been able to reach.

Next, find the right time to plug your business and ask that customer to swing by for a visit the next time they’re in the neighborhood!

2.) User-Generated Content

User-generated content is extremely effective for building relationships and creating a network of new customers. Here are some fun facts: Consumers that interact with user-generated content are 97% more likely to convert with a retailer than customers who do not, and brands see a 78% increase in conversion rates when customers interact with user-generated content, according to Business Insider.

How do you use this kind of content effectively? Have your customers help you tell the story of your business. When users share photos at and about your business, retweet, quote tweet, and share! Since consumers trust their friends’ and followers’ recommendations on social media for where to dine, shop, and stay, this strategy will help instill trust in your business from other potential customers and more customers will consider stopping by for a visit.

3.) Customer Service
More and more, customers are turning to business’ social accounts to ask customer service-related questions and give feedback. In fact, 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media sites for customer support, and 33% of consumers even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than a phone call. This means that each and every message, mention, and wall post that comes in for your business on social media has the power to influence that consumer’s opinion of your business and his or her likelihood to visit.

Responding to all of these communications will help your business appear accessible, appreciative, and responsive to your customers, and you can retweet or share the positive resolution to interactions like these to show your audience that you take customer service seriously — both online and in house!

Pro tip: You can also utilize the Direct Message feature on Twitter to take sensitive conversations offline.

By reaching out, posting user-generated content, and engaging in conversations and customer service on Twitter, you’ll add more users to your online community, stay top-of-mind with the users in your area, and ultimately, get more customers in your door.

Want to know more tips for using Twitter effectively? Download my company’s free guide here for step-by-step instructions to create a captivating Twitter profile, content ideas, and best practices to get your business in front of new customers!

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