dear-local-business-get-off-twitterIn retrospect that headline might have been a bit harsh on local business but I am sticking by statement none the less.

About 80% of the brick and mortar clients that contact me name Twitter as one of their ‘must have’ social media accounts.

They see the Twitter logo on other local businesses, they see it on commercials, they hear about it on the radio. They assume that is THE place they need to be to get more business.

Let me first say that I love Twitter.

It is a GREAT communication tool for many individuals, brands, and business. It is also a BIG waste of time for others.

So, which are you? Answer these three questions…

  1. Do you have multiple locations or sell nationally?
  2. Do you sell your product or service online?
  3. Do you have time (or desire) to engage with people online most of the day?

If you answered “No” to all three of those. Get off Twitter (or don’t start).

Twitter is a GLOBAL platform. If you own a bake shop in Wells, NV there is no real benefit in spending time conversing with people in Orlando, FL and Florence, Italy. – THEY are not your buyers.

Sure, if you are trying to get the latest gossip about Game of Thrones or West World, by all means…hang out…tweet it up. Just don’t pretend you are building business.

If you sell online…

Selling your product online could be a different story. If you have clients all over the nation (or world) Twitter could be a great place to continue to build your brand.

But…answer this…

“Is there a benefit to your customers having [public] continued conversation with you?”

I am not concerned at the moment if there is a benefit for YOU…if there is no benefit for your customer to interact with you on Twitter then it won’t work.

Even if you do sell your product online, it doesn’t mean you HAVE to be active on Twitter. *

*I am going to usually recommend that you lock down a Twitter account with your preferred brand name, even if you don’t really use it much.

Lastly, Twitter can be a huge time suck for local business.

Don’t get me wrong, I find it entertaining as hell. But that does not necessarily mean cash in my pocket. Of all the business I have built/owned/sold in the last 20 years, only three of them made sense to be on Twitter in any real capacity.

You must be prepared to answer messages and tweets throughout the day.

Not necessarily tweets about your product…just “stuff” in general. That type of conversation can take lots of time…multiple times a day.

So, if not Twitter, then what?

In Be the Lime…the world has enough lemons I talk about not needing to be on every social media platform, just the right one for you.

The end goal in any social media platform is to build an email database – People you can instantly send a message to, at no cost.

HOW you build that list, most likely, will be through some form of social media.

My guess, as a local business, your first stop should be Facebook.

You can run highly targeted ads and boost posts. You can engage in conversation with people that can actually impact your business (you know…buy stuff from you)!

THAT is the highest and best use of your time and resources.

If you are on Twitter now, take a good hard look at WHY you are there and if it is paying off for something other than ego.

If you want to be there for fun…that is one thing.

If you want to be there to build your business…there may be better places for you to hang out.


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