Category Archives: Twitter

Local Social Media for Brick and Mortar Businesses

local social media for businesses

When devising a local social media strategy, the benefits of customizing the approach specifically for a business and its customers is invaluable. Sure, there are general guidelines that apply to almost every industry, but the blog I wrote about Social Media for Service Based Companies is not the same advice I would give for brick & mortar establishments. If you’re a small business owner with a set locationhere is the best way to market your business on social media.

One of the main differences between local social media for service based companies and brick and mortar establishments is the end goal. For service based companies, we are constantly driving traffic to the company website, specifically the contact page. There is stress put on educating the public about the need for the service in question and demonstrating that the company is an expert in its field. For brick & mortar establishments, the goal is to drive traffic to the location! Convincing people to stop by a restaurant or clothing store means appealing to a want that can be fulfilled immediately. Hungry? Stop here for lunch. Need a new outfit? We’ll outfit you! The recommended platforms don’t change, but the way they are used most certainly does.

Facebook is an opportunity to interact and showcase a businesses’ involvement in the community. It is also a way to highlight the brands a store carries or if applicable, the local farms a restaurant sources ingredients from. Facebook also allows event pages to be created in order to generate buzz for any upcoming special events or merchandise sales. Facebook should be updated consistently and with a variety of information that is relevant to the customer base.

Twitter has proven to be an excellent way to manage customer service. A brand’s Twitter feed can include much of the same information that is on its Facebook newsfeed, but posted multiple times a day. Interact with audiences that you are hoping to attract by retweeting or mentioning them in your own tweets. Make sure to reply to any comments, complaints or suggestions in a professional and friendly manner. Keep in mind that there are brands that have built a following by the way that they respond to customer comments on social media, whether it is diligently (JetBlue) or with humor (Skyscanner Jen).

We love Instagram for brick & mortar establishments. This is an opportunity for restaurants to flaunt appetizing photos to the foodie community and for clothing stores to capture the attention of fashion influencers. With this platform, it pays to research popular hashtags and to have an ongoing rapport with repeat customers and ignite discussion with active Instagram users. We suggest that the filter used for images stays consistent and that the wording of the captions matches the messaging on all other platforms. This is a good time to define whether your brand is for or against the use of emojis!

One of the most impactful and easiest steps for local social media you can take is to double check that all of the pertinent information about your store (address and phone number) is easily found across all social platforms. For restaurants, this means linking to your menu and providing numerous photos. For product-based stores, it’s important that sales are publicized and that store hours are made apparent. At Alter Endeavors, we make a point to occasionally view our social media profiles as visitors, where we check links and think like a potential customer.

We live in a day and age where the question, “How did you hear about us?” is as commonly answered via “Facebook” as “ word of mouth.” Just today, I visited a coffee shop after seeing pictures of their decor and Nutella waffle on my explore page on Instagram! You don’t need photographer quality photos or fresh daily content, just start by making sure your ‘About’ section is complete!

Twitter Targeted Search: What is it? Why do I need it?

Twitter allows you to do searches using geolocation information.  This means that if you are a local business, you can directly connect with people in your area.  Twitter Targeted Search is currently our most requested social media service for clients.

Your company may be a good candidate for Twitter Targeted Search services if your business is primarily local.  Alter Endeavors has had success in using Twitter Targeted Search for service-based companies.

One of the advantages of using Twitter as an outreach tool over Facebook, is that your business profile on Twitter can directly interact with individuals, while a company page on Facebook cannot.  If you are managing a business page on Facebook, you can only communicate with other business pages.

A potential downside to using Twitter Targeted search is that you only have 140 characters to communicate with a potential client.  Technically, you have even less because you need to subtract a few characters for the Twitter handle of the person you are communicating with and a few characters for your company email address or phone number.  We strongly advocate including a preferred point of contact at the end of your Twitter message so that your potential customer knows how to get in touch with you if they are ready to take the next step.

However, multiple social media studies uncover that shorter messages are more frequently read and garner more interactions.  From a positive perspective the constraints on character usage force you to be clever, direct and compelling.

Before you ever begin tweeting, it is considered best practice in the social media field to listen first.  Social listening means paying attention to what those around you in the Twittosphere are discussing about your industry or topics related to your area.

One of the trickier parts of Twitter Targeted Search is isolating what search terms to use.  Some search terms may return few if any results, or a search term that may seem relevant to you and your business may reveal completely different results.  Instead of searching for professional jargon like attorney or physician, you may have to use more colloquial terms like lawyer or doctor,etc.  One way we encourage clients to think of potential terms is by asking them: If someone was complaining about a problem that your service/product/company could solve, what might they say?

The point of Twitter Targeted Search is never to spam anyone, instead we are interested in inserting your brand into conversations already happening related to your industry. By approaching a possible lead in a humorous way, offering useful advice or valuable content, we hope to help you start a dialogue about what your business can offer a potential client.

If you already have a consistent social media strategy and a robust website, Twitter Targeted Search can be a great addition to your online presence.  This service allows you to directly engage with a specific audience.

A Step by Step Twitter Setup Guide for Austin SCBWI Authors and Illustrators

Some basic points of knowledge before we get started:

  • The “@” symbol: Used to “mention” other Twitter profiles in a public way. Place it in front of a Twitter handle you want to mention (ex: @boytreesky) so as to tag that profile in a tweet. A tweet with @(a profile) will show up on that persons Twitter wall and also land in their “mentions” stream so they are aware of everyone who has pinged them.
  • The “#” symbol: The hashtag or “#” symbol is used to easily track certain elements of a conversation across the Twittersphere. Use #austinscbwi in a tweet for example and it will become a clickable entity on a twitter platform. When clicked, a list of all tweets using that # will appear, allowing you to easily discover other Twitter users focused on that topic as well.
  • Lists – Create lists to categorize people you follow. Lists show only the tweets from the people in the list. This is valuable when you are looking for tweets from
  • DM – Direct Messaging is only allowable when someone follows you or visa-versa
  • RT – Retweets are tweets others have posted that you repost

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