With 255 million monthly active users worldwide, Twitter has become a quick, inexpensive and effective way to promote small businesses. Twitter campaigns that focus on reaching targeted prospects rather than the masses usually yield the biggest return.

Here’s how three types of small businesses—a coffee shop, a florist and an office furniture store— were able to use Twitter to connect with customers.

Specialty Coffee Shop: Giving customers a reason to stop in
A new coffee shop in a trendy neighborhood wants to build foot traffic but faces stiff competition from other local cafés and dessert shops. It could launch a Twitter campaign to lure customers using the following steps:

  • Use Promoted Accounts to target local coffee fans who haven’t yet followed the shop on Twitter. In the Promoted Accounts program, a business pays only if someone follows it.
  • Tweet news about nearby events such as local arts fairs and music performances. Offer a discount to customers who come into the store at event time and mention your tweet.
  • Send out Twitter-only discounts. Tweet an offer code or special phrase that followers can mention to get 10% off their order during a specific time.
  • Tweet announcements of in-store events such as coffee tastings or book readings. During the event, share photos of customers, staff and featured guests on Twitter.
  • Entice followers to spread the word about the store by offering a 25-cent cup of coffee to the first 10 people who mention the shop in a tweet.

Florist Shop: Inspiring prospects to indulge
A florist wants to win new customers and keep orders flowing throughout the week. Here are specific steps it could take to use Twitter to build business:

  • Share articles and videos about seasonal flowers, plant care, and decorating tips on the shop’s website and promote them in tweets.
  • During slow periods, tweet photos of beautiful arrangements and recently arrived inventory. Offer limited-time, Twitter-only discounts on these items.
  • Tweet reminders of approaching holidays and special occasions along with a special offer on a flower arrangement to recognize the event.
  • Thank customers who mention the floral shop on Twitter and invite them to stop by for a free rose or other blossom.

Office Furniture Store: Staying top-of-mind
A local store that sells new and used office furniture wants to develop more relationships in the community and attract local companies as clients. Here is how it could build its network using Twitter:

  • Use Promoted Accounts and timely Promoted Tweets to attract local followers who run small businesses.
  • Tweet about topics that affect local businesses such as upcoming networking events, tax filing deadlines and changes to local business regulations. Encourage followers to spread the word through retweets.
  • Set up Google Alerts for articles about the community and share them on Twitter.
  • Announce the arrival of new inventory in real-time on Twitter, offering discounts for followers who buy the items before a specific deadline.
  • Sign up for a free service like TweetBeep—similar to a Google Alert for Twitter—or TweetDeck to keep track of mentions of the store on Twitter, responding immediately to questions and thanking followers for mentioning the company.


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