Tweeting to the Top Part I: Should Your Business Be On Twitter?

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series. In this article we will explain what Twitter is and help you determine if your business should be sending Tweets. In Part 2 we will help you get started on the site.

Social media is a fantastic and cost effective way to communicate directly with current and potential customers. In a previous issue, we gave you the tools to create your cafe’s Facebook fan page. With over 350 million active members, chances are that a majority of your customers have a profile on Facebook, making it a no-brainer for your business to have a presence there.  Twitter, however, is a little different.

In this article we’ll focus on explaining what Twitter is, what it can do for your business, and evaluate if you should have an account with the site.

What Is Twitter & How Does It Work?

According to their website, “Twitter is a communication platform that helps businesses stay connected to their customers.” The site let’s you read or write 140 character bursts of text, known as “Tweets”, which directly convey to those who are interested in your business, what you have to say and what you can offer them. You can share information to your “followers” instantaneously, which can assist in the gathering of real-time feedback (praise or otherwise), facts and hopefully, new customers. Twitter can also help solidify relationships with your best customers who can become ambassadors for your brand.

We have a few current customers that use Twitter as a means to establish an ongoing conversation with customers in ways that simply weren’t possible just a few years ago. For example, a customer of ours in the New England area uses tweets to send out coupons on a daily basis, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. They also use tweets to prepare drink orders in advance for their regular customers.

To check out some case studies on the  usefulness of Twitter as it relates to business, visit the site and click through.

Should Your Cafe Be on Twitter?

This is the million dollar question and you’ll probably want to ask yourself a few more before determining whether it’s a wise strategy or just a waste of time.

Generally speaking, your cafe should be tweeting if:

-you are located in an urban area
-your customer base tends to be more tech savvy
-you are located near a college campus
-there is a high concentration of office complexes nearby
-you cater to a younger demographic, etc.

Generally speaking, your cafe probably shouldn’t be tweeting if:

-your location is in a very rural area
-you attract an older crowd
-you don’t offer WiFi already
-you don’t plan to tweet regulary, etc.

This last one is a biggie. If you don’t plan to use it, don’t waste your time. There is nothing worse than seeing a Twitter account for a business that doesn’t tweet. Nothing will keep away followers more than that. If you create a feed and don’t use it, it implies that your shop doesn’t have anything good to say.
And along those same lines, as I mentioned in the Facebook article in a previous issue, you have to give customers a compelling reason to follow your cafe. Simply having a presense is not enough.

For any questions on business improvement through social media in your coffee house, give me a call at 800.835.5943 ext. 3552. I can give you some tips and advice based on what we’ve seen other customers have success with. Also, remember to stay tuned for Part II in the coming days.

Follow StocktonGraham on Twitter

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.