3 ways to use Twitter to drive foot traffic to your business

From time to time, we invite industry influencers to write a guest post on our blog and share best practices and insights related to small business, marketing and Twitter.

In an age where virtually everyone is online all the time, social media is an effective way for businesses to attract new customers. At Hootsuite, we’ve observed Twitter’s unique ability to connect companies with prospects who are actively looking for their products and services in real time.

In the same way that a tech company would use Twitter to drive traffic to their website, a brick-and-mortar business can use Twitter to get customers through the door. This post offers three tactics to help you do just that.

Let’s get started.

  1. Build relationships with nearby businesses and influencers

    If you run an artisan cheese shop it makes sense that someone walking out of the speciality wine store down the street would want to visit you next. You can make that happen by building a relationship—online and offline—with the neighboring business.

    Search for the wine store’s Twitter handle and start building rapport. If you engage with other businesses on Twitter you’ll be introduced to their loyal followers. Regular and positive exchanges between brands can serve as endorsements for all parties.

    Here’s a donut shop in Vancouver, B.C. promoting their product alongside their neighborhood ice cream shop.

    If the brands are especially complementary, you might consider launching a multi-store promotion. Create a Twitter List of all nearby business to keep an eye on these kinds of engagement opportunities. In the Hootsuite dashboard, you can set up the list to appear alongside your local search streams for easy reference.

    You might also want to consider tapping into the local influencer marketing trend to drive business to your brick-and-mortar store. By conversing and engaging with influential Twitter users and businesses in your area, you’ll likely see an increase in engagement from their followers. Dive deeper into this tactic by reading our previous blog, How To Use Influencer Marketing To Grow Your Small Business.

  2. Promote your business with targeted Twitter Ads

    If you have some money to put behind your quest for new customers, running Twitter Ads will ensure your business gets in front of the right people. With the Twitter’s geo-targeting feature you can aim your ad at prospects within a certain metro area—or zero in on a particular zip or postal code.

    Once you have your location set, you can add more filters to further refine your search, choosing everything from audience interests and behavior, to language and gender. Test different targeting approaches to understand which audience is the best fit and which messages resonate with different groups. You may be surprised by what’s most effective for you.
    For example, retail company @UNTUCKit wanted to increase foot traffic to their New York City shop while meeting their cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goals. They targeted high-intent shoppers (Twitter determines a user’s interests based on the topics they connect and engage with) in the cities and/or neighborhoods that their stores are located in. Learn more about how @UNTUCKit accomplished their goals with targeted Twitter Ads.
  3. Monitor and respond to all Tweets about your business

    All business owners understand the importance of good customer service. A happy customer is a returning customer—or even better, an advocate for your brand. And with more customers using social media to discuss their buying decisions, it’s imperative that you are listening for these conversations and responding.

    Of course not all mentions of your business on Twitter will be @mentions. In fact, the vast majority of people who discuss brands online don’t actually name the brand or follow their social media profiles (or they do name the brand but leave out the @ symbol or misspell the name).

    How to track these conversations using Twitter’s advanced search function
    1. In the “All of these words” box, include your business name without the @ symbol in front of it, your business name with the hashtag symbol, and common misspellings of your business name (with and without the @ symbol)
    2. Set any other parameters you’d like and click “Search”
    3. Select the “More options” tab to bring up a dropdown menu
    4. Press the “Save this search” button for quick reference later

    You can also set up search streams to find unbranded mentions in the Hootsuite dashboard.

    How to add a Twitter keyword stream in Hootsuite
    1. Go to your Hootsuite dashboard.
    2. Click the “Add Stream” tab
    3. With your business’ Twitter profile selected from the drop down menu, click the “Keyword” tab
    4. Enter the brand keywords you want to monitor (your brand as a hashtag or without the @ symbol and common misspellings)
    5. Click the “Add Stream” button, and you’re done.

    Watch this video to learn more about using Hootsuite to find Twitter conversations that are relevant to your business.

    Once you have the stream set up you can easily respond to all comments, compliments, and complaints. This will demonstrate to your customers and their followers (potential new customers!) that you are committed to making them happy.

    Put these business-driving Twitter tactics to work and you should have new customers coming through the door in no time.