You don’t have to be a giant corporation with hundreds of employees to run a successful business. And the same goes for your Twitter account. Plenty of smaller, local businesses are absolutely smashing it on Twitter, just by being active, talking to people, supporting each other and quite simply, being social. And, as we all know, this is what social media’s all about; the clue’s in the name, after all.
We wanted to take this opportunity to show you five examples of businesses within Shropshire that are undeniably having great success in this area. Below each company, we’ve listed how many followers their account has and what their current Klout score.
If you’re not familiar with Klout, this tool assigns Twitter accounts with a score between 1 and 100 based on how influential they appear to be on the platform. The higher the score, the more influential they are deemed to be. It’s not a fool-proof method, but it does help to gauge how well a particular account is performing.
Whilst we’ve listed the Klout scores and number of followers, please bear in mind that these figures alone do not determine an account’s success. For that, we need to delve deeper into the bigger picture.
Number of followers: 2,857
Klout score: 56
A local bed and breakfast just on the outskirts of Shrewsbury town centre, Ferndell is run by Sarah who uses Twitter on a daily basis. In Sarah’s own words:
“I’m fully aware local Shrewsbury folk who follow me are not going to come and stay in my beds and eat my #ferndellbreakfast. But by getting to know me in the virtual world, they just might recommend me to friends or family; it’s just another way of advertising and, most importantly, it’s free”
Sarah does a fantastic job using Twitter. Amongst other updates, she can regularly be seen live tweeting using her self-made hashtag – #ferndellbreakfast – where followers see into the daily activities involved in readying her guests for the day ahead. Not only does this provide users with an insight into the running of the business itself – often adding an element of humour along the way – but it’s also become the norm for visitors and other Twitter users to join in on the hashtag. If you scroll through #ferndellbreakfast on Twitter, chances are you’ll be met with numerous photos from inside the gorgeous B&B, along with pictures of some pretty delicious looking bacon and eggs.
The best bit about this hashtag? It’s so unique to Sarah and her business, that you can guarantee anyone using #ferndellbreakfast in their tweets is bound to be talking about – or visiting – the B&B. It’s a fantastic bit of advertising and helps to spread the word about the business amongst the local community.
This is just one method Ferndell use to promote their business on Twitter. So successful have they been in this area, that they are even winners of Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday Twitter competition. And they’ve even had their fair share of going viral, as we covered in our last blog post.
Number of followers: 1,409
Klout score: 52
These guys are one of Shropshire’s leading lithographic and digital printers, using their Twitter account not only to promote themselves, but also to support other local businesses.
Scrolling down their feed, you will see an array of retweets, mentions and thank you’s to lots of other local Twitter users.
In particular, we noticed one method in their strategy which is so simple, yet extremely effective.
Often when BGP complete a print, they tweet that particular customer; sometimes it’s to let them know the print is finished, sometimes it’s to tell the customer when the product will be delivered and sometimes they even tweet a picture of the product and mention the customer, providing a small insight into the finished design.
This is effective in many ways. Firstly, it helps creates a sense of excitement and anticipation for the customer; “Not only is your print finished, but here’s a sneak peek at what it looks like”.
Secondly, by mentioning the customer, chances are that person’s going to retweet the post, causing it to be seen by a larger audience and helping to build BGP’s brand awareness.
We’ve also spotted pictures of the print once it’s been delivered, usually standing next to the customer. Again, this is also likely to be retweeted by them. But not only that, a smiling, happy customer equals great brand reputation. And whether it’s a word of mouth referral from said customer or whether the tweet has just simply been spotted in BGP’s Twitter feed, you can bet it’s going to leave a lasting impression.
Number of followers: 1,692
Klout score: 55
Run by Caroline, Abbey Foregate Post Office operates just outside the centre of Shrewsbury and provides all Post Office services.
Some people may look at an industry such as this and fall under the misconception that all content needs to be about car tax and passports. But Caroline has twisted her strategy in such a way, that her approach couldn’t be further from this.
Yes, there are many tweets reminding people of business hours and what services they provide. But the first thing you notice when visiting this Twitter account is how chatty it is. And that’s such a perfect approach!
These guys turn things around so that the account is very much based around the local aspect of things. Amongst retweets and Twitter conversations, Caroline can be seen supporting local businesses and events. By doing this on a regular basis and developing online relationships with these accounts, her own content is often retweeted by these users in return.
Caroline also provides her Twitter followers with a great insight into the runnings of everyday life. Whether it’s a cheeky selfie posed outside the shop to remind people that she’s there and happy to help, or whether it’s a snap of the resident cat, Luigi, purring away on the counter ready to help the next customer. Even the occasional emoticon makes an appearance in the tweets; it all contributes to giving Twitter users an insight into the fun, laid-back side of the business.
Number of followers: 3,758
Klout score: 53
As an insurance broker based in Shropshire, you may initially think Henshalls have a tough time coming up with content for social media. And even though insurance is not generally perceived as the most sociable of industries, these guys put a twist on the norm and use it to their advantage.
Amongst retweets from other businesses and accounts (all of which helps to develop relationships), Henshalls often use Twitter as a means to provide tips and useful information surrounding business and personal safety, regularly tying this in with current news and topical events.
For instance, thanks to the recent heatwave we’re experiencing, Henshalls are currently providing health warnings and tips for staying safe in the sun.
But in our opinion, the real success for this account lies with the use of imagery, as you get to see an insight into the social side of the business.
As well as the collage of photos displayed on their cover image (which, in itself, is a fantastic way of showing people what fundraisers, events and activities they have been a part of in the past), Henshalls also live tweet pictures of themselves whenever they attend or take part in an event, using relevant hashtags to help the tweets to reach a larger audience.
The strategy for this Twitter campaign seems to be showing the faces behind the Henshalls brand, helping to demonstrate that this is a real business, run by real people.
Even the profile picture replaces the standard company logo with smiling, happy faces.
Number of followers: 12,100 (approx)
Klout score: 50
Finally, we move onto our second bed and breakfast in the list, Hopton House. Run by Karen, the method on this Twitter account is very similar to that of Henshalls’ in the sense that it’s filled with lots of imagery. But in this case, Karen adopts a slightly different approach.
Karen appears to be blessed with beautiful Shropshire landscapes surrounding her B&B, so she uses this to her advantage. With views and scenery such as that, why not show people what they could be experiencing if they were to go and stay with her?
These pictures contain a mixture of stunning hilly scenery, beautiful wild flowers, a variety of both feathered and furry friends and even snaps of what breakfasts await her lucky guests that morning.
And, although this is technically separate from the main business Twitter account, we couldn’t finish this post without mentioning Hopton House’s resident dog, Murphy, and his very own Twitter account.
Bringing along the cute-factor, this account provides an insight into Karen’s daily activities but from Murphy’s point of view. It helps to reinforce the fact that this is a dog-friendly B&B and adds an element of humour along the way.
Whilst the above businesses all have different approaches to their Twitter management, there are a number of similarities that can be applied to any corporate Twitter strategy. If you’re just starting out from scratch, these can help to develop a strong Twitter presence:
- Each account has a strong profile and cover picture
- There is a short, concise description of what they do
- Their location is specified
- A website link is provided
- They are tweeting on a regular/daily basis
- Content is a mixture of their own and retweets from other users
- There are regular mentions of other accounts
- There is a regular use of relevant and custom-made hashtags
- There is a great, regular use of imagery
All five of these businesses are doing a great job of promoting themselves through Twitter. But that’s not just because they tweet on a regular basis.
It’s because they listen, they respond and they support.
In a nutshell, they’re sociable.
Categories: Social Media, Articles, Business, On-line Marketing