Do You Twitter?

 In 4. Jenny Brooks, Marketing, Public Relations

By Jenny Brooks

David Scott Peters, restaurant expert, asked this question in September 2008 and posed to you why you should consider getting an account on Twitter in this post.

Twitter has gained incredible traction since that post, growing by leaps and bounds in the last two months especially. You may have seen the “battle” to get to 1 million followers between Asthon Kutcher (@aplusk on Twitter) and CNN Breaking News (@CNNBRK on Twitter) just last week. It was a bit of fun mixed with an underlying message about the power of social media. Then Oprah had Ashton Kutcher on to discuss Twitter. It’s gone mainstream.

So I ask you, is it part of your stream?

I encourage you to find your space on the microblogging network and encourage your customers to find you there. Use the medium to reach out to them. Ask any dedicated Tweep in the Twitterverse and they’ll tell you Twitter’s power is in the ability to build a community.

As independent restaurant owners, you have the power to reach out to your customers as individuals and encourage them to check in with you on Twitter for daily specials, including menu items, deals, contests, rewards, etc. There are endless ways you can build a following for your customers, including rewarding them for retweets (lingo used to describe when someone reposts your tweet to their followers) and sending followers your way.

Look for a post later this week about ideas for building success with Twitter.

For now, visit Twitter and create an account – or two. One for the restaurant and one for you as the owner. There are a few rules we on Twitter recommend to others joining, which are as follows:
1. Use a name that makes sense for your Twitter “handle” or your Twitter name. So for your restaurant, try to use your restaurant name.
2. Use a picture for your avatar(s) (the face of your Twitter account) that is relevant to your restaurant and/or you. Make it personal.
3. Fill out your bio(s) so that people know who or what you are and understand the kind of information you’ll be providing through your Tweets, or your posts.

This link is a great list of resources about using Twitter, especially for beginners, but even for those currently active on Twitter. Here is one about building your personal and business brand.

One word of caution – Twitter requires use. You have to post regularly and respond, retweet and interact with your community on a daily basis. Otherwise it’s not worth the time invested.

I’ll be back later this week with ideas for your Twitter account. Until then, do some reading and create your Twitter account.

Oh yeah, duh, find me on Twitter: @jennybrooks

Click on the right side of this page to find David, or look him up: @restaurantXpert

Also, read this article, which inspired me this post.

Jenny Brooks is a public relations professional providing expert and strategic tactics for businesses trying to increase awareness about themselves and their products. She is also the editor of SMART Systems Insider, a monthly newsletter from Restaurant Expert David Scott Peters. Questions about PR and how she can help your restaurant? Email her.

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