Over the last five years I’ve become more aware of why it’s important to “buy local”. I’ve been doing my best to be supportive of businesses owned and operated in the Cowichan Valley, especially in Downtown Duncan.
Besides the obvious…I started to buy local more often myself, I decided another way I could support Cowichan Valley businesses is by becoming somewhat of a buy local Twitter ambassador.
Now, I say “attempting” because it’s been way more difficult than I expected.
What I expected was, to log in to my Twitter account (@ilovecowichanca) find all of my favorite Downtown Duncan businesses and follow them. Plan was to keep it honest. I would favorite and re-tweet interesting stuff. I would tweet about each and every excellent experience I have as a customer. I would tweet about my favorite purchases.
What I didn’t expect was….
- to find as few twitter accounts as I did
- the low number of acknowledgements I received after following
- so little overall tweeting activity
I don’t think some small businesses realize how powerful a punch the right kind of tweet packs. Nor how many of their customers (plus, potential customers) are right there, ready willing and able to interact with them. They don’t yet see the value in having a Twitter account; the reach potential.
For those that do have a Twitter account, please understand that proper etiquette (manners) still apply in the virtual world. If someone calls or walks into your place of business you don’t just ignore them. You acknowledge their visit and you thank them.
The same goes for Twitter. If you have an account and someone follows you, acknowledge that they followed you by (at the very least) tweeting a thank you. There is a very good chance that the person who followed you is a customer.
You’ve taken the time to set up a Twitter account for your business, don’t have it just sit there dormant. Very little or no activity whatsoever is probably worse than not having an account. You don’t have to dedicate a whole bunch of time but pencil it in.
It’s only 140 characters for goodness sake!
Tweet something of interest (relevant to your niche) at least once per day. Not just a sales pitch in each tweet but something of value. Thank new followers every day.
If you’re stuck for something to say thank specific twitterers (wow that one is most definitely not ok with spell check ) for retweeting and/or favoriting your tweets.
A follower (someone who is interested in your business) is giving you permission to share information with them, don’t pass up the opportunity…and while you’re at it do yourself a favor, consider following them back.
Support Your Neighbors Your Friends Your Community…Buy Local! (pretty please:)