Using Facebook and Google My Business and Google Plus are very important arrows to have in your social media Quiver. But one Arrow many people seem to overlook for many different and sometimes good reasons. Sometimes for reasons that are lacking in originality. Yet for the cigar store owner in Western Oklahoma, Twitter can be just as important as it is to a Cigar store in Amarillo. Twitter can be just as big of a customer relations tool to the person who has a pipe tobacco store in Elk City as in New York City. Twitter shouldn’t be overlooked.

Twitter does take a little getting used to when you are accustomed to the cultivated algorithm of Facebook the rush of information from Twitter is much. I signed up for twitter on November 20, 2008 (Thank you Twbirthday). Then, I did as everybody else at that time. I followed a bunch of celebrities and a couple of other people who were suggested to me and I started tweeting at these different celebrities. I have to tell you for being such a noisy place I got nothing but crickets from the Twitterverse. So, since I didn’t know anybody and I was getting no reaction from anybody. So, I went back to Myspace and hung out and talked to everyone I knew. So yeah everybody goes through twitter overwhelm. Yet, if you stick to it in about a month or more you will understand Twitter. Twitter is not difficult.

Getting Found

What is one of the biggest problems any small to medium sized business is faced with, whether it is in Amarillo, Texas or Woodward, Oklahoma? The ability to be found. How often have you had a new customer walk into your tobacco store and you hear, “I didn’t know this store was here.” Madding right? Well twitter isn’t going to completely solve that problem but it will help, people will be able to find you a lot easier. There are people who do searches for your town tobacco or cigars or cigarette shag tobacco through twitter, and also Google and twitter are currently playing nice and Google is indexing the tweets so you are able to show up in this avenue of searches.

Teaching

Twitter is also a platform for people to raise awareness. There are people who have problems or questions about tobacco. People who are new to cigars are wanting to know, how to keep that $20 cigar burning even. Is the Darker cigar sweeter tasting? What is a good drink to go with a certain cigar? You could provide many different types of services that help facilitate the culture of the tobacco user. YOU could share stories of people reminiscing about their grandfathers sitting on the front porch, smoking a pipe watching the sun setting. There is the opportunity to teach people who are both, not into the Tobacco Culture and don’t understand why people smoke smelly cigars and those that are Tobacco consumers.

Notifying

Once your audience finds you. You are able to build on the new relationship, by letting your followers know of tobacco oriented events. You could create a Cigar club or a gathering of people who delight in custom pipe tobacco blends in the Elk city area. You can alert people of these upcoming events.

You can also inform people of sales and events at your tobacco emporium. Yet, don’t overdo it. Remember twitter was originally a community building tool, and though Twitter is full of links these days, the community aspect of Twitter is still there.

You can also help fight against misguided organizations. These organizations are growing faster than weeds. You can actually help build a community to fight against a discrimination and disinformation that is perpetuated by these anti-smoking organizations.  There is power when you are able to get a group gathered together. You can fight against what you perceive to be wrong doings. You can actually be the balance to an unopposed organization.

Build Customer Relations

If you collect twitter handles at the point of purchase, you can ask these new customers how they liked their cigar or find out if the pipe that they purchased was to their liking. People are more than amazed and pleased at this level of customer service and the fact that you even acted concerned will build trust and a lasting relationship.

With your twitter account, you can help share what is happening behind the scenes, and let your followers know of current deals your store is offering. Go easy with this. Think of how you would like to receive notices. Do you want to be hit over and over with “BUY MY STUFF!”? When you go to a profile of somebody who you are interested in, do you stay and follow them if it is all sales? I personally don’t, If I see a lot of links and it looks to be ads for their wears and there are little to no conversations going on then I will not follow that person. Because I myself do not see any value there.

Your future followers are looking for value and they are looking for that value on your twitter page. You can provide it. Give your followers all the value they are looking for and then go a little further.

Twitter Tips for your Tobacco store

Build a list

These lists are one of the biggest secrets to controlling twitter. You can have a list of your favorite customers. You can have a list of your competition. This way, you can see what the other tobacco shops are up to. Maybe, they are having a sale that is still higher than your normal price. You can Tweet t People are alerted to when they are placed in a list but you can choose to have that list private so they are not able to see who else is on that list.

You can help with your community building by placing people in a public list so they can see who else they are with. If you have a Super Awesome followers list. Then when a person is added they can see that they are in the same grouping as maybe some of their favorite people. This allows for a little chest inflation action that always is good for customer relations.

Save Your Searches

Use Hootsuite and have columns for different searches your potential customer might be looking for. This helps for you to rapidly be able to serve your potential customer and follower. This little tactic is priceless. I can’t tell you how many new followers it has brought in because I was able to get the first “touch” with a person wanting to know about some problem. These questions are at times directed at my competition and because I was able to jump right in and answer their question I have helped and brought their attention over from someone else.  This little tactic is often called sniping, and very useful for building that community.

Twitter is not nearly as difficult as it is perceived. Yes, building followers, at first, is tough. You are having to find your people and community building seems like such a daunting task. Who has time for it? Well, you do and if you don’t your competition will. You customers and fans will look at there the value is able to be found. Let it be your Tobacco store that they turn to. So join twitter and start building your community. If you need help you can contact me, I would live to be of service.

Read more on this series

Facebook for a tobacco store
Google Plus For a tobacco store
Pinterest for a tobacco store
Instagram for a tobacco store

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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A Tobacco store in Western Oklahoma can Use Twitter