Know you need to use Twitter for your coffee roasting company but don’t know how? Or, have you started using it without success? Social media drives the coffee industry more and more; frustrating or overwhelming it might be, but very few coffee businesses can thrive now without online engagement.
Happily, once you learn the basics of using Twitter, you can establish your presence ther without too much pain. Devote 45 minutes a day—or delegate the task!—and, over time, you will see your coffee company’s recognition soar. Whether you see immediate ROI or merely raised awareness of your product and engagement with customers, the results will be worth the effort.
Here are 5 steps to follow for Twitter success. Reach out to us and let us know how it’s going! We’re @sanfranroaster.
1. Figure out how Twitter works — Here is a Twitter glossary. Take some time to learn what tweets are (140-character messages), what a handle is (your Twitter username, tagged with an “@” sign), what a “RT” is (short for retweet, when you send another person’s tweet out in your channel. It’s a compliment to them, since you’re spreading their influence.), and what a hashtag is (the “#” sign makes a term searchable on Twitter and helps people find your posts.) Secure your username. It should be short-ish so people can RT you without running out of room, and it should make sense with your brand, usually some variation of your business name. The San Franciscan Roaster Company’s Twitter handle is @sanfranroaster. The SCAA’s is @SpecialtyCoffee.
2. Build a strategy — We discussed this a bit in our last social media post. Define your brand, voice, and audience. Every tweet should reflect one of these. Plan to post 4-6 times a day, and don’t let your content drop off at the weekends, since that’s when people spend the most time on social networks. To help with your planning, you can use a Twitter management program like TweetDeck or Hootsuite, but make sure that you still post spontaneously so your followers feel like your content is fresh. Be intentional about posting, and don't feel too bad if you make a mistake: Twitter moves so fast, your tweet will disappear in most people's feeds within minutes. (Which is why you have to be agressive about posting.)
3. Engage with relevant people — Twitter is about interaction. It’s like one huge, global conversation. It can be frustratingly shallow at times, but don’t discount it. A lot can be expressed in 140 characters, and barriers break down easily here, where anyone can ‘speak with’ anyone. Focus on finding the right conversations (through following relevant industry/non-industry people and using hashtags) and on engaging in them with the simple goal of adding value to the conversation. Your follower numbers will grow in proportion to your contributions to the conversations.
4. Treat your followers well -- Respond within hours to their tweets (you shouldn’t take more than 24 hours on twitter to do anything) spend time writing original tweets about them, and occasionally RT them. (Don’t RT too much—it clutters up your feed and annoys people. Make your RTs count.)
5. Build on success! -- Success is measured in follower numbers and interaction. If you’re gaining 5 followers a week, that’s respectable. 10 is very good. Consistency in posting is crucial. Keep it up for the foreseeable future.
As you can see, building success on Twitter is both simple and complex. Keeping in mind the point of the network—to build relationships—and using a consistent posting strategy over time, you can increase your influence where, increasingly, it counts.