How to Use Twitter to Advertise Your Local Business for Free

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Keeping your customers informed about your product or service takes time and effort. While most advertising can be expensive, Twitter offers an opportunity to stay in touch with customers and build your clientele for free. You don't have to pay for a Twitter account for your business, and it only takes a few minutes to register and learn how to tweet. Your success as a business owner on Twitter depends on your ability to get customers from your local area to follow you. You don't tweet direct advertisements to your followers, but relationships you establish with your followers through Twitter can help expand your business.

Announce your Twitter account on your business website and email newsletter. Invite customers on your business email list to follow your business on Twitter. Offer coupon discounts for your products or services as a signup incentive. Use the "Find People" feature to search for tweeters in your area who share your interests. Follow relevant people recommended by Twitter and other industry peers and expert authorities to create an informative ecosystem that's relevant to you and your followers.

Tweet daily about topics relevant to your business. Type your tweets in an interesting "voice" to keep people reading. Whether your tone is funny or serious, aim to leave people wanting to see more from you. Tweet your expert opinion about products and services that you offer. Stimulate discussions by posting links and opinion to news stories relevant to your business.

Follow media outlets and journalists in your community. Watch for active journalists, and respond to them when they tweet about topics relevant to your business. Use Twitter to find opportunities to get your business featured or mentioned in local news stories. Be tactful when you communicate with journalists. Don't turn off media contacts by being too pushy.

Stay informed about current Twitter topics in your local area by choosing your location from the "Trending" menu. If your location is not in the "Trending" menu, you can find other tweets from your location by typing the "#" symbol in front of the name of your location in the "Find" box. Save searches so that you can monitor them daily.

Communicate with followers who contact you through Twitter with questions about your product or service. Familiarize yourself with Twitter functionality so that you won't miss "messages" or "mentions." People can send you a "direct message" if you follow them. People you don't follow have to contact you in the public Twitter timeline. Be responsive about questions, and inquiries build a reputation among followers in your local area that can translate over time into offline sales opportunities.