A Low Maintenance Twitter Guide for Rural Businesses
Maintaining a social media presence on multiple platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. – lets your rural business engage more potential customers online. For high volume networks like Twitter, however, it’s easy to end up putting more into maintaining your account than you are actually get out of it.
Regardless of the risks, every rural business stands to benefit from implementing, at least, a low maintenance Twitter marketing strategy. Building a simple strategy and using a user-friendly social media management tool to actualize it will give your rural business all the benefits of Twitter marketing, without the unrealistic time commitment.
In rural areas, social media use has increased tenfold between 2005 and 2015. While those who live in rural areas are still less likely to use social media than those in suburban and urban areas, a Pew study found that 58% of rural residents use social media . Social media marketing, then, is an up and coming advertising technique.
The Potential and the Limits of Twitter Marketing
Because it mobilizes people like no other network, Twitter is both Hollywood and Gaza’s favorite social network. Its 290 million active accounts include many celebrities, politicians, activists, public figures, and (yes) businesses that engage with the public over the microblogging platform.
In fact, Donald Trump; the GOP leading presidential candidate uses Twitter to not only to mobilize his followers, but to spread his messaging of “Making America Great Again” and attacking other candidates. And apparently it has been working for Mr. Trump.
An example of a Donald J. Trump Tweet:
Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
The American people are sick and tired of not being able to lead normal lives and to constantly be on the lookout for terror and terrorists!
On Twitter, users may share short text, photo messages, or links of up to 140 characters. The concise format makes Twitter an ideal platform for live tweeting from business or industry events. Hashtags let multiple accounts comment on the same event, facilitating public discourse and word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.
According to a Sprout Social study, 17% of adults (18 and older) living in rural areas use Twitter. This number is significantly less than the 25% of adults in urban areas who use Twitter. It could be that the network’s role as a town crier is not as relevant in sparsely populated areas .
Twitter is a high volume, low quality social media network. Unfortunately, this model has its limits. The number of active Twitter users declined in the last quarter of 2015 . In rural Saskatchewan, for example, one in three Twitter users are inactive . Users, in general, have little patience for low quality content. A high volume of boring or irrelevant tweets could easily have contributed to Twitter’s recent stagnation.
An in-depth Social Bakers study concluded that businesses should aim to put out approximately three tweets per day. This number maximizes engagement: any less and your followers might overlook you, any more and you might bore them . Of course, still only tweet when you have something interesting to say. Nobody likes spam.
Saving Time with a Social Media Management System
A social media management system that schedules tweets and synchronizes Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts is a huge time saver. Also, since small rural businesses usually don’t have huge marketing needs, you may be able to use freemium systems without paying.
There are management systems – Tweepi, SocialBro, TweetDeck, ManageFlitter, etc. – dedicated to Twitter. Because they’re meant to juggle multiple Twitter accounts, however, they’re not especially useful for small businesses. Try an integrated system, like freemium Hootsuite, to manage your business accounts on multiple networks at once.