Small business marketing using twitter

Loads has been written about how to use twitter for marketing and generating new customers using social media, principally Twitter and Facebook.  Apparently its all about “customer engagement” and fancy business words like that.   Some companies use it to field customer service enquiries, like NEC Australia.  But what about customer acquisition?  And how can your average small business owner make use of it?  How do they use twitter effectively whilst trying to run their own business day-to-day?

VamoSpanish – Case Study

Having recently taken some time out to travel overseas, I tweeted asking which suburb was best to stay in Buenos Aires, “Palermo or San Telmo”.  I got a couple of responses and a twitter user called VamoSpanish started to follow me.  They were based in Buenos Aires and were a Spanish school.

As I intended to learn Spanish, I sent them a message about classes, a dialogue followed and I ended up becoming a customer of theirs.  Having now spoken to them, they confirmed that they have a standard set of location-based searches set up for “Buenos Aires” and surrounding suburbs, along with “Spanish classes” and variations.  They check this once a day or as and when they can, as they are busy and do not have a dedicated marketing person, let alone social media person, it’s just a pet project from interested staff members.

Yet, in this instance it was a very effective strategy and resulted in a new client, who spent AU$400, at a very low-cost to them.

Setting up location-based searches or keyword searches is extremely easy when using a twitter client like tweetdeck and is extremely easy to scan and see if there are any relevant results in just a few minutes each day.


Although this interaction resulted in a new customer for VamoSpanish, they could have actually improved this interaction by sending me a short response to my original question of where to stay in Buenos Aires; “Palermo or San Telmo”.  This would have removed the need for me to act and make the first contact with them and would have gained my trust by answering my question impartially with no shameless promotion, making me more likely to become a customer when I arrived in Buenos Aires.

For many marketing professionals this post may seem “obvious”, but for many small business owners who do not have much online experience and who are trying to work out how they can make use of the social media world, it may not be.


Social media platforms are not for everyone and it may not be worthwhile investing too much energy into them and losing focus on ensuring you actually provide a quality service to your customers.  However, it can be used in very simple, time efficient ways by small and large businesses alike in very different ways to effectively communicate with customers.

You should follow me on twitter here

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