Rob Beadle

Copywriter for small businesses

Rob Beadle

Copywriter for small businesses

How to Promote Like a Pro on Twitter, Without Spending a Penny

Hurrah!

You’ve set up your small business.

Now, you want to get your name known.

“Ahh, use social media”, says everyone.

But, how?

You’re starting from scratch.

You have few followers.

You don’t have the money to advertise.

Here’s how to promote your business on Twitter without spending a penny.

The 3 Big Benefits of Twitter for Your Small Business

Why Twitter?

I’ll be honest with you, not everyone likes Twitter.

Until I used it myself, I couldn’t see the point of the modern-day ticker tape.

But that was before I discovered how useful Twitter can be for a small business.

Twitter may not have the visual appeal of Instagram. Or the omnipresence of Facebook.

But it does have some great benefits:

1. It’s Free to Reach a Wide Audience

Yes, you can pay for adverts on Twitter.

But, you don’t have to!

You can get your posts seen by more people than just your followers, without having to pay for adverts.

Unlike with Facebook, Twitter doesn’t restrict who can see your posts.

If you post it, they will see it.

2. You Can Network with Other Businesses

Twitter is ideal for networking.

There’s usually a single person behind a Twitter account, rather than an anonymous email address (info@blah.com).

So, when you contact someone you’re more likely to reach the actual person you want.

You can tweet or message any other Twitter user (assuming you’ve not blocked each other). It doesn’t matter how many followers you each have.

Twitter is a great leveller.

There’s also a lot more informality to messaging someone on Twitter.

If you want to make the first contact with someone you’ve not met – Twitter is better than email.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Twitter users are still growing.

3. You Can Use a Global Tool to Target Local

Twitter is a global platform, but you can target a post to a particular area or a topic.

As a small business, this is ideal to help you reach the people you want to.

Whether you’re promoting a product, selling a service or needing to network – you can focus your efforts on a town, city or county that’s right for you.

Warning! #Hashtags Can Seriously Help You

I know what you’re thinking.

So, what’s the downside?

Well, like other platforms, it takes time to grow your followers on Twitter.

You won’t get a huge audience overnight.

But, there’s a shortcut to reach a much bigger audience.

Hashtags.

Okay, that sounds a bit technical, but it’s not.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is like an electronic Post-it note. It’s simply a label you stick on a post to help people find it.

You write it as #whateveryouwant where whateveryouwant is the name of the label or keyword you want to use.

When someone searches for #whateveryouwant on Twitter, they’ll see a list of all the posts that contain that hashtag.

So if you write a post like the following, it won’t just be seen by your followers. It’ll also be seen by everyone who searches for the hashtag #wibble.

Compose a Tweet

The great thing about Twitter is it doesn’t matter whether you have 1 follower, 100 followers or 1,000 followers.

Hashtags work in exactly the same way.

So even if you only have 1 follower, but 10,000 people search for #wibble, you’ll be seen by them as well.

How to Be A Hit with #Hashtags

In theory, you can make anything a hashtag.

As you can probably tell, I made up #wibble.

But the problem is, if people don’t search for #wibble on Twitter, it will only be seen by your followers.

So, you want to use hashtags that are relevant to your posts and that other people are looking for.

How do you know which hashtags people are looking for?

1. Trending hashtags

These are the most popular hashtags (by posts and searches) at any point in time. These are shown on your homepage on Twitter as seen below.

Trending Twitter Hashtags

2. Make one up and hope for the best

Not the best option I’d say.

3. Use Twitter Hours or tweet chats

A Twitter Hour or tweet chat is a way that people with a common interest meet and chat or post on Twitter. This is the best option for finding popular hashtags.

Twitter Hours are great for small businesses. You can get your name out there, without spending a penny!

How to Promote Like a Pro with Twitter Hours

Most Twitter Hours take place at a specific time and day each week (although there are exceptions).

These are run by a particular account who’ll often retweet your posts. As a result, even more people will see your tweets!

If you search for the hashtag of a Twitter Hour you can read the discussion or the posts on that topic.

But you want to focus on those that are most relevant to your business.

This could be:

  • A particular interest or field e.g. #CraftHour for handmade crafts.
  • A competition e.g. #Queenof to celebrate women in business.
  • A local area e.g. #HuddersfieldHour for people and businesses in Huddersfield.

Twitter Hours are more effective when you engage with other people during the chat. Otherwise, they become a wall of adverts.

This can include liking, retweeting or commenting on other posts.

Keep it social!

Map of UK Local Twitter Hours

To help you start, I’ve created an up to date map of the active UK Local Twitter hours.

You’ll find lots of lists on the internet of Twitter hours. The hitch is that Twitter Hours come and go. There are no fixed rules about how they’re run. They can stop due to the host running out of time or a lack of interest in that area.

So, to save you time, I’ve checked which UK Local Twitter Hours are still active, at the time of writing.

By active I mean:

  • There’s a specific Twitter account hosting the Hour.
  • Twitter users in that local area regularly use the Twitter Hour.
  • There aren’t just a handful of Twitter users posting spam.

Click an icon on the map to see the name of that local Twitter Hour along with its day and time.

Please note: For regional Twitter Hours, I’ve tried to place the location pin on the largest city in that region. If you spot any errors or omissions to the active UK Local Twitter Hours please let me know.

UK Local Twitter Hours

These are the active UK local Twitter Hours sorted by geography.

The list contains the Hashtag for the Twitter Hour, Day and Time of the Twitter Hour and Host of the Twitter Hour.

Scotland
#argyllhour 2nd Wed of month 8-9pm @argyllnetwork
#ayrshirehour All of the time @ayrshirehour
#dunoonhour Tuesday 8-9pm @dunoonhour
#highlandshour Thursday 8-9pm @highlandshour
#perthshirehour Wednesday 8-9pm @perthshirehour
#scotlandhour Wednesday 9-10pm @scotlandhour
#stirlinghour Tuesday 8-9pm @stirlinghour

Northern Ireland
#belfasthour Thursday 9-10pm @belfasthourni
#fermanaghhour Tuesday 9-10pm @fermanagh_hour

Wales
#cardiffhour Wednesday 8-9pm @tweetcardiff
#waleshour Sunday 8-9pm @waleshour
#wrexhamhour Wednesday 8-9pm @wrexhamhour
#yagym Wednesday 8-9pm @yrawrgymraeg

England
#centralhour Wednesday 8-9pm @centralhour
#midlandshour Wednesday 8-9pm @midlandshour
#northeasthour Monday 8-9pm and Tuesday 2-3pm @northeasthour
#northwesthour Wednesday 8-9pm and Friday 9-10pm @northwesthour
#southwesthour Thursday 8-9pm @southwesthour
#yorkshirehour Wednesday 8-9pm @yorkshire_hour

Bedfordshire
#bedfordhour Monday 8.30-9.30pm @bedshour

Birmingham
#birminghamhour Monday 12-1pm and Wednesday 8-9pm @birminghamhour

Cambridgeshire
#cambridgehour Thursday 8-9pm @cambridgehour
#elyhour Wednesday 8-9pm @elyhour
#stneotshour Thursday 7.30-8.30pm @stneotshour

Cheshire
#cheshirehour Monday 8-9pm @cheshirehours
#chesterhour Tuesday 8-9pm @chesterhour
#stockporthour Monday 8-9pm @stockporthour

Cornwall
#cornwallhour Wednesday 7.30-8.30pm @cornwallhour
#falmouthhour All of the time @falmouthhour
#penzancehour Sunday 7.30-8.30pm @penzancehour
#stivescornwallhour Friday 6-7pm @stiveshour1
#trurohour Tuesday 8-9pm @trurohour

County Durham
#clevelandhour Friday 10-11am @clevelandhour
#codurhamhour Wednesday 2-3pm @codurhamhour
#teestime Wednesday 2-3pm @teestime1

Cumbria
#cumbriahour Monday 7-8pm @cumbriahour

Devon
#devonhour Wednesday 8-9pm @devon_hour
#exeterhour Thursday 8-9pm @exeter_hour
#newtonabbothour Wednesday 8.30-9.30pm @newtonabbothour
#tivertonhour All of the time @tivertonhour
#torbayhour Monday 8-9pm @torbay_hour

Dorset
#dorsethour Monday 7.30-8.30pm @dorsethour

East Sussex
#brightonhour Monday 8.30-9.30pm @brighton_hour
#ebhour Thursday 7.30-8.30pm @eastbournehour
#leweshour Tuesday 8.30-9.30pm @leweshour
#uckfieldbizhour Thursday 8-9pm @uckfieldbizhour

East Yorkshire
#beverleyhour Tuesday 8-9pm @beverleyhour
#hullhour Thursday 8-9pm @hullhour

Essex
#colchesterhour Tuesday 4-5pm @colchesterhour
#essexhour Sunday 1-2pm @theessexhour
#harlowhour Wednesday 4-5pm @harlowhour

Gloucestershire
#gloshour Wednesday 8-9pm @glhour
#tewkesburyhour Friday 8-9pm @tewkesburyhour

Herefordshire
#herefordhour Monday 1-2pm @herefordhour2
#hertshour Monday 8-9pm @hertshour

Kent
#folkestonehour Wednesday 8-9pm @folkestonehour

Lancashire
#lancasterhour Tuesday 8-9pm @lancasterhour
#prestonhour Monday 8-9pm @prestonhour

Leeds
#leedshour Wednesday 8-9pm @leedshour

Leicestershire
#hinckleyhour Tuesday 8-9pm @hinckleyhour1

Lincolnshire
#lincshour Monday 8-9pm @lincshour

Liverpool
#liverpoolhour Thursday 8-9pm @liverpoolhour

London
#ealinghour Tuesday 8-9pm @ealinghour
#greenwichhour Tuesday 7.30-8.30pm @greenwichhour
#londonhour Monday 7.30-8.30pm @london_hour

Manchester
#manchesterhour Thursday 8-9pm @manchester1hour

Norfolk
#norfolkhour Monday 8.30-9.30pm @norfolk_hour
#norwichhour Monday 8-9pm @norwichhour

North Yorkshire
#hambletonhour Wednesday 7-8pm @hambletonhour
#harrogatehour Monday 8-9pm @harrogatehour
#maltonhour Monday 8-9pm @maltonhour
#ryedalehour Wednesday 7-8pm @ryedalehour
#whitbyhour Wednesday 7-8pm @whitbyhour
#yorkbizhour Friday 10-11am @yorkhbizhour
#yorkhour Monday 8-9pm @yorkhour

Northamptonshire
#corbyhour Thursday 4-5pm @madeincorby
#ketteringhour Monday 4-5pm @ketteringhour
#northantshour Thursday 8-9pm @northantshouruk

Nottinghamshire
#mansfieldhour Thursday 7-8pm @tweetmansfield

Oxfordshire
#abingdonhour Wednesday 7.30-8.30pm and Thursday 2-3pm @abingdonhour
#witneyhour All of the time @witneyhour

Shropshire
#bridgnorthhour Monday 8-9pm @bridgnorthhour1
#ludlowhour Wednesday 2-3pm @ludlowhour
#shrewsburyhour Thursday 8-9pm @shrewsburyhour
#telfordhour Tuesday 8-9pm @telfordhour
#whitchurchhour Tuesday 8-9pm @whitchurchhour

Somerset
#somersethour Thursday 8-9pm @somersethour

South Yorkshire
#doncasterhour Tuesday 8-9pm @doncasterhour
#rotherhamhour Thursday 8-9pm @rotherhamiss
#sheffieldhour Tuesday 8-9pm @sheffieldhour
#southyorkshirehour Thursday 8-9pm @syorkshirehour

Staffordshire
#cannockhour Thursday 7-8pm @cannockhour
#lichfieldhour Wednesday 7-8pm @lichfieldhour
#staffordhour Thursday 8-9pm @staffordhour
#walsallhour Thursday 2-3pm @businesswalsall

Suffolk
#burystedmundshour Sunday 8-9pm @wlbsehour
#suffolkhour Wednesday 8.30-9.30pm @suffolk_hour

Surrey
#wokinghour Wednesday 8-9pm @wokinghour

Sussex
#sussexhour Thursday 8.30-9.30pm @sussexhouruk

Tyne & Wear
#sunderlandhour Thursday 8-9pm @sunderland_hour

Warwickshire
#nuneatonhour Thursday 7-8pm @nuneatonhour
#rugbyhour Thursday 8.30-9.30pm @rugbyhour
#solihullhour Tuesday 7-8pm @solihullhour
#warwickhour Tuesday 8-9pm @warwickhour
#warwickshirehour Thursday 8-9pm @warkshour

West Sussex
#chichesterhour Tuesday 8-9pm and Thursday 12-1pm @chichesterhr
#horshamhour Wednesday 8-9pm @horshamhour
#worthinghour Wednesday 8-9pm @worthinghour

West Yorkshire
#bradfordhour 1st Thu of month 8-9pm @bradfordhour
#holmfirthhour Sunday 8-9pm @holmfirthhour
#huddersfieldhour Thursday 8-9pm @huddersfieldbiz
#ilkleyhour Monday 7-8pm @ilkleyhour
#kirkleeshour Thursday 8-9pm @kirklees_hour
#pontcashour Wednesday 8-9pm @pontandcas
#slaithwaitehour Wednesday 8-9pm @slaithwaitehour
#wakeyhour Thursday 8-9pm @socialwakefield
#wetherbyhour Tuesday 8-9pm @wetherbyhour

Wiltshire
#salisburyhour Wednesday 8-9pm @Salisburyhour
#swindonhour Thursday 8-9pm @Swindonhour

Worcestershire
#eveshamhour Thursday 8-9pm @eveshamhour
#halesowenhour Wednesday 8-9pm @halesowenhour
#worcestershirehour Monday 8-9pm and Wednesday 12-1pm @worcestershirehour

In Summary

As a small business, you need to use tools that will give you a headstart.

Twitter is a simple but inexpensive tool that can help you promote your business.

With Twitter Hours you can advertise, network and reach new customers for free.

Which Twitter Hours do you use? Let me know so I can update this list for the future.

Further articles on how to use social media for your small business:

10 Practical Ways That Social Media Can Boost Your Small Business

Photo Credit: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

 

 

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