Twitter is fast becoming a useful tool for small businesses across the country — allowing independent retailers to tap into new customers, giving local tradesmen a chance to showcase their work and allowing businesses of all descriptions to promote themselves.
As part of this rise in the use of social media for small businesses I launched Braintree Hour in the summer and more recently Chelmsford Hour and Southend Hour. So what are they all about?
They’re based on the concept of Twitter ‘chat hours’ of which there are thousands for a whole range of industries, hobbies and areas. Braintree Hour is aimed at businesses that are based in or around the Braintree District and that provide a service in the area, though the doors are open for others to pop in!
Taking part in Braintree Hour is incredibly simple to do. Simply log into Twitter at 4pm every Wednesday and type #BraintreeHour into the discover tab to follow the discussion. Then when you’d like to join in,just tweet with the hashtag included in your message.
A key part to Braintree Hour is engagement and the multiplier benefits from everyone promoting one another. As such the best way to make sure you get the most from weekly event is to ensure you engage with as many participants as you can, retweet as many messages during the hour as you can and follow as many participants as possible.
It’s become a big success incredibly quickly with the latest Braintree Hour having nearly 200 participants, 1,500 tweets, reached over 250,000 users and resulted in over two million timeline deliveries.
One of the greatest aspects of Braintree Hour (and its cousins Chelmsford Hour and Southend Hour) is the amazing organic community that has grown up around them. A diverse community of all sorts of different businesses working together to support one another whether that may be through promotion, advice or support.
Braintree Hour is growing every week and recently we have even had a legal firm, , give free legal advice right on Twitter during Braintree Hour. We’ve also held real world networking events like the one pictured below.