As far as I can tell, the Valley just does not get Twitter. On Facebook and Instagram, there are countless examples of businesses, governments and individuals taking full advantage of those platforms. Yet many of these same success stories fail miserably at Twitter (hint: if your timeline consists only of automatically shared Facebook posts, cut off halfway through and ending with an fb.me link, you’re doing it wrong).
Instead of going into what not todo on Twitter (that’s another post for another time), let’s focus on five feeds that are doing it right:
This one is remarkable to me because it’s a chain restaurant, and it’s rare to see individual locations marketing themselves on social media at all, let alone on Twitter. They focus on delicious food photographs, reminders about discounts and deals, and retweeting customer comments. While they could certainly be more conversational, they are still doing a better job than your average Valley restaurant.
Border Patrol, Active Military, Police, Fire Fighters and EMTs enjoy 30% off when dining with us as a small thank you for all you do!
— Texadelphia McAllen (@TexadelphiaRGV) August 30, 2014
There’s plenty to do in Pharr, and it’s very easy to keep track of if you follow the city’s Twitter account. News, events, and public information are shared consistently with relevant links and lots of photos. Rio Grande City and McAllen are also strong in this area.
This annual music festival only happens for a couple of days in March, but their account stays active all year long, sharing media from years past, asking fans who they want to see each year, and building up lineup and artist announcements into events onto themselves. Twitter seems to trend very young in the Valley, and since that is NSN’s core audience, they smartly engage them there.
— NEVER SAY NEVER FEST (@nsnfestival) August 27, 2014
This lotería-themed 17th Street bar might have the most brilliant marketing strategy in the Valley: They recreated the background of the “El Borracho” card as a mural on their wall, minus the titular borracho. And everybody takes their picture in front of it, posting it all over Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Suerte shares these photos mixed with irreverent humor and colorful cocktails, and it’s amazing. (Their sister bar, Thirsty Monkey, has a similar photo-ready wall, made to look like you’re taking a mugshot.)
Hunger is a huge issue in the Rio Grande Valley, and our regional food bank needs a constant influx of food and monetary donations to keep up with demand. Their timeline is a mix of news and updates, invites to fundraising events and retweets of the many folks that interact with them (which of course gets them even more engaged).
— Food Bank RGV (@foodbankrgv) August 30, 2014
Lessons to Learn
There are plenty of lessons to learn from these feeds, but let’s focus on the most important ideas. First, it’s clear there’s a real person behind each account, with a genuine enthusiasm for what they’re sharing. Secondly, all of these accounts rely heavily on photos, which is the most effective way to increase engagement on Twitter. Finally, they follow their fans and retweet them frequently. Most Valley-based Twitter feeds would be wise to follow these lessons.