If you haven't left the nest to enter the world of Twitter or are stumped on what to broadcast, the time for takeoff is now. In 140-character "tweets," you can perform market research, promote specials and even develop partnerships with distributors. Use the following 10 tweet-worthy topics to get started.
Twitter treats.Offer followers a noontime discount, like a deli special or a reduced-price drink with a sandwich purchase. Example: Lunch sandwiches $4, only for our Twitter followers—give our cashier the word "Tweet" to get your discount.
An article. Find a controversial, interesting or unusual health, nutrition or beauty story from a news source, blogger or natural doctor. Use bit.ly or Hoot Suite to shorten the URL. Example: Is Mercola right about vitamin D? (link).
Upcoming events. These are prime for retweeting, which gives you more exposure. Remember—A tweet under 110 characters is more likely to be retweeted by your followers because it leaves room to credit the source (@yourstore). Example: Mix it up! Only two spots left in our kids' cooking class on Oct. 15. Call 555-3434 to register.
Shout-outs. Engage your followers by asking questions and getting feedback. Example: What's your favorite natural product? Is there anything you wish you could find on our shelves?
A recipe. Post a recipe from your website. Example: Looking for the perfect fall meal? Try our pumpkin soup and grilled cheesebread recipe: (link).
A healthful trivia quiz. Use quizzes to introduce new products and educate customers. Offer a free cookie or deli treat to your first follower with the correct answer. Example: Which ancient grain starts with a "Q"?
In-season, locally grown produce. Example: This week's local bounty @NatureMarket: squashes, gourds, apples, last of the pears.
A photo. Use a Twitter photo uploader like Twitpic to tweet a shot of a new product, in-season veggies or the employee of the month. Example: Do you know your butternut squash from your buttercup? Our produce manager does (photo link).
Your Facebook page. Point out specials, coupons and discounts that your fans are in on. Example: Do you like us? We like you too. Friend us on Facebook to find out about October's deals in the bakery (link).
A Follow Friday tweet. These tweets, prefaced with #FF, are a way to draw attention to favorite people, producers or farmers. Example: #FF to favorite natural bakeries in our area: @goodbreads @greenbread @ecobake.