If you’re a Dorset business and you use Twitter, you are missing a trick if you aren’t taking part in Dorset Hour on Monday nights. It’s one of the best examples we’ve seen of local people, organisations and businesses getting together to network, promote and help each other out using social media.

It’s easy to join in – just include the hashtag #dorsethour somewhere in a tweet between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on a Monday night. You may want to tweet a new product or special offer you want to promote, or you could just sit back, follow the hashtag and see what interests you.

Your tweets don’t have to be purely promotional either. Often people will use the hashtag to ask for recommendations or opinions, so you have expertise in a particular field you may have the opportunity to reply (in doing so positioning yourself as an authority on the subject in Dorset). Here are a few tweets from the most recent Dorset Hour:

You’ll find Dorset Hour particularly useful if you are a B2B business, as there are all sorts of small local businesses on there, eager to network and make connections. There is also a @Dorsethour Twitter account with over 5000 followers, which retweets lots of the best tweets that use the hashtag. This means that even if you have only a small network of followers on Twitter, you can still get your tweets in front of a much larger audience simply by using the #dorsethour hashtag.

Social Media as it Should Be

What makes Dorset Hour so great is that it showcases social media being used for its best and most effective purpose – building relationships. Despite being an exciting, new and revolutionary concept, social media at its core is simply about creating connections between people.

It’s all too easy to pay too much attention to how many followers you have on Twitter and think only about how you can get more, but in fact the real measure of your social media influence is the strength of your relationships. Having 10,000 followers who you have no connection with is nowhere near as beneficial as having 100 followers who know who you are and who you are able to talk to one-on-one.

Not every small business succeeds on Twitter – only by gaining followers that like you, trust you and want you to succeed can you really harness Twitter to help you to drive conversions. Dorset Hour is perfect for helping you build exactly those sorts of relationships, by providing a platform for local people, organisations and businesses to get to know each other on a friendly, informal and mutually beneficial basis.

Give it a go this coming Monday, and let us know how you get on!