Twitter: Making Your Business Feed Better

Every day more and more businesses are adding Twitter to their marketing portfolio. Along with Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is a great way to reach potential customers, share industry knowledge and connect with experts (or become one). But Twitter is more than sharing what’s on your mind or spreading a link to your webpage six times a day. There are proven ways to make your business Twitter feed better – and here they are.

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When you create your Twitter profile, pick a communication objective. What kind of information do you want to share with your audience? And what kind of audience do you want? Some industries can be very specific and coming up with tweets might seem pretty difficult. In that case, try and create a broader objective. For example, a company that sells cloud technology to other businesses could pick a wider topic like office efficiency and productivity. These topics apply to virtually any professional, including the ones in your target market.

Along with your objective, it’s crucial to have a strategy. There are specific times that are best to tweet, when you will get the most viewers, interactions and shares. Since this varies by industry and location, there’s no blanket time to tweet, but a quick Google search can provide a good guide specific to your sector. With that information, plan when you are going to tweet and what you are going to say. Also decide how many tweets will link to your website and how many will link to other industry websites. It’s important to share both types of links so you aren’t seen as completely self-serving. Again, there is no magic answer for every industry; you will need to plan, execute your strategy, review what works and what doesn’t and make changes along the way.

When you’re at the next step, which is creating your content, remember to make it readable and relatable. Even though it’s a company account, it can still have personality. Ask questions, make comments and even crack jokes if it’s appropriate. In other words, be human! Try to create content that you think your audience will want to share. Why? More exposure for your company from peers instead of via advertising. Don’t tweet at people, tweet to them. With your objective and strategy, this will be easy and you’re sure to see results.

My secret weapon when it comes to making the Twitter feed better is social network scheduling services, like Hootsuite. This service will let you create and schedule your tweets in advance. Instead of meticulously watching the clock and tweeting every hour on the hour, you can plan days, weeks or months in advance. This also allows you the opportunity to focus on interacting day-to-day instead of creating and sending content. These platforms can also help with your Twitter analytics.

Tracking retweets will help you gauge how shareable your content is. In Hootsuite, you can use one of your columns to do this, it’s called My Tweets Retweeted. Keeping an eye on how your follower base increases (or decreases) will give you an accurate feel for what you’re doing right (or wrong). You can even count the amount of favorites your content gets so you can create similar content. While ‘favoriting’ a tweet isn’t as impactful as retweeting it, it still shows that a member of your audience liked the content, agreed with the content or at the very least appreciated it. Implementing these tactics is a step in the right direction, towards a popular, well-followed, retweeted Twitter account, which really results in leads, sales and increased profit for your company.

If you are in charge of the Twitter account for your company, remember, people connect with humans, not logos or brands. While the strategy for a business Twitter account should be an intregal part of an overall marketing and business strategy, it still needs to have a human voice and interact with followers as a person, not a business.

What Twitter tips would you offer?

2014: The Year of Pay to Play in Social Media

As the new year starts to unfold, we see a multitude of articles offering up predictions for the 2014.  From fashion, to music, to the economy and of course, social media. What’s funny about these predictions, is, well they are predictable.  Some of them foretell the death of Facebook (not going to happen) while others predict that Google+ will be the king of social networks this year (Want to know a secret?  Google+ isn’t a social network the way most define it).  So, what do you believe?  What predictions are on the mark and what predictions are just plain silly?  Look at the history or experience of the people making the predictions and use common sense!

With all of that being said, I can confidently state: 2014 will be The Year of Pay to Play in Social Media.

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In December, TechCrunch published an article, Facebook: Brands Will Have to Work Harder (Or Buy Ads) For Your Attention – But Fans Still Matter.  The post highlighted what Facebook finally admitted – and brand managers suspected – organic, or non-paid reach for business pages had been decreasing.  Why?  Mainly because Facebook is not showing that content in the newsfeed.  According to Facebook their Billion plus users are sharing so much content that a business breaking through that noise is unlikely just by sharing content organically.  The solution? Promoted Posts and paying to advertise your page. If you have a business page on Facebook, you have probably noticed your reach decreasing and, if you want to reverse that trend, you will have to pay.

So, on Facebook, it is definitely Pay to Play for businesses. What about the other platforms?  Google+ is testing ads that will show up in their newsfeed, promoted accounts and Tweets have been part of Twitter for years, plus you can pay to monetize your Video’s on YouTube.  In other words, pay to play isn’t new, it’s just becoming more apparent and necessary.

One of the fallacies of social media over the years has been it’s free or low-cost. Thankfully that is not true or I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. Social media is a tool, or a set of tools just like direct mail, advertising, PR and everything else that you can fit under the umbrella term of marketing. However, it is not free. Never has been. Never will be. Especially now.  Business owners, marketing professionals, social media consultants, et.al, must face the fact that to cut through the clutter of these various social platforms will require advertising. In addition to advertising, it will require a well planned strategy that includes using and utilizing the social platforms that fit into the niche or target demographics of the  business.

Paying to Play on Social Media also highlights the importance of a business optimizing their own website, but more on that later.

No matter what social platform or platforms you decide to hang your business hat on, get ready to pay; in 2014 and beyond. Those are my thoughts; what are yours?  Will you pay to play?

Self Promotion Is A Social Turn Off

n Sh I enjoy working closely with the team at The Social Buzz Lab; true professionals that know their stuff! I recently published this post on their site and wanted to share it here. Do you know people that constantly promote only themselves via their social channels? Does it turn you off as much as it does the rest of us?

 

Self Promotion makes me sick! Doesn’t it you?8

If you will indulge me just a bit, this post is going to be a combination of ranting against something that irritates me along with thoughts and action steps on how to “not be that person.” Because let’s face it, no one wants to be that person!

me Self Promotion is a Social Turn Off

 

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Old Marketing versus New Marketing

It was quite interesting that I received two packages in the mail on the same day. Why? To me these two packages perfectly highlighted Old Marketing versus New Marketing.

To be fair, the Old Marketing I am referrring to, the Yellow Pages Book, was not techically delivered; it was thrown on the ground, near my mailbox in a plastic bag.  But, I digress.  It arrived the same day as a sample of chocolate from Montazuma chocolate.

This is the Old Marketing

On the same day, I received a sampling of Montazuma Chocolate from Abes Market. Their dark chocolate sample was sinfully delicous. It was fresh and just the perfect combination of chocolate  and sweet, but not too sweet.  The other sample, the Jungle Fever Milk Chocolate with Fruits and Nuts was beyond words!  Simply the best chocolate I have ever eaten!  And yes, I have eaten a lot of chocolate!

So why was this sample New Marketing?  Their representaitve contacted me on Twitter after we started following each other and after they noticed some Tweets about coffee and chocolate.  I provided my address to them privately and before you know it, I have a free sample in the mail.   This is a perfect example of how social media can build a loyal audience!  NOT the free part, but reaching out to individuals and turning them into brand ambassadors! I am a believer in their products and have become a shopper, and obviously a raving fan. Social media is not about free or about which platform a company is on; it’s about buiding a community of brand ambassadors.

Social or New Marketing works. Simple as that. 

This is from their website, AbesMarket.com  Follow @AbesMarket on Twitter and try out their products today! 

Abe’s Market is the online marketplace for great natural products. We connect buyers seeking amazing natural products with the people who make them. There’s no need to prowl the Internet for a broader natural product selection than can be found at your local natural market. At Abe’s Market, you can get all your natural product buying done in one place.

Want to connect with me?  That is easy, I am always on!  You can Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, add me to your Circles on Google+ and connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

Discover Facebook Pages

There is a little known, to must users, location on Facbook where you can discover new Facebook Pages.  Here is the link: 

Facebook.com/Pages

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This page provides you with several search criteria for pages that you may want to like or follow. You can narrow your search by Music, Movies, Television, People, Sports, Brands & Products, Companies & Organizations as well as Local Business & Places.  It is important to note that the Local Business & Places is NOT business located near you. These pages are pages that were created using Local Business & Places category.

When you visit this page, you will see Page Invites on the right side of the screen, along with which of your friends suggested this page to you.  Not sure why Facebook doesn’t make these recommendations easier to find, but maybe that will change one day. 

Below the Page Invites on the right, you will find Friends Similar to You.  This shows your friends and if you click on it, you will discover the pages they like.  This can be helpful in engaging with pages that are owned by your friends or that may be important to your friends. 

I encourage you to visit the Discover Pages page often to see what is new and what your friends have recommended to you!

What are your favorite pages?

Want to connect with me?  You can Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, add me to your Circles on Google+ and connect with me on LinkedIn.