How to Use Twitter if You Are a Small Business

As a small business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of money to pour into advertising or time to spend on social marketing. You may try your hand at SEO or may have even hired a company to help out, but if you are like most small businesses, you rely on word of mouth to build your customer base.   Today’s modern “word of mouth” is social media outlets like linkedin, manta, Facebook and Twitter.

Over the next few months, we will be presenting you with a series of articles that will help you leverage the power of social media, search and business listings to promote your business.  These articles will be in plain language that every small business owner will understand and will help you make the most of your time and money with surprisingly great results!  We start with Twitter.

Twitter can help you spread the word about your business without a large investment of time or money.

The first step in using Twitter for your small business is creating an account and profile. Make sure that your screen name, known as your Twitter handle, matches up with your business. Avoid writing an overly clever profile. Keep it simple and describe exactly what you do in plain language.

Twitter is a network of followers. You want to follow individuals and companies that add value to your Twitter experience. It’s a good idea to follow other small businesses rather than Fortune 500 companies. In turn, you want followers who are either current customers or potential customers.

When you’ve built a solid following of customers or potential customers, offer some Twitter-only specials. This will make your followers feel more valued and engaged. You always want followers to pay attention to your tweets.

Be sure to include your twitter account on stationary, business cards, menus and your website.  Encourage people to follow you and provide incentive in the way of a discount, free service or another promotion.

When used appropriately, Twitter can be a useful tool for small businesses. Be cautious about over-Tweeting. You have 140 characters to work with per tweet. Make them count, and you’ll see your efforts pay dividends.

In the next blog in the twitter series, we will go over short cut keys and how to create meaningful messages that help you promote and grow your business.

Happy Tweeting!

 

 

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Common LinkedIn Mistakes

LinkedIn is the number one social media platform for professionals with an estimated participation of as high as 83% of US professionals! While most professionals use LinkedIn, many make common mistakes.

Below is a list of LinkedIn Tips for what not to do.

You are not Active in LinkedIn on a Consistent Basis

You sign up for LinkedIn, but are only active when looking for a job. Well, first of all this could be a bit obvious to your current employer. But more importantly, your profile should be updated on a regular basis as you connect with other professionals that will help you in your current and future endeavors.

Your LinkedIn Profile is Incomplete

It is important that your profile is complete; this means an image (and not the one with the Hawaiian shirt and fruit drink with an umbrella), complete employment history, a description of what you do on a regular basis, details about your company, the types of networks you belong to, blogs and more.

You Don’t Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Think of LinkedIn as a professional Search Engine and optimize it with keywords that will help both you and your company be found for relative terms, jobs and connections.

You Don’t Belong to the Right LinkedIn Groups

There are thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of groups on LinkedIn. Join the ones that are most relevant to you and be active. Sure, join the ones that might include alumni groups and other interest groups, but don’t forget to join the ones that are pertinent to your market segments.

You’re Not Sharing Content

Oh no, this one hits home. I write two to three blogs a week and I never share them. When you write a blog post or your company creates a valuable white paper, share it on your LinkedIn feed! Don’t just share content you have written, but share content you think others would love to read.

You’re Not Building Connections

Constantly add and accept connections from people you know both professionally and personally.

You’re Not Using LinkedIn Answers

You are not alone on this one. According to industry experts, LinkedIn Answers is one of the most underutilized sections of LinkedIn. In this section people ask questions and if you know the answers or can point them to an article or source for the answer, you can answer in a forum. LinkedIn Answers sections get visited by people with similar questions over time, so the staying power means you have a wide and lasting reach.

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Social Media Rules the World

Does Social Media rule the world? If you asked me that question three years ago, I probably would have said no, but I was never the type of person who had to have a page on My Space or use Twitter. I never imagined I would join the rest of the world after my 65 year old dad asked me, “Why aren’t you on Facebook?” It was then that I pondered, “Am I the only person who is not on Facebook?” I guess you could say he talked me into joining and once that happened I was hooked.

So what compels us to want to be part of such of the world of social networking? Social media provides us with the ability to stay in contact with the ones we love in a way that just a few years ago would not be possible. It reconnects us with old friends to share thoughts, pictures, politics, or news stories that are important to us.

Millions of people around the world are connected to leading social media networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. I can only imagine this is just the beginning of something bigger to come..

So, If you ask me today if Social Media rules the World I would say, “It Will.”

 

 

 

 

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Social Media Events That Shook Our World

Like Apple, MicroSoft, and Google changed the way that we all live, so hasn’t the world of Social Media.  People all over the world tweet, chat, facebook, video or share photos in ways that would not have been imaginable ten years ago.   Social Media has had a profound impact on social, political, economical, and legal issues from Orlando, Florida (Casey Anthony) to natural disasters (Hurricane Irene, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami) to social and political unrest (Egypt, Lybia, and more!). So when Social Media Week announced their choices for top ten Social Media Events I thought I had the list down and well, a few of their choices surprised me.

1)                The number one spot went to the uprisings in the Middle East.  Social Media not only transformed and galvenized the citizens of these countries, but kept the rest of the world informed and put leaders on alert that there was a new type of revolution against tyranical governments and that is the Social Media Revolution. 

2)                The impact of Social Media on the events of the Japanes earthquake and tsunami was no surprise.  Not only did it provide a window to the aftermath of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami,  Tweets, videos, blogs and facebook group pages connected families with their loved ones.

3)                Number three shocked me.  I had actually forgotten about this event, but Social Media Week voted Julian Assange’s Wikileaks scandal as their third choice.  While I have more than mixed emotions about the use of Social Media to potentially impact and put our troops at risk, I must admit that with out social media the age old debate over freedoms versus freedom of speech reached a new level and a new audience.

4)                OK, number four should be no surpise to any one.  The world watched and tweeted about the train wreck called Charlie Sheen.  I resist using his catch phrase, but must admire his ability to capture the nation’s obsession with reality, tragedy, and celebrity.  Charlie was able to amass  one million twitter followers faster than any other “celebrity” before him.  Now Demi Moore should take note that you can rise and fall just as fast with Social Media and stop tweeting naked pictures of herself, thank  you!

5)                I am embarrassed to even write this one, but number five is the man with the most unfortunate name and one who shouuld have remembered the lessons of the school yard with kids teasing him about having a name like Anthony Weiner.  Honestly how could he think it was a good idea to tweet a picture of his, well … need I say more.

6)                OK, I have to admit that I have absolutely no idea what this event is actually about, but Rebecca Black’s viral YouTube hit and subsequent backlash defines the new entertainment business model.  After watching the YouTube video, I learned a few things about the power of Social Media to catapult someone to stardum, but Rebecca I knew that Saturday comes after Friday, but thanks!

7)                Number seven is one that my friends and  I witnessed first hand with our tiara wearing, champagne sipping royal wedding slumber party.  My much younger friends spent as much time on their iPhones reading and posting tweets as they did eating the hand made scones my husband made to honor the event!  In the days leading up to the event 70% of all social media mentions focused on the Royal Wedding.

8)                I have been busy launching MyLocally.com, so I have to admit I was a bit behind on the news when my friend Steve facebooked about the riots in the UK. Note only did Social Media play an important part in informing the world, politicians blamed the violence on text messages, mobile devices, and instant messaging.  So much so that they considered blocking access to social networking sites. 

9)                Hurrican Irene came in at number nine, with tweets on par with those about the tragedy in Japan.

10)             Number ten isn’t a tweet or a post, but instead the recent offers, buy outs and ipos in the Social Media space; LivingSocial, Pandora, DealMaps, Groupon, Linkedin and more.

These top ten events only emphasize the importance of Social Media on today’s society.  

The impact that Social Media has had on businesses is as large and I promise to write my next article on harnessing the power of Social Media for businesses.

Until then – I think I will tweet the world (OK, my measly 50 followers) that I am saying good night!

 

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Social Media – What’s Next?

Social Media has evolved since 1971 when two machines sitting next to each sent a message to today with both Facebook and Google competing to be the Social Media King.

Take a look at this slide show, that we found on wmur.com – How many do you actually remember?  Hey wasn’t 1971 about the same time Al Gore was inventing the Internet?

Enjoy – if you remember them all or some that aren’t mentioned … send a comment

 The Evolution of Social Media

If you can’t see the captions, turn them on, it is interesting!

 

 

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