Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday Morning Marketeer, Business Uses for Twitter

Monday Morning Marketeer, 6-15-09 Business Uses for Twitter

So all the TV commercials on twitter are leading you to believe it is just for teenagers or parents trying to be cool enough to communicate with their kids. But are there really business applications that can help you market your business?

In tough economic times, I hear business owners tell me that any interaction that they have on line or off has to have a direct result or some type of return on investment.

What business owners are finally beginning to realize is that even with your time you must be concerned about your ROI or return on investment. Even though Twitter is free it is different for every person, business, and situation as far as what you get back for the time you put in.

First you must look at your goals…
.What do you hope to obtain with your twittering, what ROI do you want from your time?

If you are investing time, when do you want a payback and what do you want that payback to be? Are you looking for something along the way? If you are a Machiavellian, you are always looking at the end result. Isn’t all business promotion about the end result? But there are purists who will tell you it’s all about the journey and that’s the beauty of twittering. It’s about building relationships. If used in a creative, entertaining and informative way, the realy beauty of twittering will unfold for you. The return on investment will be in the building of relationships, the cultivation of new clients, the extension of your network.

Every expert I know is touting Twitter as a social media tool that is evolving into an “everything tool”….business, research, news, events, communication, media distribution. So there is not much that cannot be done on Twitter….the only limit seems to be the imagination of the twitterer.

. For most users the real challenge is not in finding ways to use Twitter but in finding unique, interesting and follower garnering ways to use twitter.

Most Business Twitter users, if not all, are looking for exposure for a product, service, or cause. Quantifying exposure can be very difficult, because exposure is not just about purchasers, visitors, subscribers, or followers it is about quality. The measure is in the quality of your message, your followers, and your reach. How many people are being exposed to you and your message, who is sharing it, talking about it, who are your advocates?

From 50 Ideas for Using Twitter for Business
Chris Brogan, Community and Social Media blog

Copied some of my favorites here. Not in chronological order.

“First Steps

1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)
2. Add a picture. We want to see you.
3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.
4. Share links to neat things in your community. ( @wholefoods does this well).
5. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out. “

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet, (also from Chris Brogan and not in order, just my personal favorites.)

1. Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”
2. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
3. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
4. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.
5. Tweet about other people’s stuff. Again, doesn’t directly impact your business, but makes us feel like you’re not “that guy.”
6. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
7. Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.

Try Not to Give Yourself the Crazies (again Chris Brogan) read the entire article for all 50 great tips at: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-business

1. Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.
2. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

Sometimes I think this guy is an absolute genius, however my senior brain can only deal with a few tips at a time.

From an On Line Discussion “Brand Uses for Twitter.” (If you go to the entire discussion on Linked In, you will get some wonderful tips from actual users in the trenches.)

Adam Denison
We at General Motors (@GMblogs) have been using Twitter since January. During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit we did live "Tweeting" from the press conferences so people not at the show could see what was being said real-time. We've done this for other events as well.
What's been most successful for us, though, has been using Twitter for two-way communication with consumers. We usually try to Tweet some sort of question for our followers everyday. These questions can be vehicle-related (i.e. What's your favorite convertible?) or just for fun (i.e. What's your favorite roadside diner).
Adam Denison
GM Social Media Communications

Ellen Gerstein
I'm @elleinthecity. I work for John Wiley & Sons, a publisher in the NYC area. There are quite a few Wiley people using Twitter. I'm in marketing, and I use it for finding new and creative ways to talk with my current and prospective customers. @chriswebb is an editor who is on twitter to find new authors. He also tweets as @wrox, one of our imprints, and uses twitter to talk with authors and customers. We both use it for instant market research ("Would you buy a book on X?", "What cover would make you more likely to buy this book", etc). I find myself becoming more and more reliant on it to conduct day to day business.

Danielle Sullivan
“… thought I’d share a little about what our Baskin-Robbins team is doing to join the community and the results we’ve experienced. For about a year, we’ve been monitoring and working to build relationships with bloggers. We respond directly to bloggers posting about our brand, ice cream in general, or anything that might show them that the dialog we can engage them in will be meaningful and relevant.”
Danielle Sullivan

Some suggestions from the Monday Morning Marketeer for Business uses of Twitter:

• Running a half day special, tweet it!
• Interviewed on a radio show, tweet it!
• Send out your news!
• New product, tweet it!
• Brief Testimonial, tweet it!
• How about offering customers that give you a testimonial a gift certificate to tweet the testimonial!
• How about tweeting about the great things your B to B clients are doing?
• Tweet about your networking, business associates and strategic partner and if they are really reciprocal, they will tweet about you.
• Whatever you do, tweet at least once a week, put it on your calendar. I learned from my friend Heshe Segal of JetNetting Connections, not to follow people who do not update or haven’t in over a month.
• Do use a third party application to manage what you do, Tweet Later, Twitter Deck, HootSuite, try them out, see what works for you.
Just some ideas to get you interested in Twitter in hopes you will try it, you can hear additional tips and what others have said at:


This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith 2009, Monday Morning Marketeer™ 412-628-5048
Listen at: http://tinyurl.com/MondayMorningMarketeer
Blog: www.marketingmondaymorning.blogspot.com
Or on its unique radio channel at:
Joanne Quinn-Smith is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an expert on Web 2.0 Branding.
Joanne has also been designated by the 2009 U.S. Small Business Administration as the Small Business Journalist of the Year for her work with information relevant to small business.
Follow at: https://twitter.com/monmornmarketer

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joannequinnsmith

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