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Are You Twittering, LinkingIn.... and Using Other Social Media to Grow Your Business?

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If you answered, “No,” or a half-hearted “No,” you’re not alone. And if you answered, “Yes,” our hats are off to you.

In today’s Web 2.0, you’re missing a thriving opportunity to grow your business if you’re ignoring social media tools like LinkedIn and Facebook. Tools like these have democratized and flattened the marketing process thanks to the speed, reach and immediacy they offer.

Two recent examples bring this into start relief. When the horrific Mumbai attacks were underway in late November 2008, and as a US Airways pilot was safely landed his jetliner in New York’s Hudson River, people on the scene were instantly sending “tweet” update messages and images all over the Internet via their Twitter accounts. In both instances, Twitter members got the news out in real-time, ahead of all news outlets.

Because social media tools have become so ubiquitous and so successful at spreading news and information instantly and virally, companies and executives must find ways to incorporate them into their everyday projects and campaigns.

(Click here to learn more about the use of social media in B2B PR, and myths that need to remedied.)

HERE ARE 10 TOP TWITTER TIPS:



For the most part, follow those who follow you – this is one of the unwritten rules of Twitter etiquette. However, use some discretion and try to check on the legitimacy or relevance of each user. You can always follow someone and “unfollow” them later; similarly, you can block an unwanted follower.

Don’t let your Twitter account languish – update it with tweets as regularly as you can, without falling into ADD territory or sharing what you had for lunch a la Facebook. The more active you are, the more likely you’ll be to pick up followers.

Retweet regularly. This is the practice of tweeting out what someone else has posted. To do this, you simply write RT@joethetweeter, followed by what they said and/or a link they posted. It’s a useful way to draw in followers, both those who see the retweet and the one you’re retweeting.

Use hashtags. By putting a hashtag (#) in front of a series of characters, your post will show up in more Twitter searches. For instance, if you’re planning to attend the popular South By Southwest media/music festival in San Antonio, Texas, you would put #SXSW in a tweet.

Leverage your other profiles and media. If you have accounts with Facebook MySpace, AOL IM, or you’re a blogger, link to them in your tweets. Also, add your Twitter name to your e-mail signature line, your blog posts, your articles and press releases, etc. to maximize exposure.

Add value to the twitterstream. Pass on information, insights, web links and thoughts of others that you found personally useful, as well as your own input, and chances are others will find it valuable as well and respond to it.

Be conversational about the topics you think will be of interest to others. However, avoid an over-focus on yourself, as this will turn others off.

Concentrate your tweets during peak time periods, which generally tracks with business hours in the U.S. But again, don’t let it steal time from more productive or critical pursuits.

Create a custom background for your Twitter page. Use this space creatively to add information about yourself or your company, what you’re looking to get out of Twitter, and provide a list of web links.


Create a custom Twitter landing page. Instead of linking directly to your website’s home page, have Twitter users land on a page built especially for them. Things to include could be an “about/who I am” intro, with a link to a more detailed “about” page; a description of how you use Twitter, including frequency of Tweets, topics and if you use Twitter to tweet your new blog posts; and your “follow” policy with info on how others should contact you if they want you to follow them back.


Bonus Tip: Avoid an over-focus on yourself as this will turn others off.

Follow us on Twitter @WendyMarx and we’ll be sure to follow you back. And connect with us on LinkedIn @
http://www.linkedin.com/in/marxcommunications



Sep 30, 2009
 
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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx