Category Archives: Social Media

5 Reasons To Stop Cold Calling And Start Networking by FixBuildnDrive

Can you imagine what happens to people when you call them cold? Well, no surprise, they stiffen up. They get uncomfortable. And they wish they hadn’t answered the phone. So what options do you have. Uh . . . how about networking?

All across the world right now, people are dialing for dollars. Insurance salesmen, consultants, recruiters, packaging suppliers, SEO providers and hundreds of other types of folks looking for a new client.

Why? Because their boss told them to do it. “100 calls a day, please.” The numbers game.

But cold calls are bad for business. They are a bad use of time and aren’t a smart way to begin a new relationship. Oh, and nobody likes making these calls either.

And for those of you who want to disagree right away (maybe you’ve had some success blowing cold air on people), I don’t care. I’m sure there are exceptions to the “cold calls don’t work” argument I’m making. But I don’t care.

Because the world has changed so much. And the tools to meet people more effectively are plentiful. Here’s are 5 ways to connect with new people without them freezing up right away:

1. Start blogging

While establishing a blog takes significantly longer than making phone calls, it is a superior strategy for introducing you, your company and its products to others. You can learn about mistakes bloggers make and some tips for getting started with blogging. But once you get up and running, a blog makes your website more interesting to Google, more dynamic to get return visitors and (very important) helps you build relevant awareness and subject matter expertise. In other words, people get to know and trust you in advance of your first contact.

2. Use LinkedIn

This one seems awfully simple. You need to meet Mike (purchasing manager at target company x). Bill (your old coworker) used to work with Mike at a prior company. You go on to LinkedIn and learn this news. That the person you need to know already knows someone you know. Now what? Well, you ask Bill to introduce you to Mike. Sounds simple. But so few people do it. So many people are lazy on LinkedIn and don’t personally create and nurture LinkedIn connections. They just collect them like postage stamps. Don’t do that. You are smarter than this.

3. Join groups and attend events

There are industry groups aplenty, local community networking groups, and meetup.com groups all over. So there’s no excuse. You can develop your personal brand right now. In front of real people. They can see that you are a good person, that you are patient and have the needs of others on your mind as well. And if you are smart, you’ll find a group or two and sponsor them. Or get involved in their board. That’s good networking.

4. Use Twitter or Create a Facebook Page

Not everyone is comfortable on social media. And if you need help, ask me. Or hook up with a smart social media agency to help you establish a strategy and keep up a great, engaging relationship with new fans and followers. If you want to do it on your own, make sure to have a Facebook content calendar and learn the golden rules for new Twitter users. Oh, and if you are wondering whether it’s weird that sales people use Twitter, you’re wrong. Use these tools to create, establish and maintain a friendly and helpful relationship with current and potential customers.

5. Offer to speak or lead workshops

When you stand up in front of a group of people you get instant credibility. Until you screw up. But you probably won’t. Especially if you model your style after people like Thom Singer. He’s someone who can teach you how to speak with a purpose. You can learn how to engage an audience as a speaker. While its not a bed of roses (audience can be cold too), it is a great way to also build social credibility (credibility that lets people feel more comfortable with you). And the business will come in so much more quickly.

So try these ideas instead of cold calling.

Unlike a slow moving glacier, these “warming up” techniques will thaw the corporate ice cubes and create a fast moving stream of business to you and your company.

Shout out to Tim Tyrell-Smith

40 Tips On How To Be A Social Media Rockstar

Social media has provided a means for people to make a name for themselves globally in their niche if they are prepared to put in the hard yards and publish, promote and leverage their passion. This can be done by using the the different media that are available to them on social media such as online video on YouTube or images on Flickr and create content that displays their passion for the world to see

This article is a compilation of 4 blog posts that I recently wrote that took the one best idea from thought leaders on what they think is important to increase your influence online in the world wide web of social media networks.

Hubspot sponsored the Influencer Project where the social media influencers and experts were given 60 seconds to state their number one tip.

Here are some of their thoughts on what they see as being important in being influential in a digital world.

There is one secret here that if you don’t have it you will not be successful.

1. Create valuable content that helps people solve their problems

You can do this on many diffedrent social media channels whether that is YouTube, a blog post or an eBook

David Meerman Scott of Webinknow.com

2. Be really transparent about everything that you’re doing,

Then sharing a lot of that information, being really open. And that will help you build your digital influence – Mike Volpe of Hubspot

3. Be consistent

Consistency demonstrates commitment. So, for the people that you’re trying to serve, if you are consistent, they’re going to keep coming back – Michael Port of MichaelPort.com

4. Follow better people

so then you will read and view great content then enabling you to produce great output (content) – Robert Scoble of Scobleizer.com

5. Create relationships with outstanding strategic partners

Carol Roth at CarolRoth.com.

6. Make connections with people online, and then go and meet them in person in the real world offline

Scott Porad of ScottPorad.com

7. Create content that stands for something, which is remarkable, divisive or inspirational

Joe Pulizzi founder of Junta42 and The Content Marketing Institute

8. Lead your customers with the latest trends in your industry

Laurel Touby – founder of MediaBistro.com.

9. Develop and nurture multiple circles and multiple spheres of influence

Don’t rely on just one type of social media networks but get involved in several and you will create synergy

Chris Guillebeau from the blog The Art of Non Conformity

10. Start talking to people-

Laura Roeder from LauraRoeder.com

11. Develop your storytelling skills

To improve your digital influence have a story that is worth telling don’t try and sell a product or idea – Michael Margolis, fromGetStoried.com

12. Cocreate some products with people who have your audience already but are not selling them the kind of things you’re selling

Make real quick teleseminars with them, or do special reports that are just for their audience, and kind of co‐make them with those people, and basically get yourself co‐billed with as many other people as possible. Because what happens is their audiences, goodwill, and credibility shifts over to you, and you get to be associated with some of the larger names in the business

Dave Navarro from TheLaunchCoach.com

13. Give your content wings and give it roots

Roots means to ground it solidly in who you are (your passion and being) and have a point of view. Give it wings means to let it be shared easily across social media platfroms all over the web buttons easy to share frictionless and free – Ann Handley of MarketingProfs and co‐author of Content Rules

14. Get offline and meet people in real life

When you meet someone, introduce that individual to someone else that you know, they will standout significantly in their eyes – Joselin Mane at BostonTweetup.com

15. Get very, very good at filtering and aggregating content

Be able to sort through all that content and be able to deliver it to people at the right time, the right size, the right amount. Second thing is, be veryinformed about what matters to those folks, what they’re saying in the social technologyand the social space – John Jantsch of DuctTapeMarketing.com

16. Be topical and early in the news cycle

This can be on any conversation of general interest and detect and articulate patterns, make connections, and make context explicit and just hustle – Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb.com

17. Use online video

This probably the fastest way to get your message out there, to increase visibility, and to get clients and customers online. Come up with some great content—it can be two to three minutes, it does not have to be a lot. Create content around your area of expertise and then distribute,distribute with gusto – Shamana Kabani author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing

18. Be remarkable

So defy convention where appropriate, people take notice – Johnny B. Truant of JohnnyBTruant.com

19. Let your passion shine

It’s about people—real human beings, just like you and me, it is not about the technology. It’s about passion, conversations, not product conversations – Robbin Phillips of word of mouth marketing atBrainsOnFire.com

20. Learn how to talk more about other people

So if you’re looking to influence a certain thought leader, or even just a group of people, talking about them, talking to them, instead of about yourself – Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs‐Journey.com

21. Hang out where your audience hangs out and get to understand them

Find out what their needs are and the task what they’re trying to accomplish. Ask people questions so you can help them solve their problems – Vanessa Fox of Nine by Blue and author of “Marketing in the Age of Google”.

Action: Build things that really help them. This could be an online video tutorial that show people how to perform a particular task or an eBook that provides guidance and suggesstions for answers for real day to day problems. These could be promoted on Twitter and embedded in Facebook as am update as well as being on your blog or website.

22. Find one specific niche and master that niche

Become the owner of that niche on the online social media space, so that everyone around you knew that you knew everything about that one specific topic – Lewis Howes at LewisHowes.com (his niche is LinkedIn)

Action: Start doing webinars to promote and educate others how to master the niche you have mastered yourself

23. Integrate social media with other tactics online and offline.

Research has shown a powerful synergy between social media and search, email and other tactics like we’ve never seen before. We found that social media integration creates a situation where the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts – Sergio Balegno Research Director at Marketing Sherpa.

Action: Look at creative ways you can integrate social media with traditional and other digital media. This could be by integrating email with social media to drive traffic to your blog or Facebook page.. read more at “10 Ways To Integrate your Email and Social Media

24. Change from thinking about changing other people’s mind to changing your mind

Instead of thinking about competing, think about admiring and learning from everybody that you see. Hank Wasiak at AssetBasedThinking.com

Action: Engage with a top blogger or thought leader on their blog or Twitter and then possibly aim to collaborate with them on a Project

25. Get active in other people’s communities

Mitch Joel President of Twist Image and the author and blogger and podcaster over at Six Pixels of Separation.

Action: Get into peoples comments on blogs. Then mix it up with them on Twitter

26. Build Multi Digital Dimensionality by Listening and Engaging on Multiple Networks

What I mean by that is by showing as many different sides of yourself or your business as you can. Why? Well, because the more sides of yourself that you show, there’s more opportunities for connections, and there’s more ways in. Everyone sees , hears, views and receives information in many different ways. Both Tamsen McMahon – of BrassTackThinking.com and Justin Levy at New Marketing Labs suggested this tip but have their own take on how this can be done

Action: Publish the same content on multiple networks, Video, Text, Slideshare, Images, Podcasts but consider the networks where you can be most effective and gain the most leverage for your target audience in your niche.

27. Get into other people’s heads and help them with their challenges

Network with other influencers and make sure that everybody is aware of the value that you provide. What you’re looking for is a long-term relationship. Chris Garrett from ChrisG.com.

Action: Connect with people online and then meet with them offline to build a long term relationship that is real and authentic. Don’t be afraid to ask for an interview whether that be via a face to face or an online interview. You can even record the video and then it can be promoted on both of your social networks (see “Social Media and The CEO- An Interview With Greg Savage the CEO of Aquent“)

28. Make your professional narrative personal

When you’re talking about influencing people, especially as an entrepreneur, it’s about your passion, it’s about who you are and what you bring to the table. Connecting the who with the what. Cathy Brooks the founder of Other Than That.

Action: Don’t be afraid to tell people on your blog your story and what brought you to this place it can be the narrative of your journey or even let yourself be interviewed then place that on your blog or post it on your Facebook page.

29. Have an opinion, be remarkable, be passionate and have a permanent place (Your Blog)

What is it about your industry or about the world in general that you feel passionate enough about to shake things up? If you’re willing to shake up your world, the world is willing to payattention.

Todd Defren – principle at SHIFT Communications, and a blogger at PRSquared.

Action: Write an opinion piece, or a blog post or invent something

30. Be a media and publishing company

Brian Clark Of Copyblogger

This media company should do 3 things

  • Learn to be a story teller …narrative – it what makes      us human
  • Understand the pyschology of people as it powers your      narrative
  • Content has to be quality- production quality matters      if you are going to get the attention you want

Action: Go to some of the blogs that specialize in teaching you skills in writing stories

31. Share ideas liberally and be accountable

Scott Belsky of Behance and author of “Making Ideas Happen”

Action: Place your ideas, videos and image on Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare and Flickr and ask your friends and community to keep you honest through feedback ..to hold you to account

32. Focus on a specific micro niche

Dan Schawbel founder of Millennial Branding and bestselling author of Me 2.0.

The number one thing you can do for your personal branding using social media right now, is to choose a much smaller niche to focus on, so you can stand out in your market, and become

known for that. So instead of becoming the personal finance expert, you can be the personal finance expert for Gen Y, or for college graduates. A micro niche globally can be worth millions!!

Action: Think of a micro niche within your area of passion and start writing and producing content for that niche

33. Build a community of readers

Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project the book and the blog atHappiness-Project.com.

The way to do that is to engage readers in a conversation.

Action: Introduce topics in your that are thought provoking and interesting and on which people have a lot to say

34. Hang Out With Other Successful People (Entrepreneurs)

Alexandra Levit found at AlexandraLevit.com.

Be systematic in your approach to getting to know the individuals who have already been on the entrepreneurial path that you are currently on.

Action: Target between five and ten individuals who you admire, whose work you’ve followed, and gradually start getting to know them—commenting on their tweets, commenting on their blog posts, asking them if they could spare fifteen to twenty minutes to do an informational interview with you to tell you more about their path

35. Create A Tribe of Rabid Advocates

Steve Woodruff at SteveWoodruff.com.

His main secret for building influence online is to find and help individuals get launched on platforms like Twitter or in blogging. By coming alongside them and becoming an advocate they will be your fan for life. One of the of the keys for digital influence is not having the biggest number of connections; it’s really having the most rabid advocates

Action: Identify gifted up and comers that are just getting into social media, but clearly have the right stuff, have good experience, have drive and have a message. Take their material and expose it to a broader audience and connecting them to key people, you end up creating for yourself an advocate for life.

36. Become a Thought Leader Through Media

David Siteman Garland founder of The Rise to the Top

Action: Start a media arm for your company by creating a special show, Podcast or an Online Magazine

37. Be Patient and Persistent

Amber Naslund the Director of Community at Radian6 also at his blogBrassTackThinking.com.

Online influence is a slow burn, and it’s not something that you can really manufacture. It’s something that’s really organically grown by having quality one-on-one conversations with people over time. And that can happen in a number of mediums.

Action: Get up every day and blog and Twitter with a purpose and use your other networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn to connect, engage and network. Persist and don’t give up

38. Discover and Develop Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Julien Smith co-author of best-selling book, Trust Agents, and blogger at InOverYourHead.net.

Probably the key to building your influence online is to take advantage of your existing benefits which you already have, that other people don’t.

Action: Take some time today or in the next few days to find some quiet time to sit down and write down the different things that you are passionate about and make you different

39. Distill what it is that you feel you bring to the table in terms of value and expertise

Brian Solis Author of the new book, “Engage: How to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success on the New Web”

Then identify the influential individuals that already in place, at varying levels, from the A list to the C list, and figure out how it is that you can connect with them, and how you can connect your insights to them directly.

Action: Build a repository for that insight eg a blog or website and “be” a thought leader and gather a community around your thought leadership

40. Build lots of Followers and Subscribers and Promote You Content by Retweeting and Emailing

Guy Kawasaki states that there are those who say that having a large following on Twitter is important and those that don’t admit to that are lying. You might have the best content in the world but if no one knows it exists that is of no use to anyone. Promote, Promote, Promote to your lists and followers and fans !!

If you want to learn more I would urge you to to visit these leaders blogs and websites you will be inspired by their valuable content.
Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/09/28/40-tips-on-how-to-be-a-social-media-superstar/#DgSDPgpRvtLZ0wxi.99

Mega shout out to Jeff at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/09/28/40-tips-on-how-to-be-a-social-media-superstar/

10 Ways To Use Twitter For Business | Jeff Bullas

Twitter has been around for a couple of years now and is now receiving over 50 Million unique visitors a month. It’s use as a tool for business has never been seen before in the history of the web. Twitters credibility has increased in recent months as it has struck deals with Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) as well as Google to provide real time search feeds. In this video we look at ten different ways you can use Twitter for business to increase revenue and traffic, improve service and reduce costs.

10 Reasons Why Twitter Is Great For Business

  1. You can monitor real time conversation about your brand  that can assist your marketing and management teams to see what is really being about your company today (not tomorrow or next week as would be normal on Google or with Media and the Press) and modify marketing  campaigns based on the monitoring.
  2. Perform real time searches about your industry including your monitoring your competitors and seeing what is being said on Twitter about them. Some tools  that can be used for this are Tweetdeck (columns can be set up for each      type of keyword or phrase) and Google alert amongst many
  3. Broadcast links and headlines that can drive traffic to your website, blog, landing pages and YouTube channels
  4. Improve customer service (A good case study on this is “ Zappos” an online shoe retailer) by picking up conversations about your company that you might not be aware of and respond quickly to shut down any impending service or potentially damaging PR disasters.
  5. Communicate and engage within your buinesses marketplace, sector or niche through direct messages commenting on their blogs via twitter and retweeting their tweets (You will be surprised how easily it can be to connect with someone that would not take a phone call or respond to an email).
  6. Run special deals and promotions on Twitter that you can use to drive traffic or move slow moving stock (exanple Dell)
  7. Build your your company’s and or personal brand through positioning yourself as a thought leader through posting great tweets and  embedded links leading back to your blog or website
  8. Share your ideas internally in a very efficient manner through the latest feature from Twitter called lists that can be private or open
  9. It can be used to humanise a faceless conglomerate (see David Meerman Scotts Video at General Motors)  and remove the company ivory tower persona by Tweeting about the real issues and responding to other people’s tweets within your industry.
  10. Connect to leaders in your industry through following other thought leaders and commenting on their tweets (Twitter etiquette usually means if you follow someone they follow you back)

So how are you using Twitter for business?

Note: I have also summarised the video’s content above in text format so that those who can’t view it due to slow internet connections or prefer reading to viewing can do so.

Thanks and shout out to Jeff! / http://www.jeffbullas.com/2009/11/18/10-ways-to-use-twitter-for-business/

16 Creative Ways to Use Twitter for Business | By Charlene Kingston Published July 10, 2012

Is your Twitter activity feeling stale?

The good news is that you can easily revitalize your Twitter experience!

Here are 16 ways to bring new life and renewed business purpose to your Twitter efforts.

#1: Organize whom you follow with lists

There are many people you need to follow on Twitter for business reasons such as customers, suppliers, neighboring businesses, peers and competitors. As the number of people you follow grows, so does the noise. It gets harder to hear the important messages among all of the others.

So how can you make sure you don’t miss anything important? Use Twitter lists.

Twitter lists are its most powerful and least-used feature. Lists allow you to group the important people you follow so they don’t get lost in the noise of everyone else.

You can create separate lists for:

  • Customers
  • People in your industry
  • Social media teachers
  • People in professional organizations
good lists exampleYou can create Twitter lists to organize the people you follow so you can focus on the most important people and conversations.

By creating and using Twitter lists, you can focus on tweets from groups of people and decide when you want to see them, so tweets from important people don’t get lost.

You can create up to 20 different Twitter lists with up to 500 accounts in each list. You can monitor each list separately using Twitter.com or Twitter tools like HootSuite.

Tip: You don’t have to put everyone into a list.

#2: Create a conversation list

Whom you follow determines your daily experience of Twitter. If you follow people who inspire you, people who say intelligent things and challenge you to think differently, Twitter becomes a joy.

One smart way to focus on the people who inspire you (without ignoring everyone else) is to create a private conversation list.

Include in this list:

  • People who inspire you in business
  • People who inspire you personally
  • People who are fun to talk with
good convo list exampleA conversation list helps you save time by pulling together the most important people and conversations into a single list.

Jump into the list when you are looking for inspiration or encouragement during your workday.

You can make your conversation list public or private. By creating a private list, you are the only person who knows who is on your list and when you make changes to the list. However, everything you say to people on this list is still public, so watch your words.

#3: Update your profile picture

Your Twitter profile picture appears next to every tweet you send. It’s an opportunity to associate an image with your business in the minds of everyone who follows you.

The challenge is that your Twitter profile picture is very small and square. For most businesses, your logo or personal headshot isn’t the right size or shape to represent you well.

bad logo example blurredAt full size, this company may have a beautiful logo. However, it’s too small to be effective on Twitter.

If your profile picture is your logo:

  • Make sure your logo fits into the square size. Cropped-off logos look unprofessional and give the impression that your business doesn’t care about the details.
  • Make sure your logo is readable. If your logo contains words that cannot be read, you are wasting the space. Create an image without the words that captures the essence of your logo.
  • Consider switching to a headshot. People connect with faces, not logos. If you are the driving force of your business, why not use your face to make your business seem more human and approachable?
bad pic example 3 blurredThis is an example of what not to do with your Twitter profile picture because you cannot easily see the person’s face.

If your profile picture is a photograph:

  • Focus on your face. People don’t want to see you standing on the beach and they don’t care what clothes you are wearing.
  • No animals or kids. Even if your business is directly related to pets or children, you should be the focus of your photograph. You want to make a human connection with potential customers.

While a professional photograph is ideal, you can have a friend use a camera to take a great shot of your face. Make sure you are photographed against a plain background, and don’t forget to smile. Take 20 or more shots so you can choose one that really captures you.

If you don’t have the skills to change your logo or crop your photo to the right shape, ask a friend or hire a graphic designer for an hour. The small investment will pay huge dividends in having a professional presence on Twitter.

#4: Change your visual branding

Twitter allows you to customize the look and colors of your Twitter profile page. This gives you an opportunity to provide additional information about your business to everyone who checks out your profile.

You can create a custom graphic and use it for your Twitter background.

Here are some great examples of Twitter backgrounds and instructions for how to create your own.

twitter background example jaybaerHere is an example of a custom Twitter background that highlights important company information and provides additional details.

After you create the image file, you upload it to your profile. While you are there, you can adjust the background and link colors so they coordinate with your new background image. You will need the hex codes for the colors in your image if you want the background and links to match.

#5: Rewrite your Twitter bio

Your Twitter profile bio tells your business story in the length of a text message. That’s a lot of information crammed into just a few words.

The best Twitter profiles include these components:

  • Tell people what you do
  • Explain how you help people
  • Show a little personality
good bio exampleA good Twitter bio explains what you do and shows your personality at the same time.

Look at your business Twitter profile with fresh eyes. Then rewrite it so it tells potential customers how you can help them and what benefit they can get from connecting with you. And don’t forget to share a little of your passion!

Mark your calendar to review and update your Twitter bio again in 6 months, because even the best bio gets stale over time.

#6: Create a Twitter landing page

Are you frustrated by only having 160 characters for your Twitter bio? Then consider creating a special Twitter landing page.

Most people use their Twitter profile web link to drop people off at their website front door or their blog. But you can create a special Twitter landing page and use that page as your Twitter profile web address.

twitter landing pageA Twitter landing page gives you more space to talk about your business and about your Twitter use.

A Twitter landing page is a special page on your website designed to introduce people from Twitter to your business. It’s like having a greeter there to help people get the scoop on your business and how you use Twitter.

Your Twitter landing page could include:

  • A personal message from you
  • Details about your business products and services
  • How to become a customer
  • What you tweet about
  • The people behind your Twitter account

Even though you have more space, keep your Twitter landing page short and to-the-point to make a great impression on your visitors.

#7: Rethink your follow strategy

Many Twitter accounts are not run by real people. They are automated programs called bots. And some of them are spammers.

There are bots that provide useful information. However, most bots are spewing out tweets from other people and other sources that are not on target for your Twitter business goals. They clog up your Twitter stream and don’t provide any business value.

You may not have known you were following a bot. Bots gain an audience by following many people and taking advantage of people who automatically follow back.

In general, it’s better not to follow automatically everyone who follows you if you want to avoid having your Twitter stream fill up with garbage.

example botBots usually have low numbers they follow with high numbers following them back like this account.

So how can you spot a bot or spammer or someone whom you should not follow back?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t follow people with an egg picture. If they haven’t bothered to upload a real profile picture, chances are they are not going to say anything worth hearing.
  • Check their numbers. An account that follows many people but has only a few followers is probably a spammer.
  • Review their tweets. Are they all retweets or quotes? Did they send the exact tweet to many users over a very short time? It’s probably a bot.
  • They say it’s a bot in their bio. Yes, some bots will tell you they are bots in their bio.
  • No favorite tweets or lists. A bot or spammer doesn’t mark tweets as favorites or create lists.

#8: Listen carefully and follow

Social media is all about conversations, and conversations mean that you talk and listen.

On Twitter, you can listen by:

  • Reading tweets. This is the best way to find out what is on the minds of your Twitter community.
  • Look for replies and mentions. Every time you check Twitter throughout the day, you should first check for direct messages and mentions. Mentions are public messages that include your Twitter handle and direct messages are private messages sent directly to you.
  • Search for your business name. Sometimes, people talk about your business without using your Twitter username. You should regularly check Twitter for people who mention your business name by creating a search and saving it.
save a search arrowWhen you see the search results page, click the gear icon to save the search.

You should follow everyone who talks to you on Twitter. So as you find people talking about your business or talking directly to you, follow them.

#9: Publicize your Twitter account

Make it easy for people to find your business on Twitter by adding your Twitter username to all of your business materials.

social media passportMake it easy for people to follow your business on Twitter by posting a Twitter Follow button on your website or blog.

For example, you should give your Twitter username in these locations:

  • Your website (with a link)
  • Your email signature (with a link)
  • Your email newsletter (with a link)
  • Your business cards
  • Signs posted in your business
  • Paperwork you give customers (receipts, invoices, statements, etc.)
  • Menus and product information sheets

#10: Make sure you are following your customers

Twitter is a great place to talk with your customers. However, this means that you have to connect with them.

It’s impossible for you to know which of your customers are on Twitter. For that reason, it’s important for you to advertise your Twitter account to your customers. This way, your customers can find you.

How can you tell who is your customer on Twitter? Here are a few tips:

  • They talk to you. Some customers may start a conversation with you using your Twitter handle. You should follow everyone who talks to your business.
  • They mention your business. You should set up a saved search on Twitter so you can find people talking about your business. Always reply to people who mention your business and follow them.

You can also search for your customers using their email address from your address book.

#11: Stop following people who don’t tweet

In general, don’t worry about trying to control who follows you. But it’s a good idea to prune out the followers who have stopped using Twitter.

A great free tool for finding people who haven’t tweeted for a while is unTweeps. After you authorize the app, it allows you to create a list of your followers based on how long since their last tweet. You can use the free account three times each month.

untweepsThe unTweeps screen allows you to create a list of people you follow based on the number of days since their last tweet.

Start with people who haven’t tweeted for 6 months (or even 9 months) and review the list. You can mark individual accounts to unfollow.

Tip: If you have a large number of people who are no longer tweeting, don’t unfollow them all at the same time. This action can signal Twitter to suspend your account for aggressive and spammer-like behavior.

#12: Put Twitter to work solving your business challenges

Sometimes, the best way to improve your experience with a tool is to ask more from it. If you’ve been casually using Twitter and allowing the results to unfold, maybe it’s time to give Twitter a real job.

It takes some time using Twitter before you’ll be ready to put it to work on your business goals. But after you understand Twitter and have built a community, it’s time to take your Twitter use to the next level.

Twitter can help you meet your business goals. Think about a challenge you face in your business today. How could Twitter help you solve that problem?

For example:

  • Offer a Twitter-only special. If your restaurant or store is a ghost town on Tuesday nights, why not promote a Tuesday night event on Twitter? Offer a special deal (free dessert or a special discount) for everyone who knows the secret code you tweet out Tuesday at 5 pm.
  • Reward people who retweet you. Is your blog a little lonely? Twitter is a great tool to drive traffic to your blog. Set up a contest or a reward for people who retweet your messages about your blog posts. You might give away an ebook, a seat at an upcoming webinar, a free 30-minute consultation or a product discount. Explain the terms of the offer in a blog post or on a special website page and link to that page in your tweet so people understand your offer.
  • Organize a tweetup at your business. Have you been chatting with local people whom you have not met in real life? Or has it been a long time since they have visited your business? Why not organize an informal tweetup? Set a date and time, offer refreshments and give people something fun to do or learn and they will come.
nasa tweetupNASA has started using tweetups to reward key followers in its social media community.

The best way to make Twitter work for your business is to try something new. Learn from what happens and try it again with improvements.

#13: Add photos to your tweets

People love pictures. And this year, social media has really expanded to give people more of what they want.

Statistics show that people are more likely to read your stuff online if you include pictures. This means that just by adding photos to your tweets, you can greatly increase the amount of attention they get.

tweet photoAdding a photo to your tweet increases the number of people who will interact with your message.

The best part is that your photos don’t have to be professional-quality to be effective on Twitter. You can use your smartphone camera to snap a picture, and then use the Twitter mobile app for your phone to tweet and upload your picture.

olive barEvery mobile Twitter app makes it easy to attach a photograph to a tweet from your smartphone.

#14: Bookmark tweets you want to keep

Did you know that every tweet has its own web address?

You can save important tweets using the Favorites feature. However, many businesses use the Favorites as part of their Twitter strategy, and so they need another way to save tweets.

To get to the web address of any tweet:

  • Display the tweet on your screen.
    click expandThe Expand command displays more tweet options.
  • Click Expand. Twitter provides more tweet options.
    expandThe Details command displays the tweet in its own web page.
  • Click Details. Twitter displays the tweet on its own page using its unique web address.
    tweet urlAn example of a tweet displayed on its own page using its unique web address.
  • Bookmark the tweet using your browser or bookmarking tool.

You can bookmark important tweets using your browser’s bookmarking tool or a web-based bookmarking service like Delicious. Now you have a way to keep track of important tweets so you can use them in the future.

#15: Review (and renew) your tweet topics

When most businesses start using Twitter, they experiment for a while. As a result, they often tweet about random topics, or don’t tweet very often because they don’t know what to say.

After mastering the basics of Twitter’s message types and building out your online community, it’s time to get serious about your conversation topics. Or to use marketing terms, it’s time to develop a content strategy.

Every business has a core group of topics around its products and services. These are things that you know because of your business, and things that your customers and online community want to learn from you. Often, you educate your customers about these topics.

Many businesses struggle to find these topics because they take their knowledge for granted. With a little effort, you can start to see your business knowledge through the eyes of your customers and figure out the topics that really spark interest in your community.

These are the topics you should focus on with Twitter and social media in general. In fact, if you have a blog, these should be your blog categories.

Brainstorm a list of 5 to 7 conversation topics, and then create a list of 10 or more specific things within each category. These will help you organize your Twitter conversation and will spark ideas when you can’t think of anything to say.

Pay special attention to tweets that are retweeted, get replies or are marked as favorites. Those tweets hit a nerve, and you should talk more about those topics.

Note: The best Twitter topics for your business are things that provide practical solutions to problems your potential customers face every day.

#16: Expand the Twitter conversation to your blog

When you have a great conversation going on Twitter, or you find a topic that people respond to on Twitter, why not expand the conversation to the people who read your blog?

Twitter now makes it easy for you to embed a tweet into a blog post so it looks like a tweet and has the same interactive features it has on Twitter. In other words, you can write a blog post around a tweet and your blog visitors can interact with you on Twitter through your blog.

tweet exampleAn example of a tweet conversation-starter posted in a blog.
Thank You Charlene