Tag Archives: blog marketing business tool

Twitter to swim with the big fishes in business marketing

Most of the Twitter users who use it to promote their small business expect their company’s use of the popular microblogging tool to increase during the next six months, according to a recent survey by MarketingProfs.

The informal survey revealed that the practice of using Twitter as a business tool is gaining acceptance as an important piece of social media marketing. According to the MarketingProfs survey, 84% of respondents say their company’s use of Twitter will increase, with 46% saying the increase will be by a “significant” margin.

Twitter as a business tool

Twitter as a business tool

Compared to other social media tools, Twitter ranks second only to company blogs in perceived value. Company blogs and Twitter still rank ahead of LinkedIn and Facebook.

“This data shows that Twitter users, typically early adopters, no longer think of Twitter as just a personal networking tool, but as something that can provide real value for their company or business,” said Ann Handley, chief content officer for MarketingProfs. “Much like Facebook, Twitter is now moving into the business mainstream.” Additional Twitter research from MarketingProfs revealed that Twitter users are primarily motivated by the learning and immediacy components of the application. (MarketingCharts)

Twitter as a business tool

Twitter as a business tool

All you need is love. Link love, that is.

Have you found love on the Internet?

No, not the eHarmony, Match.com type of love. We’re talking about a different type of love – link love.

The kind of love that is critical to the performance of your business to business website.

Link love “is a term used in the fields of search engine optimization and blogging to describe the effect that web pages rank better when they have more and higher quality links pointing at them.”

So, why is link love so important? According to Rick Burnes at Hubspot:

  • Your business needs to get found.
  • Search engines are the place to get found.
  • Links get you found in search engines.

To better understand the process, Rick says to pretend search engines are like hiring managers:

“If you’re a job candidate, a hiring manager will interview you and check your resume, the same way a search engine will check a page’s keywords and title.

But the hiring manager doesn’t stop there. They want to make sure all the information on the resume is correct, and they want an impartial third-party opinion on your potential, so they check references. A search engine does the same thing by checking links. For search engines, links from big, trusted sites are a signal of quality.

Quality inbound links, just like recommendations, are hard to get, but critical to your success.”

Wondering how to get started on spreading the link love? I recently came across the “world’s greatest list of posts dedicated to the fine art of Link Love” in a post at Problogger. The post may be slightly dated, but the advice is still just as good.

How to find industry experts in social media

Yesterday we asked, “Is it ‘appropriate’ for business to business organizations to use social media techniques?

Our answer: It’s not just appropriate, it’s critical to the success of your B2B organization that you get involved in social media.

Even if you don’t have a company blog or a Facebook business page, there are still ways to connect with customers and experts in your industry through social media and networking.

The easiest way to get started is by reading blogs dedicated to topics that relate to your specific industry. Tools like Google Reader make it simple to keep track of interesting blogs and stay on top of the latest industry buzz.

Setting up Google Reader is simple, what’s tough is finding the blogs you should be following.

Here are some great places to start:

  • Google Blog Search. Google Blog Search narrows your Google search and only returns information published on blogs. It helps you find industry buzz on whatever subject you search for.
  • Alltop. Called the “online magazine rack” of the web, Alltop helps you find what’s happening in all the topics that interest you. The site collects headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs in each topic. Topics range from HR, science, politics, automobiles, careers, to hundreds of other subjects.
  • Blogrolls. When you find a blog you like, be sure to pay attention to their blogroll. A blogroll is usually found in the sidebar of a blog that lists other blogs the author follows. They usually cover similar topics, making it a simple way to find new blogs to read.
  • Google Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your topic of choice. You control the type of sources you want to monitor (news, blogs, etc.) and how often you would like to receive updates.

Social media is all about getting involved in the conversation. Find interesting blogs in your industry, make some comments and get the discussion going.

Growing your fan base on Twitter: What not to do

Using Twitter for business has proven to be a valuable tool for many companies, but like any growing media, the rules are still developing and constantly changing.

In a recent post at Mashable, blogger Atherton Bartleby compares the interaction between people on Twitter to that of a fabulous party:

“We’ve all been there: You’re at a party hosted by that one fabulous friend, and populated with the best of your mutual circle of friends. The atmosphere is almost carbonated with excitement; the guests’ personalities flawlessly compliment each other; and the conversations that abound are infused with intelligence, caustic wit, and a wide variety of knowledge that ensures the complete absence of any pregnant, awkward pauses. Then, it happens: someone appears who just doesn’t…fit.”

A similar situation occurs on Twitter when someone starts following you and doesn’t fit into the conversation. “This is the person whose follow on Twitter you simply cannot bring yourself to return,” and what Bartleby calls the “follow fail.”

If you would like to grow the number of followers you have on Twitter and get Bartelby to start following you too, here are a few pointers from his list of top reasons why he doesn’t follow some people in return:

  • No user avatar. You may think that tiny 48 x 48 pixel avatar is insignificant, but it may have a lot to do with whether people choose to follow you or not. Create an avatar that is either a personalized photograph or reflective of your brand to help users associate your Twitter account with your company.
  • You profile is lacking. Take a minute or two to make sure your Twitter profile includes your location, website and a short bio. Remember, you want people to follow you – so explain why they should.
  • It’s all about you. By using Twitter, you hope to increase awareness of your brand to drive more people to your site to buy your stuff, but you don’t have to make it so obvious. Show that your account is worthy of followers by sharing valuable content, not just product updates.
  • You’re not engaging. Engage and interact with the people who are following you. “They aren’t called ‘social’ networking and ‘social’ media for nothing.

And that’s not even the half of it … read more Twitter tips here.

Like any other aspect of your business, Twitter should be used to create value for your followers. Twitter has the potential to improve your business if you work to engage the people in your network, start interesting conversations and share valuable information.

Monday marketing links: Feeling overwhelmed, website check-ups and the fear of reviews

My list of blog topic ideas is growing faster than I can write, so I’ve put them all in one post. Here’s some of the latest and greatest information covering topics from business to business marketing to social media, all wrapped up in one convenient little package:

Does your website have a clean bill of health? Improve your search engine traffic and give your website an SEO health check. PluginHQ’s list of 16 things to look for in a website health check is a great place to start.

Finding time to fit blogs, Twitter, Facebook and the 10 other social media sites you visit into your day can be tough. There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed, according to Adam Singer at The Future Buzz, because you have complete control.

Think about your favorite restaurant – delicious food, warm atmosphere, good company. Now ask yourself: “Is your website as good as your favorite bistro?” Read MarketingProfs’ post-holiday recipe for online success, developed with a few lessons from the restaurant industry.

Though text wears the online crown, video has its place and will continue to grow as a valuable medium, according to Darren Rowse at ProBlogger. Read why he thinks video is worth experimenting with on your blog.

Not everything written online about your company will be positive and how you deal with negative feedback can make or break your online reputation. But, what if that negative feedback is coming from members of your own staff? Read what Jacob Morgan thinks you should do when your staff turns against you with social media.

On a similar note, you shouldn’t be afraid of what customers have to say about your company online. The opportunities social media provides heavily outweigh the perceived harm that it could cause. Read this recent tip from BusinessWeek and don’t fear online customer reviews.

Using facebook to promote your business blog

You may think Facebook is just another social networking site dedicated to young college students, but you may be surprised how Facebook’s demographics are changing.

In the years since it’s creation in 2004, Facebook has become a major meeting place for adults in the working world, according to a new study by O’Reilly Media featured in a recent SHRM article.

O’Reilly Media found that since September 2008, the number of Facebook users between the ages of 35 and 44 increased by 51%; those ages 45-54 grew by 47%, and those 26-34 increased by 26%. More than half of the 140 million Facebook users are out of college.

“With web sites and social networking tools like Facebook, companies now have the ability to be the master of ceremonies and create communities for their customers to join,” Scott Townsend, marketing director with United Linen and Uniform Services, recently told The Examiner-Enterprise.com. “And customers have the opportunity to become a fan of your Facebook page. If you are a small company, you don’t want to reach the whole world; you just want to reach those customers that are jazzed about your business and what it is you have to offer.”

As Facebook continues to attract older professionals, it is becoming one of the best places to promote your business blog or website.

In a recent guest post at ProBlogger, Steve Schwartz, a professional LSAT tutor explained how he has used Facebook to promote his blog and expand his community of readers.

The social network gives his blog readers the opportunity to interact with each other in a way that comments can’t. Facebook’s discussion boards allow users to exchange messages and interact through conversation.

Here’s some of his advice on how to get started:

1. Create a Facebook group. Don’t make the group about your blog directly. Instead, choose a broader topic so people searching on Facebook for a certain topic will feel welcomed to join.

2. Invite your friends. Some of your existing friends may want to join your new group, and some may not. Either way, the invitation will show up on your friends’ news feeds, turning it into a viral marketing mechanism.

3. Tell your blog readers about it. Post a link to your Facebook group in the sidebar of your blog. Write a brief post on your new group for those who didn’t notice the new link. Tell your readers how they will benefit from becoming a member.

4. Join other groups. Look for Facebook groups related to your blog topic. Post messages on their Wall or discussion boards notifying the group’s members of your group and your blog. Spread out the information over a series of posts to make sure you don’t get banned from the group for spamming.

With his efforts, Facebook quickly became one of Steve’s biggest sources of traffic, without having to spend much time on maintenance.

“In order to get more readers, you need to have a presence where they are. For me and for many bloggers these days, our present and future readers spend their time in social networking sites.”

Tips from the White House on how to do business online

Along with President Barack Obama’s weekly web video addresses, appointments and nominations, executive orders and slideshows, marketers can use the new Whitehouse.gov as a great example of how to do business online.

At exactly 12 PM ET, as Obama was giving his inauguration speech, his official presidential website has switched over to a new design.

Adding to all the information available on the Obama administration, the website of the President has something that no other presidential site has had before – a blog.

The first post, written by the White House director of New Media, Macon Phillips is titled: “Change has come to Whitehouse.gov.”

Phillips explains how the initial new media efforts will be centered around three priorities: communication, transparency and participation.

From the post:

“Millions of Americans have powered President Obama’s journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country’s future. WhiteHouse.gov is just the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.”

“One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.”

They’re also taking suggestions on how to improve the website by asking visitors: “what sort of things would you find valuable from Whitehouse.gov?” Anyone can send questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff by filling out a simple form.

How cool is that?

Whitehouse.gov is a great example of how to do business online. It succeeds by keeping customers (citizens) informed, involving customers in business decisions that affect them and engaging customers in conversation directly with the CEO.

Have you seen the new Whitehouse.gov? How could you use some of the engaging features in your own organization’s website?