Use Twitter to Talk Up Your Brand to Tradesmen

July 14, 2010

If you don’t talk up your brand on Twitter and other social sites, you’re missing the boat.

This according to a recent  post on eMarketer.com from ROI Research. A study in April of 2010 found that at least once a week, 33% of active Twitter users shared opinions about companies or products, while 32% make recommendations and 30% ask for them.

Behavior* of US Twitter Users Since Connecting with  Companies/Products on Twitter, October 2009 & April 2010 (% of  respondents)

According to Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics who commissioned the study “Social networking has greatly contributed to the shift from strict consumerism to more lively, two-way participation between Brands and everyday customers.”

If you like this, you should like:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

Want to Find out if Professional Tradesmen are Active on Twitter?

If you like these, please pass it on to a friend.

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How to Find Tradesmen on Twitter

July 7, 2010

Twitter is one of the most useful social media tools we use to drive traffic. For it to be effective, you first need to determine key words and phrases that fit into your space.

Twitter has tools as well as third parties that can help. I recently read an article by Adam Holden-Bache in Social Media B2B where he outlines some tips on fine-tuning your audience searches. Here are some highlights:

  • Determine key words and phrases - Go to Google AdWords Keyword Tool and enter some key words. For example, air conditioning heating gets an average 550,000 monthly hits and 450,000 are local searches
  • Search Twitter by key words - Twitter Advance Search, take what you find on Google and plug into Twitter
  • Optimize tweets for inbound opportunities - Use Google Reader and select Twitter Search Feed. When you click on “show details,” it tells you when most activities are taking place so you know when to Tweet
  • Use Buzzom.com to search Twitter Bios - Search key words that would describe the people that buy your products, such as remodeling contractors
  • Use Twellow.com to search business categories - This is a directory of Twitter accounts and you can search broad categories to identify people who are in the energy market, aerospace or green

These are some great tips. Do you have any to share?

If you like this article, you may like:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

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50 Power Twitter Tips to Help B-to-B Marketers

July 1, 2010

Twitter is often one of the most misunderstood and underutilized social media tools. I use it all the time and it’s one of the best lead generators for my blog.

Chris Brogan, one of the industry’s gurus, has put together a list of tips that I thought would be useful, so here they are:

Intent (Human Artist)

  1. Don’t read EVERY tweet. It’s perfectly okay. You have permission.
  2. Follow anyone who follows you (and unfollow spammers/jerks).
  3. Promote other people 12x to every 1 self-promotional tweet.
  4. Build lists to watch people who matter to you more closely.
  5. Retweet the good stuff from others. Sharing is caring.
  6. A lot of @replies shows a lot of humanity/engagement.
  7. Robot tweets are less sexy than human tweets.
  8. Promote the new/less followed more than the “names.”
  9. Set an egg timer. Twitter is addictive.
  10. Everyone does it their own way. You’re doing it wrong, too – to someone.

Technical

  1. A non-standard background and face avatar means we believe you may be human.
  2. Leave 20 characters or more space in each tweet to improve retweeting.
  3. Use Seesmic or Tweetdeck or Hootsuite so you can see more.
  4. Linking one update to several communities is technically possible. It’s just not respectful of each community’s uniqueness.
  5. Tools like http://bit.ly let you see stats. Use them.
  6. Make hashtags small and simple. We need room to tweet.
  7. If software allows you to “post updates to Twitter” as well as to the app, don’t do that. We rarely want to see them.
  8. If you develop software that pushes updates to Twitter, be VERY explicit how that works.
  9. Every time you use OAUTH to give apps permission to use your account, you open a potential security hole. Check your permissions monthly.
  10. The best mobile app is the one that you feel comfortable using. We don’t know better.

Business

  1. Spamming us repeatedly is okay. We just unfollow you.
  2. Spend more time in search than in chatting us up about your stuff.
  3. Finding people who need what you’re selling trumps advertising to us.
  4. Retweeting someone’s nice words about you is lame and doesn’t buy you more attention. Let it stand.
  5. If your link is an affiliate link or a client, say so (in parentheses).
  6. Your customers might not be on Twitter. Use rapleaf to find them.
  7. Invite your customers to Twitter, then make it worth it for them.
  8. Use Twitter as a personalized communication tool, not another blast.
  9. Having different accounts for everything seems like the right move, until you realize it’s hard to grow multiple followings.
  10. Just make money and then the boss won’t ask about ROI any more.

Integrated Usage

  1. Twitter makes every event better. Post the hashtag everywhere. Make every speaker sign/label/name include a Twitter ID.
  2. Apps like TweetChat.com make following event chats really easy. Put in a hashtag and go.
  3. Tweeting the content of events is nice, but so is occasionally making a real live connection with the speaker.
  4. It’s okay to tweet your blog posts, but try asking a question that leads readers into the post.
  5. Can you invite Twitter followers to your other social platforms, like LinkedIn or Facebook? Sure you can.
  6. I’m not into mixing my location apps with my tweets, but if you do, do it FROM the location app into Twitter, not the other way around.
  7. Getting others to tweet your posts or news or registrations is useful, but sometimes comes off as a barrage or spam. Be prepared for that perception.
  8. Tweets that point us to photos and/or video and/or music, etc., are always a great way to enhance the experience.
  9. Please remove Twitter from LinkedIn. Use the #in tag instead and be selective.
  10. Spammy or no, events that tweet their attendance registration seem to drive attendance.

Off-Twitter

  1. Are your tweets really what you want to show in your sidebar? Doesn’t that direct people away from your site?
  2. Think of Twitter as a guidance system to what you think is interesting. A lot of that is likely off-Twitter.
  3. Apps like VisibleTweets.com are neat, but can be very distracting at events.
  4. If you use tweets on a screen at an event, be warned if you moderate. Angry crowds can happen.
  5. Don’t forget to invite people from off-Twitter to follow you on Twitter. Include your actual Twitter ID (I see lots of “follow me on Twitter” with no details).
  6. Asking questions on Twitter makes for very interesting commentary and opinions for blog posts.
  7. Tweetups are awesome, especially if you make them about more than just drinking and saying hi. (Though, hey, drinks can be nice.)
  8. Outside of the Twitter app, keep “Tw” names to a minimum. We’re not your “tweeps.”
  9. If your only marketing efforts are on Twitter, start building an email marketing list. Never put your eggs in one basket.
  10. Start thinking in 120 characters (remember? save 20). Every bit of this advice is tweetable.

Your mileage may vary. Some of these might be really helpful and others might not be that useful at all, given your own situations. In fact, feel free to make your own version, add and subtract at will, and comment on where you disagree or agree. It’s all up for discussion. Besides, you’re doing it wrong.

If you like this article, you might enjoy:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

B-to-B Marketers: Tips on How to Optimize Twitter

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How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

June 10, 2010

I don’t know why people are afraid of Twitter. Most of the world suffers from ADD anyway and wants something short and to the point. Politicians use the 10 second sound bit all the time to grab our attention. Do you know why? Because it works! 10 seconds isn’t a lot of time, so they give us one idea to think about.

Twitter is the ideal platform to state your case and engage your reader. I recently read a post by Cindy King on Social Media Examiner, 12 Tips to Engage People on Twitter, and wanted to share her thoughts. Here are 6 of my favorites:

  1. Publish Something Useful - Sounds trite but true. Give a fresh perspective to the conversation and see what happens.
  2. Retweet to Acknowledge Others - This gives them reach and starts the viral effect we all want.
  3. Answer Other People’s Tweets - You can’t get engaged until someone starts a conversation.
  4. Ask for Help - Tell people what you’re looking for and you might be surprised as to what comes back.
  5. Introduce Yourself to New Followers - Make it personal, after all, that’s what social is all about.
  6. Say Thank You - If someone acknowledges you or retweets your message, say thanks. Beyond being a common courtesy, it starts to build a relationship.

Those are some of the ways I try to engage my followers.

What are some of the ways you use Twitter?

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Awareness of Twitter Has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

June 8, 2010

Contractors are busy people, and the 140-character message is just enough to peak their curiosity and have them click through to your message.

Twitter is one of the social media tools that can be used as a tool for your company’s social media marketing strategy to generate online traffic and a pipeline for new business leads. Over the past year, the leading traffic generator to my blog has been Twitter.

Twitter Usage In America: 2010 is a new report derived from the Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series. This report is derived from three years of tracking data on Twitter usage in the United States. It is filled with rich information that can help guide the use of Twitter for your agency and its clients.

Twitter is more of a broadcast channel than many realize. The majority of users never post anything…but they are definitely reading and clicking.

Here are some highlights from this comprehensive study and its untapped potential for marketing, advertising and your agency’s new business:

  • Awareness of Twitter has exploded over the past twelve months. The percentage of Americans who are familiar with Twitter has surged from 5% in 2008 to 87% in 2010. Twitter is a natural “companion medium” to other media channels – in particular, as an accompaniment to live TV.
  • Despite equal awareness, Twitter trails Facebook significantly in usage: 7% of Americans (17 million persons) actively use Twitter, while 41% maintain a profile page on Facebook.
  • Nearly two-thirds of active Twitter users access social networking sites using a mobile phone.
  • Twitter users split between habitual “Tweeters” and those who access occasionally. The majority of Twitter users are “lurkers,” passively following and reading the updates of others without contributing updates of their own but they are listening, reading and clicking.
  • Twitter users are far more likely to follow Brands/Companies than social networkers in general. Twitter users frequently exchange information about products and services.
  • 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
  • Most (70%) regular Twitter users do post status updates to some social networking service (likely Facebook). Twitter appears to be functioning as more of a broadcast medium compared to Facebook and many other social networking sites and services.
  • Marketing and business use cases for Twitter far exceed similar usage for social networking websites in general.

The full 49-page study, full of interesting graphs and data, is available for download: Twitter Usage in America: 2010 – Complete Report

If you like this post, you might find these interesting:

B-to-B Marketers: Tips on How to Optimize Twitter

What Kind of Twitterer Are You?

Twitter: How Useful is This Tool for B-to-B Marketers?

If you like this post, please pass it on.

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Want to Find Out if Professional Tradesmen are Active with Social Media?

June 2, 2010

If you’re reading this blog, then it would be safe to say that you aren’t asking the “why” or “should” we be using social media. What you’re looking for are ways to answer the “where” and “how.”

Companies should follow, not lead their customers in the social media arena. I read a post recently from Jay Baer, one of social media’s thought leaders, Four Ways to Find Out if Your Customers are Active With Social Media, and I thought I’d share some of the highlights:

  • Hire a Spy - There are companies out there that track down your customers and see what they are on and to what level (scary thought). Flowtown and Rapleaf are two of the leaders.
  • Ask - It’s too obvious, isn’t it? In your regular business conversations, ask if they are active. If you have an online lead generation form, add data fields for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
  • E-mail Behavior - Add links to your social outposts in your e-mails.
  • Gmail Stalking - Twitter, Facebook and other outposts have incorporated a function that allows you to see if they are using their services and invite them to connect with you.

If you like this post, you might like:

How B-to-B Marketers Can Make Good Use Out of Facebook Fan Pages.

Follow Companies on Twitter: Keep Tabs on Your Competition or Customers.

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B-to-B Marketers: Tips on How to Optimize Twitter

April 8, 2010

In our world of B-to-B and especially the world of manufacturing, Twitter, of all the social media tools, is probably the most misunderstood and therefore the most under utilized.

75 million people visited Twitter in January alone, over 23 million were from the US. According to Twitter, over 50 million tweets are sent daily.

Twitter is being talked about everywhere. People are drawn to it because of the buzz of its popularity, but the majority of people don’t understand its potential.

My primary objective for using Twitter has been to increase traffic to my blog. Twitter is now the leading traffic generator for Tradesmeninsights.

There are hundreds of tools that have been developed to enhance Twitter’s usefulness for marketing. The tool that is most helpful to me and the one I use most often to generate new business is called Social Oomph.

These are some of the Social Oomph features that I like and use:

  • Manage multiple accounts from one dashboard (our agency’s as well as client’s Twitter accounts)
  • Manage an unlimited number of blogs
  • Upload your agency’s blog posts and URLs from an Excel spread sheet, in bulk, to Social Oomph
  • Pre-set the date/time range for each post in minutes
  • Automatically shorten post URLs through Bit.ly and track clicks
  • Automate – follow those who follow you in Twitter
  • Automate – unfollow those who don’t follow you in Twitter
  • Purge and filter your Twitter account’s DM box
  • Small monthly fee that is month-to-month, cancellable at any time (more than pays for itself for the time that it saves)
  • Junior level people/interns can be easily trained to use this tool on behalf of the marketing departments
  • You can also schedule your company’s blog posts to Facebook, just keep the repurpose level to only a few per day

For Twitter to have real value from a new business perspective for manufacturers, you must have a clear objective and follow a simple formula for use.

To reach my objective to my blog’s traffic and exposing it to a new but targeted audience, I’ve followed Angela Maiers 70-20-10 Twitter Engagement Formula.

70 to 80% of my “Twitter time” is spent sharing helpful information for manufacturers on how they can use social media as part of their overall marketing strategy… I do this in two ways:

First, I share lots of information from my online reading that I think will be of help to my audience. I’m able to use some tools such as TwitThis that I’ve placed in my browser bar. When I come across a good article that I think will be of help, all I have to do is click on TwitThis and automatically post the article title and tiny URL into my Twitter account.

Secondly, I also share the content from my Tradesmeninsights blog. I now have over 180 of my own blog posts regarding ways manufacturers can use social media. I’m able to use Social Oomph to expose these posts to new audiences.

I can easily schedule the date, time and recurrence of each post. With the volume of posts that I now have, I can publish a different post on Twitter every hour, seven days a week twenty-four hours a day without repetition. Older posts, that are still useful, have new life. The best posts are often re-tweeted and exposed to new networks of people.

Your Company’s Blog Posts: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you’ve written it, everybody has read it.

Twitter is more than a fad. It is a valuable marketing tool. Twitter tools such as Social Oomph make it priceless for generating traffic and new business leads.

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B-to-B Marketers: What Type of Twitterer Are You?

March 3, 2010

People use Twitter for different reasons. From a B-to-B perspective, why do you? For those of us who are trying  to use Twitter as a marketing tool, you normally have a reason for using it. Twitter is a conversational platform. What kinds of conversations are you having?

I read a post recently from Jason Falls (a social media guy who I admire), Four styles of marketing on Twitter, and thought he hit it right on the head. Here are highlights of the Twitter styles:

Twitter Marketing Styles

Twitter Marketing Scale

  • Conversationalists - Want to use Twitter for business, but will participate in the daily conversations.
  • Conversational Marketer - Participate but with a stated purpose. They remind you of their newsletter or link you back to their blog.
  • The Salesman - Less conversational and more to the point of why they are here. These folks, even though they put sales first, still contribute good info and links to their followers.
  • The Broadcaster - Self promotion is the only reason they are there. They don’t participate in conversations and don’t contribute to the group.

So the question arises, what kind of Twitterer are you?

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You Should Know the “Why” Before the “How” If You’re Going to Jump Into Social Media

October 7, 2009

whyandhowI recently put on a Webinar on how social media could be used by B-to-B, and one of the most common questions is what tools should I use? Should I concentrate on Facebook, LinkedIn or is Twitter the best for me? When I ask them why are they doing social media, I get a silent pause. One of the first things we talk about is the “Why” you want to participate in the social media scene. If you can’t answer the Why, then the How doesn’t matter. Don’t get into social because you think it’s cool or that this will be the “silver bullet” that will save your business. You need to treat social like any other marketing program. Define expectations and outcomes. Adopt a phased approach to meet these business objectives. Here are some questions to answer to better understand your goals:

  • Why are  you participating?
  • How can social media improve your customer relations?
  • Can social media help you build/reinforce your brand?
  • Do your current customers use social and which sites do they frequent?
  • How do you define success?
  • What kind of metrics are you going to set in place to monitor your success?
  • How can social media help you gain more knowledge?
  • What kind of social media policy do you have in place?

Like any other program, success is based on developing a plan and then implementing it. If you want to be cool and hip, do your homework and you’ll find out that people respond when you have a plan.

What are your thoughts?

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Posts Should Be Like Missiles: Powerful and to the Point

September 16, 2009

misslesI’ve never been much for beating around the bush. I like to get to the point and move on. Much like a missile, which when programmed, is focused and keeps on track to its target…so should a good post. I guess that’s why I like Twitter so much, because it makes you choose your words carefully, not only to communicate the message, but to be impactful as well. I read a post recently on Copyblogger by Michelle Russell, How to write with a knife, that gives great insight into how to sharpen your message.  She does an excellent job showing you how to get the wheat away from the chaff. So enjoy.

Here is some other interesting reading:

Why most Blogs Fail

5 Tips on How to Improve your Blog

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