Twitter: 5 Ways to Share Images

June 10, 2009

2120031Twittering is truly becoming one of the most important ways to share content in the social media arena. Beyond the obvious 140 characters limitation, there was no way to share images (a picture is worth a 1000 words). Since Twitter doesn’t have an application for this, third party vendors have come up with options for us that work on Twitter.

I recently read a post by Josh Catone, 5 ways to share images on Twitter, that I thought was both interesting and insightful on his part. He outlines our options and gives an overview of each of his examples. Here are some highlights of his 5 ways:

  1. Via a Twitter image sharing service
  2. Via SMS or Email
  3. Via Brightkite or FriendFeed
  4. Via Skitch
  5. Via an Encoded Tweet

Obviously, image sharing is the next logical step for Twitter and will probably drive more Tweets because of it.

If you’re already into images, I’d like to hear which one you prefer.

Share


Use Twitter as a PR Tool to Help Build Long-Term Relationships

June 9, 2009

Twitter is certainly the hot topic in the social media scene. Corporate executives, editors, financial analysts and community leaders, to mention a few, are all participating. From a PR standpoint, there’s great opportunity, but don’t get caught up with the thought that here’s another avenue we can use to pitch editors or analysts. Instead, think of it as a way to bring up awareness and start the process of building long-term relationships. Used correctly, Twitter can give you an advantage in the marketplace. Here are some tips on how to get involved:

  • Sign up. To participate, you need to jump in. Signing up is easy.
  • Identify Friends. You’ll want to find people with similar interests to follow and be followed. After you’ve found new friends, look at their lists and start following some of their followers.
  • Following/Followers. With Twitter, you not only want to follow, but be followed. When someone goes to your Twitter account, they’ll look first at how many people are following you. This brings up your credibility. It’s important that if someone follows you that you should follow them back. Twitter has some automated programs that will do that for you, and also will unfollow those who quit following you.
  • Listen. One of the most important aspects of all social media is listening. When you start, just watch what people are saying about you, your products or competition (use Twitter Search and put in key words).
  • Jump in and start Tweeting. Once you feel comfortable, start talking. If you see an interesting post or article, link to it. When people respond or retweet your message, be sure to acknowledge them.
  • Improve your writing skills. With a 140 character limit, you’re going to soon find out how to choose your words carefully, which is not a bad thing. Make your tweets clear and concise.

By using these tips, you should be off to a good start tweeting your way through life.

Here are a few more posts about Twitter that you might find interesting:

5 Tips for b-to-b marketers to get the most from Twitter

A guide to micro-blogging for the b-to-b marketers

Use Twitter to grow your b-to-b brands

Share


B-to-B Marketers: Why You Should Embrace Social Media

June 3, 2009

socialmedia1Everyone’s putting out stats on how one element or another of the social media landscape is doing, i.e. 175 million Facebook users spend an average of 3 billion minutes a day on Facebook, according to Conde Nast Portfolio; Twitter is growing at a 1,382% annual growth rate; Facebook has grown from 100 million to 200 million users in less than 8 months.

What does all this mean to the B-to-B marketer? It means that the world is embracing social media in one form or another. It means that Americans have not only found it, but are using it. Media post reports 49% of us are using some combination of social media in their life. Here’s a breakdown of social usage by age, gender and education that I think you’ll find interesting from a poll by Harris Interactive:

Online Social Network Usage – By Age & Gender (All Online Adults; % of Age Group)
Age Group Gender
Network Usage Total 18-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Male Female
Have a Facebook or MySpace account

48%

74

47

41

24

45

52

Update Facebook or MySpace account at least once a day

16

29

17

10

3

14

18

Use Twitter (Net)

5

8

7

4

1

5

5

Follow people on Twitter

5

8

6

4

1

5

5

Use Twitter to send messages

3

4

5

1

*

3

2

None of these

51

25

50

59

76

54

47′

Source: Harris Interactive, April 2009 Multiple responses allowed; * indicates less than 0.5%
Online Social Network Usage – By Education (All Online Adults; % of Group)
Education
Network Usage Total HS or less Some College College Grad+
Have a Facebook or MySpace account

48%

40

55

52

Update Facebook or MySpace account at least once a day

16

14

18

16

Use Twitter (Net)

5

3

7

6

Follow people on Twitter

5

3

6

6

Use Twitter to send messages

3

1

4

4

None of these

51

59

43

47

Source: Harris Interactive, April 2009 Multiple responses allowed; * indicates less than 0.5%

For additional information from Harris Interactive, please visit here.

Share


Use Twitter in Customer Service to Take Care of Problems in the Field for Professional Tradesmen

June 1, 2009

d0d3d30c-e678-42d6-991e-d5dbce607b57twitter300I’m sure we all have stories of customer service experiences both good and bad. I’d bet you’ve had more bad than good experiences though. For manufacturers who sell to the professional tradesmen, these are even more challenging. Think about it for a minute, when do these guys have questions/problems? Usually it’s on a job site or out in the shop where they may or may not have access to a computer. If they do call, they may be on hold for what seems like an eternity and still not get an answer to their question.

You need to think outside the box. Twitter is an ideal tool to service your customers. Customer service departments are supposed to solve problems, reinforce a positive brand experience and not cost you an arm and leg to support.

  • While phone calls may solve the problem, wait times do not. Twitter is almost instantaneous and can help solve most problems quickly.
  • Brand experience. Great customer service gets talked about and can lead to more sales.
  • Economical. Using Twitter often takes less time thus saving money.

Once you have an understanding of how Twitter can work, you can also easily track and monitor what people are saying about your brand.

Tweetbeep-Keeps track of contractor conversations that mention you.

Monitter-Lets you monitor the Twitter world for a set of key words and watches what people are saying about you.

Let contractors know how to know you’re there. Ask users to follow you on Twitter. Place a button on your web site in the customer service section so they know they can contact you in another manner.

Respond quickly and transparently. When you find a tradesman complaining about an issue, @reply them asking if you can help. If the problem is sensitive or the customer is highly upset, you can either direct a message to them or give them a quick way to contact you directly (direct line or your e-mail).

Be engaged in the conversations. Twitter is a conversational platform. Contractors like to talk. This is an opportunity to build your brand.

Be authentic. Contractors are no dummies and if you try to pull the wool over their eyes, it will come back to bite you.

Twitter and social media are helping the way customer service is done. Think outside the box. Wouldn’t you want to be the first in your line of work to offer this as an optional customer service tool?

Share


Social Media: 4 Signs Your Tradesmen Want to Hear From You

May 29, 2009

Construction Worker RelaxedBlogs, Forums, Twitter – are your brands or company being mentioned on any of these? If not, what are you going to do about it? Should you be joining the conversation? What are your competitors doing? Remember, those that start conversations often end up leading them.

I read an interesting post recently from Maria Pergolino, Social media: Signs your prospects want to hear from you, that I thought had some valid points to consider.

  1. People Talking about You. While this is the most obvious, when you do find those opportunities you need to start participating. Tools like Google and Twitter Search are good free tools to use to help identify opportunities.
  2. Friends on Parked Names. Sometimes companies reserve names (park) on social sites so no one else can get them, but aren’t active on the site other than some basic company info. While there, you might be attracting potential customers or editors even without putting content up. If this is the case, you’re missing opportunities.
  3. Someone Speaking for your Brand. Sometimes people (many times they are customers) take over your name and start talking about your brand or product. Often these advocates share tips and tricks on how you can do your job better. Other times they may be complaining about a product, its features or even your customer service. Regardless, the conversations that are taking place indicates interest in your products. In either case, you should know that you’re being talked about, and in the case of the customer who is unhappy, you should try to come to the root of his problem.
  4. Name Squatting. This is where someone else beats you to your name (brand) on a social site. It may be someone who wants to profit from your name like one of your distributors, or it could be a competitor trying to lock you out of that particular market. If it’s someone using your name, you should monitor it (use a service) to make sure they aren’t saying anything negative about you. Whatever the reason, it should indicate to you that someone thinks it’s important enough to capture your name.

In Social media, they’re going to talk about you whether you’re listening or not. Don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore them.

Share


5 Tips for B-to-B Marketers To Get the Most from Twitter

May 15, 2009

john twitterBusiness marketers trying to reach professional tradesmen can’t seem to warm up to a 140-character message as an impactful way to reach their targets.

Twitter has become a very powerful tool especially if you use some of their tools like Twitter Search which allows you to identify key words and phrases so you can follow and start a conversation with them. You can even monitor your company or product names and see what they are saying about you!

Twitter is a great tool for starting an opinion poll or directing folks to things they are tweeting about. It has been used by marketers at trade shows to create “BUZZ” on the floor: Stop at booth XXX and see their new left handed widget for plumbers.

In a post by Chris Brogan, 50 ideas on using Twitter for business, he outlines steps and hints on how to get the most out of Twitter in your business surroundings. Here are the top 5 tips that will help B-to-B Marketers to get the most from Twitter:

  1. Instead of answering a question “what are you doing?” answer the question “what has your attention?”
  2. Have multiple twitters at the company. People take vacations, quit, get on special projects. You need to keep the content going, it has to be good and it’s nice to have a different point of view.
  3. When promoting a post, give them a hint of what’s coming next.
  4. Tweet about other people’s stuff – it makes you look human and not always talking business.
  5. When you do talk business, make it useful. Give them a tip or advice that would make their life better.

What are your thoughts on using Twittersearch?

Share


A Guide to Micro-Blogging for B-to-B Marketers

May 13, 2009

home depotMicro-blogging is an effective way for people to get messages to the world.

Unlike regular blogging where your posts can go on and on and cover numerous subjects, a micro-blog communicates one event. A good comparison is thinking of it as a cross between social networking and blogging. Another way of thinking of it is it’s the new instant messaging vehicle .

If you’re a Facebook user, chances are you’re already micro-blogging to your friends using their status update. Beyond Facebook, there’s Twitter (which is the fastest growing segment of the online market) that allows you up to 140 characters to convey your message (you really have to be good about what you want to say).

Micro-blogs can be used for both personal and business use. For example, if you’re going to a trade show and are introducing a new product, why not do a tweet or a status update on your Facebook page to let people know where and when this event is happening. These can used for product launches, special promotions or new strategic alliances. You must remember that social means conversational (you can’t be putting a hard sell on someone).

Here are examples of  Twitter micro-blog posts to @HomeDepot:

home depot 2

Home Depot is using Twitter to offer help and receive feedback.

Do you have any interesting micro-blogs you’d like to share?

Share


Forrester Report: Most B-to-B Blogs Fail

May 11, 2009

bwblogsA report by Forrester Research found that most corporate blogs kept by business-to-business (B2B) firms failed to energize their intended audiences and engage them in meaningful conversations about trends and products.

Corporate bloggers are apparently struggling to sustain a conversation, while many B2B marketers are failing to realize that good blogging style should resemble a coffee shop conversation, not a whitepaper.

As a result, most B2B blogs are dull, drab, and don’t stimulate discussion, according to the Forrester report.

More than 70% of the corporate blogs it reviewed stick strictly to business or technical topics and don’t share much personal insight or experience.

74% of B2B blogs receive a minimum of commentary or trackbacks because readers fail to find conversations worthy of their involvement.

Successful blogging, Forrester insists, is not a one-way street, but most corporate bloggers yak away about their companies and products, seemingly oblivious to whether their audience is listening or not.

56% of blogs we examined simply regurgitate company news or executive views, while relatively fewer blogs work to establish thought leadership by enlisting internal experts–with deep, specific knowledge of a particular topic–as their primary blog authors.

“B2B marketers should embrace strategies prominently used by mainstream bloggers to attract readers, build conversations, and engage community members in sharing their experiences with their online peers, the report’s author advises.”

If you can’t get excited about what you do, then please don’t start a blog. It takes time and commitment, and without passion, it’s going to be impossible to move it forward. Your readers will soon spot the lack of passion in what you write.

This isn’t a school project that you do for a set period of time and then it’s done. It’s an ongoing dialog with your audience and it takes planning and managing content and having the right contributors. If you’re organized and have a road map of where you’re going, it will lessen the daily time commitment each of us has. I’ve said in other posts that if you can’t allow 1-2 hours a day to your blog, then don’t do it or find someone who can.

Lee Odden recently gave a presentation, Tips For Better Business Blogging, where he outlines 4 tips for developing a successful blog:

  1. Develop a practical purpose for your blog
  2. Plan your editorial and source content
  3. Socialize by utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Trackbacks to generate traffic
  4. Measure and promote success to that committee

Conclusion: Social media isn’t going away and businesses will sooner or later figure that out. The key is those that do it first will have a competitive advantage.

Have you had  a similar experience you’d like to share?


Share


Use Twitter to Grow Your B-to-B Brand

April 28, 2009

twitter-hashcloudsTwitter is the micro-blogging platform that will help B-to-B marketers grow their brand. It’s not a fad (upwards of 10,000 people a day are signing up).

Twitter helps you:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Generate traffic via followers
  • Gain insight via polls/surveys
  • Get to people you wouldn’t necessarily get to because of re-tweets

Twitter support applications that I find useful for B-to-B applications are:

TweetLater. Schedule tweets like you would an e-mail campaign so that you’ll have several going out each day automatically.

TweeterSearch gives you the ability to receive e-mail digests of key word activity so you can track and participate in conversations. You can now know who’s saying what about your company or brand.

Ping.fm. If you have a Facebook or LinkedIn account, you can post updates across all your social media sites.

Twitter on Facebook. You can forward your Twitter updates directly to your status updates on Facebook.

TwitterFox. If you use the web browser Firefox, you can view your tweets in you browser as in a pop-up menu so you don’t have to be going to Twitter to check .

Tweetdeck. A personal browser that connects you with your contacts across Twitter and Facebook and allows you to follow your friends.

Twitter is so much more than a micro-blog limited to 140 characters, and when used properly, can help your overall marketing program.

Have you used other tools to help you get the most out of Twitter? Share them in the comment section below.

Share


2009 – The Year of Social Media

April 20, 2009

So you think social media is just a phase, well think again. Here are some numbers from a post by Stan Schroeder, The Web in Numbers: The Rise of Social Media, that will blow you away.

 

twitter and facebook growth

According to Nielsen Online, latest research shows that social networking is now more popular than e-mail. 66.8% of Internet users use social media while only 65.1% have used e-mails.

  • YouTube. In March, it reached 100 million monthly views in the U.S.A.^.3 billion videos were viewed on the site. YouTube will serve 75 billion videos to 375 million unique visitors in 2009.
  • Facebook. Has grown from 100 million to 200 million users in less than 8 months. If it were a country, it would be bigger than Brazil
  • MySpace. Is now lagging Facebook with only 54.1 million unique visitors.
  • Twitter. Is growing at a crazy rate. It grew 76.8% in one month (Feb-March 09). Its yearly growth rate is 1,382%. Twitter has 7 million unique visitors a month.

Share


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers