By now, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the reasons to use Twitter for your business. However, most conversations on the subject rarely offer specific strategies for using Twitter for your business, and instead they consist of vague statements like connect with and engage your audience or build your brand.
Today, we’re going to take a look at specific actions you can take on Twitter to help your business.
- Provide customer support—While I certainly don’t recommend using Twitter as your main source of customer support, it’s helpful as an additional option for customers. JetBlue and cable service Comcast are just two major companies that provide customer support through Twitter. Make sure the employee providing customer service over Twitter is trained properly to solve problems and to offer excellent service every time.
- Hold contests—Twitter is an excellent medium for holding a contest for your business. Last year, web hosting services company @HostGator held a contest where the company gave away an iPhone every day for a month. To enter the contest, entrants had to Tweet the details of the contest each day. This created thousands upon thousands of mentions about the web hosting company, making the contest a viral success.
- Alert customers about special sales—Many companies use Twitter to update customers about special sales and coupon codes. @MarcJacobsSales and @DellOutlet are two examples of Twitter accounts where you can learn of the latest and greatest deals.
- Poll audience for data gathering—One of the most overlooked ways to use Twitter is to gain deep insight from your target audience. Polling customers can involve anything from getting their thoughts on new product ideas to finding out which topics they’d like to see you blog about.
- Let customers know your location (for mobile businesses)—Several mobile businesses (e.g. taco trucks, ice cream trucks, waffle trucks, etc.) use Twitter to let customers know where they are. This drives foot traffic to the business, helping increase sales.
- Monitor your reputation—If your target audience is on Twitter, there’s a good chance your company could get mentioned at some point. Guess what? These mentions might not always be so positive. Subscribe to company-specific keywords on Twitter search so that you’re alerted every time someone mentions your brand.
- Tell customers when you have an opening—One of the most creative uses of Twitter I’ve seen is @Laundryroom. This Twitter account alerts residents at Olin College’s West Hall every time a washing machine in the Laundromat is available.
- Promote special events—Does your company host after hours events or special parties? Twitter is the perfect way to promote the event so you can have an excellent turnout.
- Post company news—Keep your customers, partners, and employees up to date with the latest news on your company through Twitter. This can be anything from updates on big projects to information about new products you’re releasing.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out how to get more followers on Twitter.
How does your business use Twitter? Leave a comment with your suggestions for effective business Tweeting.
About six months ago, I had 1500 blog subscribers—all of whom left few if any comments. On a good day, I would get maybe 8 comments.
On a bad day, I might get zero
It hurt my feelings more than a little.
And it made me wonder: Is anyone actually reading my blog? Or are all of these people pressing the delete button whenever my blog feeds into their inbox? Am I the most unloved blogger on the planet?
I thought about throwing a De-Lurking Party, as I’d read about other bloggers doing that sort of thing. But that seemed, well. In a word? Terrifying. What if I held a party and no one showed?
No, I couldn’t do that. No. No. No. A De-Lurking Party? That was waaaaay too risky.
So I did all of the usual things that people tell you to do in order to get more comments. I ended each post with this line, “Please leave a comment.” I installed the Comment Luv and the Subscribe To Comments plugins. I begged my Twitter followers to please comment on my blog.
Then, one day, I accidentally purchased the wrong size of bed sheets. I opened the package and washed them before realizing the issue. I didn’t know what to do with the dang things, so in the middle of a post Of Cobwebs, Bedsheets and Butter I wrote: Would you like a set of free Bakugan bed sheets? Leave a comment on today’s post that makes me laugh and forget all of my life’s problems and they are yours.
It was a joke. I didn’t think anyone would want them. I mean, seriously? They were kid’s bed sheets. They were already out of the package.
They had Bakugan designs on them.
That post? It generated 23 comments. As the comments flowed in, I danced around my room saying, “Who-hoo. People really do read my blog. Who-ho. People love me.”
Reward Your Readers
Let me tell you something. I. Did. Not. Want. To. Come. Down. From. That. 23 Comments. High.
So I decided to give away more stuff.
I included a line from Where the Wild Things Are in one post’s headline and offered to send a chocolate bar to the first reader who figured out the book from which I’d stolen the line.
I won a bunch of dildos at a conference (don’t you just wish you were at THAT conference?), so I gave two away to my readers.
I re-gifted swag. I gave away crap that I didn’t want anymore. I gave, and I gave, and I gave.
Here are some other things that I did:
Created a Reader of the Month award. I give it to one frequent commenter each month.
Thanked my readers. I thanked them in my posts. I thanked them in the comments area. I told them just how much their comments helped inspire me. I told them just had crappy I felt whenever a post did not generate a lot of comments.
Started a Reader Participation post. I did the first one on a morning when I was busy and didn’t have enough time to write a real post. So I posed a question, asking, “What was the best marriage advice you ever got?” In the body, I told readers that they would write the post instead of me. I would, however, reward one commenter with a subscription to Wired magazine. That post? It got 46 comments. Now I regularly post questions—usually ones that were sent to me by readers—and I ask my readers to answer them.
I hope everyone had a happy holiday and wishing everyone a happy new years as well. I’m heading out for the evening, if you are tuned in online, feel free to watch the news years even ball drop live from times square in NYC.
At a recent meeting of industry people I saw a self-styled social media guru – they’re everywhere these days – talk about the how to use social media to make potential customers like your product. In the middle of his talk he gave an uncomfortable example of how he used social media for personal gain.
He was checking in to an upscale hotel and the bagboy left his bag on the floor behind him and walked off. Now I’d personally be thrilled in such a case – no bagboy hanging around looking for a tip – but this social media guru went one better and used this supposed gaffe to blackmail the hotel. He took a photo of his lonely bag by itself and told the clerk he was going to upload the photo to the internet and Twitter the incident. The hotel clerk sheepishly gave him a free upgrade on his room as an act of apology, and presumably to avoid negative word-of-mouth from a social media guru. He was proud of his wily dealings, but the story struck me as embarrassing. I was embarrassed on behalf of the internet marketing industry and on behalf of decent people who don’t go around looking for ways to blackmail vendors for freebies. Is this what social media is for? Read more >>
As a search marketer I have long been looking for an ideal link building model: where everyone’s happy, Google can ban you for selling or buying your link authority, quality wins over quantity and there’s no room for manipulation (note: as a marketer I am well aware of the fact that there’s nothing perfect under the sun. But I wanted something at least better than what we have now).
Currently, the most popular (and the easiest) link building method is still paying for a link (paid reviews, paid editorials, sponsorships, etc). Still, two main reasons why I try to avoid link buying includes:
- Paid links are almost impossible to camouflage: a website selling links has obviously sold quite a few of them, so it is very likely to be flagged for selling links. By buying several links here and there, you are much likely creating a pattern and Google most probably already knows you are doing that (so this is either non-effective or even dangerous);
- The affect from paid link campaigns is somewhat lopsided: you are only paying money for possible ranking increase. A paid link is unlikely to promote your brand or generate you some good, targeted traffic.
Well it’s that time of year again folks. Thanksgiving is gone and Christmas is almost upon us again. As many of you probably remember I took a vacation last year to the north pole and was dancing with Santa’s elves about this time. I’m not going to have time for all that vacationing this year, however I did decide to go ahead and get an early start on the holiday season and get a Christmas tree on the first day of December. I took this short video clip of me getting the tree. I hope you enjoy!
The real time web is one of the hottest areas of the web right now. The reason why is that internet users want to know what is happening right now. With the advent of user generated content, there is real time data out there and real time search engines can show you what is happening right now.
Below is a review of Sency – one of the up and coming real time search engines.
Sency allows internet users to navigate the real time web from two angles. First users can search for what is being said about a specific term. So, if users want to see what people are saying about an athlete, celebrity, or other news event, they can get that information in real time. Sency also shows users today’s most popular link for a specific keyword. So, users can search to see which links are the hottest right now.
In addition to a search engine for users, Sency also offers two widgets for publishers. The first widget gives websites and blogs access to real time content. The second widget gives publishers access to today’s most popular links for a given keyword. Each widget is easy to customize, and free to use. Also, there is no Sency branding above or below either widget.
Many startups, such as Sency, have begun to navigate the real time web. It will be interesting to see which ones emerge and also, it will be interesting to see the new tools that these real time web companies create.
WordPress is so versatile that you can use it as a blog, static business website, community, or CMS (content management system), pretty much anything you need to do, you should reach for WordPress. Lately, I’ve had a lot of requests for information on multi-author blogs. Using the leverage of multiple authors is a great idea, but you should plan out your strategy before you begin. You will leverage the time of more people for both content and promotion. When you start a website like this, the website owner assumes the role of community manager and has to keep the blog running smoothly. Don’t expect the blog to just take off because you have more content then before, you still have to run it like a professional blog. What platform to use, how will you find bloggers, How to reward your bloggers are a few good questions to start with.
What community blogging platform to use?
Worpdress (WP) and WPMU (WordPress Multi-user) are both great platforms for a multi-author blog. I have found that a if you want to create a WordPress website it is good for a close knit group of bloggers, that communicate regularly and understand the overall strategy for the website. Examples on this type of website is Mashable.com. WPMU on the other hand is better for a blogging website where the bloggers don’t really know each other, but all have similar interests in the overall blog topics. WPMU powers wordpress.com.
A WP website is much easier to run compared to a WPMU site, but the WPMU site can grow to be much larger because a WPMU site creates subdomains for each author. Each subdomain can use different themes, plugins, etc, they are each individual webistes. You can think of it as each website made by WPMU is a normal WP website. WPMU will always be under attack by people trying to make a fake blogs and game your system, but there are many plugins and strategies to stop this.
An example of a WPMU structure will be as follows. maindomain.com will be main website and all sites built under it will aggregate to it. Now as authors start blogs, each one will have a subdomain. Let’s say this is a car site. honda.maindomain.com, toyota.maindomain.com are examples on subdomains.
If you really want to make your WPMU community take off, you can offer Top Level Domains. Besically the author that made honda.maindomain.com, can upgrade to hondacars.com… Now that author can have subdomains under them. CRV.hondacars.com… As you can see it can go on forever and can offer much more benefits that a normal WP install. Again, it will take more effort from the community manage to keep things running smoothly.
This is a guest post by Gloson. Gloson is a talented 11 year old blogger from Malaysia. He also has written a poetry book, and is officially the youngest published poet in Malaysia. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!
Commenting on blogs is a great way to get yourself (and your blog noticed). If you type in your site address in the comment form, you will get a little link on your name in the comment.
If your comments are noticed, chances are some people might click into your website and you’ll get some traffic.
But now popular blogs receive about 50 – 100 comments on each post. And people usually miss most of them.
Here are 15 ways to get your blog comments stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of people.
1. Write longer comments if the rest are short ones
If most of the comments happen to be short ones, then write long comments to make yourself stand out. Don’t forget to format it though, for no one likes reading long comments.
2. Write shorter comments if the rest are long ones
Do exactly the opposite if the rest are long ones. Of course, don’t write two word comments or that will backfire.
3. Be one of the early birds
But before you do that…
Make sure you are leaving a useful comment, and not two-word comments. So being the 10th commentator with a useful comment is better than being the 1st with a two-word one.
But note that doing this too many times on the same blog can be annoying.
4. Use formatting to dress up your comment
If you are not familiar with HTML,
a = <strong>a</strong>
b = <em>b</em>
c = <u>c</u>
Formatting a comment is as easy as a b c . People like to read tidy and formatted comments, and that should stand out from the crowd, if there are not many formatted comments.
For example (My comment on 15 Ways Of Getting (Free) Traffic For Your Blog),
Before I start this post, I want to make it clear that I like the SEO Hosting Blog. In addition to being a regular reader and commenter, I also have a professional relationship with two of the SEO Hosting writers. However, with that being said, I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with a post that I came across on Wednesday.
The post that caught my attention was titled “Why Does a Blog Help SEO?,” and was written by Garry Conn. Since I am a blogger and own an SEO company, I thought this post was going to be right up my alley. However, my opinion of this post changed once I reached the second half of it. In the spirit of fairness, I’m going to quote the entire section of the post that I have an issue with:
“Last item is gaining inbound links to your site. Now, this part is something that not many people do very often. If you have a website and you’re trying to get it to rank for top rated keywords, the blog itself is what can thrust your website into top rankings. The key to doing this is to make sure that you’re blog is completely separate from your website. Meaning, if your website is YOURBUSINESS.COM, don’t make your blog YOURBUSINESS.COM/BLOG or BLOG.YOURBUSINESS.COM.
Instead, make your blog something like YOURBUSINESSBLOG.com. Additionally, your blog and website should be different IP addresses, in fact, maybe hosted by different companies. The purpose of doing this is to have the ability to point links back to your website and have search engines credit these links as true external inbound links.
This part handles a portion of inbound links to your website, which there should also be other link campaigns going on as well. Perhaps a second or third blog as well.”