Five Winning Tactics For An SMB Using Twitter

social media smb

 

One of the best means to get to get your message across is to use Twitter for SMB marketing. Below are five tactics where Twitter can help.  This post was originated posted by Small Biz Trends, with edits and additions made. Picture via Karibu Games

Don’t Ignore SEO Value

SMB owners often forget to apply SEO best practices to Twitter when they engage. As a rule, anything that exists on the Web can (and should) be optimized for search. Just because Twitter ‘nofollows’ the links shared, doesn’t mean they can’t bring value to your business or that you shouldn’t be trying to collect as much SEO value from your Twitter account as you can.

Here are some good practices:

  • Use a Twitter handle that reflects the product or service that you offer or the experience you’re trying to create.
  • Optimize your Twitter bio, using important keywords + a link to your site.
  • Use hashtags to categorize your tweets to make them easy for like-minded users to find and follow.
  • Integrate Twitter into the rest of your site to encourage others to share your content and to build awareness.
  • Tweet links to your blog posts, product pages, Web site to expose them both to users and the search engines.

With the search engines increasingly integrating Twitter data into the SERPs, taking care to optimize your engagement there can pack a pretty effective punch.

Follow People That Matter!

Your Twitter experience is directly tied to the users you choose to follow. If you flood your account with lots of random people who will never have an interest in your brand, then you’re really wasting your time. Use tools like Twitter Search, Listorious, WeFollow andTwitter Graderto help you find like-minded Twitter users and people who have an interest in what you’re all about.

For example, doing a Twitter search for a popular industry blog or SMB topic will you help find folks who have the same interests, mining Listorious (or lists created by other Twitter users) for categories related to what you do will help you find users who identify themselves similarly. Participating in Twitter chats is another great way to find people to connect with. What you don’t want to do is get blinded by follower numbers and lean toward only engaging with A-listers. Instead, focus on locating real-life customers or people who could become customers.

Amber Naslund’s post on how to build a Twitter community with substance is a must read.

Enhance Your Tweets

It can be hard to engage with people that you don’t know in real life. Therefore, it is a good idea to kick start your activities by creating or sharing content that you and other SMBs with find of value. Vary your tweets by incorporating different types of media and something that will engage your audience and start a discussion.

A good way to start would be to include:

  • Photos of your business, your product, what you’re having for lunch, etc.
  • YouTube links of your favorite artist, a tour of your office, a recent presentation you gave, etc.
  • Links to surveys or polls to get user feedback.
  • Links to reviews, discussion questions, etc.
  • Product coupons, links to promotions, special Twitter deals

Syndicate Broader

To ensure you are always growing your SMB audience, you should spend some time to make sure your content gets in front of as many people as possible. Depending on your business objectives, it may make sense for you to sync your Twitter account with you Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. You can also use a Twitter widget on your homepage to build awareness to current customers and search traffic, actively encourage followers to retweet your message, use automation sparingly to manage your account, etc. You don’t want to get too aggressive but you should always be looking for new ways to smartly cross-link accounts and get your message to as many people as possible.

Measure Watch You Share

If you are sharing content, without a means to measure it you will have no idea on what is resonating with your audience and what is not. Use services like Bit.ly to monitor which tweets or content pieces attract users. If your Twitter traffic is going up or down, monitor which Twitter calls to action get the best response and which users are most responsive.

The Rise of the Growth Hacker

Flickr Credit: Tent Blogger

Andrew Chen, penned an excellent post this weekend on the rise of a new emergent marketing role called the Growth Hacker.  Here are a few extracts of the blog posts that I found fascinating:

“A new job title of “Growth Hacker” is rapidly integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit, they can help run up the score on what’s already working.

 This isn’t just a single role – the entire marketing team is being disrupted. Rather than a VP of Marketing with a bunch of non-technical marketers reporting to them, instead growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers. The process of integrating and optimizing your product to a big platform requires a blurring of lines between marketing, product, and engineering, so that they work together to make the product market itself. Projects like email deliverability, page-load times, and Facebook sign-in are no longer technical or design decisions – instead they are offensive weapons to win in the market.

The stakes are huge because of “superplatforms” giving access to 100M+ consumers These skills are invaluable and can change the trajectory of a new product. For the first time ever, it’s possible for new products to go from zero to 10s of millions users in just a few years. Great examples include Pinterest, Zynga, Groupon, Instagram, Dropbox. New products with incredible traction emerge every week. These products, with millions of users, are built on top of new, open platforms that in turn have hundreds of millions of users – Facebook and Apple in particular. Whereas the web in 1995 consisted of a mere 16 million users on dialup, today over 2 billion people access the internet. On top of these unprecedented numbers, consumers use super-viral communication platforms that rapidly speed up the proliferation of new products – not only is the market bigger, but it moves faster too.

Before this era, the discipline of marketing relied on the only communication channels that could reach 10s of millions of people – newspaper, TV, conferences, and channels like retail stores. To talk to these communication channels, you used people – advertising agencies, PR, keynote speeches, and business development. Today, the traditional communication channels are fragmented and passe. The fastest way to spread your product is by distributing it on a platform using APIs, not MBAs. Business development is now API-centric, not people-centric.

Whereas PR and press used to be the drivers of customer acquisition, instead it’s now a lagging indicator that your Facebook integration is working. The role of the VP of Marketing, long thought to be a non-technical role, is rapidly fading and in its place, a new breed of marketer/coder hybrids have emerge”.

As the web evolves and new platforms reach out to millions of users, traditional marketing is being disrupted at a rapid pace. But I wonder how many are ready to embrace APIs and build tools that take advantage of developer tools?

The Future of Business is Change

In an era of Digital Darwinism, Brian Solis says that no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.  Digital Darwinism is the evolution of consumer behaviour when society and technology evolve faster than your ability to adapt.

A very powerful video to watch and to share with your key stakeholders.

“Many follow, but very few lead.
Many compete to survive, but few compete for relevance.
Do we listen to our customers? Do we truly understand them?
Do we create experiences or do we simply react?
The future of business comes down to one word…change.
This is a new era that redefines everything.
An era of empowered consumers and employees.
Will we fall to natural selection or will we rise to lead the revolution.
This is our time to make business relevant.
Because people, after all, are everything.”