Twitter is the best platform for B2B marketing. It serves several marketing purposes including brand awareness, public relations, listening, content curation, and relationship building.
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Brand awareness is high-level, less-tangible, and difficult to measure. It’s almost a word-association game. I say “tissue;” you say “Kleenex.” I say “photocopy;” you say “Xerox.” You want your brand to be able to be associated with your purpose. Recognition of the logo on Twitter because of your presence is a great way for a small business to compete with the bigger operations. The big guys rarely invest in social media.
You have news. People want to know it. Share Promotions, sales, new ventures, employees that join in, partnerships, case studies, etc. Write on your WordPress blog everything relevant to your audience and publish it on Twitter. Every brand has the ability to publish and gain influence and audience.
Listening is the most powerful thing you can do with Twitter. It’s so important to understand who you audience is and what they want, need, and how they think. This allows you to become a better communicator — meaning, you’re communicating in a way that resonates with them.
Once you’ve built your lists you now have the tool in place to curate content. People often ask me what tools I use to curate content. I tell them that I’m a People Curator — a People Broker, I say. I curate content by curating people. It really is that simple.
All business happens because of referrals and word of mouth. Think of the last time you had a new client. How did you acquire them? Think of the last time you found a new service. Did you search for them online? Google? Yelp? Almost no one does business with a total stranger. Use Twitter to build relationships. You won’t regret it.
You blog. But do you know your audience? Do you use Twitter analytics? Do you know how long should your content be? What should the grade level be? Is your well-crafted persona even correct? Let’s look at Twitter’s Analytics to see what kind of information is there.
Influencers need an audience. Businesses need an audience. The truth is that we all have audiences. We all influence someone. With the age of social media, we’re all publishers now. But who is that audience — exactly?
Do you find your audience and write for them or write and then find your audience? Which came first: the chicken or the egg?
I test the way I cook — it’s an experiment. It’s not formal. If someone likes it, I continue. If I hate it, I fix it. You can A/B test without heavily relying upon data.
I know what you’re thinking — that a post about analytics should be data centric. But what is data? Without context it means nothing. You can waste hours in Google Analytics or Twitter Analytics studying the wrong thing.
For example, 57% of my audience is interested in “fresh & healthy” lifestyle. That means I could experiment with writing about how I started using the Asana Rebel Yoga App and posting some of my Yoga photos from Instagram.
Traffic. Comments. (For example, after I started using Postmatic for email delivery and commenting, I’ve gotten a lot more comments. The comments encourage me to write more.) Comments also help give me ideas on what to write about.
You also might see those posts performing well in the Top Tweets of your Twitter Analytics.
How often should I look at Twitter’s Analytics?
I need gimmicks. So first, you need self-awareness. Then you need routine. I have Maintenance Mondays at my house. So I look at Twitter’s Analytics every Monday. For clients, I record data monthly in a Google Sheet. For myself, I go on intuition.
Start. What are you waiting for. You might be surprised.
Branding has an allusive attraction — like a magic word a SEO professional will use that you know is important but don’t fully understand.
Not having a MBA in Marketing myself, I had often pondered this question as well.
What is branding?
Branding is listening to a thirty-year old Michael Jackson song on the radio and recognizing the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo.
Branding is making a decision between using a restroom at a gas station or the restroom at a Starbucks.
Branding is being reminded of your beloved uncle when you smell pipe tobacco with a hint of cherry.
Is Branding A Logo?
Yes and no.
In many ways, branding is the connection of your sensual experiences. When I see a Diet Coke can, I become thirsty. Why? I remember the feel of a cold can in my hands, the sound the can makes when it pops open, the tickle down my throat, and the taste afterward. All of those memories are tied into the Diet Coke logo.
Human history is full of seals, rings, flags, coats of arms, and crests used to distinguish families, tribes, and nations. The human condition is curious; as much as we long for group acceptance, we still desire to be distinct and recognized.
Although the etymology of branding is varied, we can all imagine a rancher using a hot iron to brand his livestock. Each ranch had a distinct logo that made a permanent impression. Though originally intended to distinguish ownership, the logo reflected on the rancher, whether good or bad.
Branding is the practice of creating the look and feel of your brand. Brand marketing is the practice of establishing your image, voice, and persona which identifies and differentiates you from your competitors. #tsomediapic.twitter.com/x52n76rkK1
In our day, branding makes a permanent impression, too. These impressions are based upon a person’s experience interacting with your company (brand) and there’s only so much of it you can control. With the introduction of social media, individual impressions gain a much greater audience.
Case in point. Twenty years ago I went to a pancake restaurant and there were cockroaches crawling on the table. Regardless of how many coupons they offer, how many all-you-can-eat pancake events they hold, I will never go to any of their restaurants again. That one experience made a lasting impression. Their advertising (branding) is no longer effective with me. My experience at their store made a permanent impression (branding).
Big brands, like Diet Coke, are often used as an example because we all recognize them, making the lesson relatable to a diverse audience.
How is online behavior branding?
The question always is: how will that translate for me and my business on social media?
It’s simple. Behave online the way you would want to be perceived. If you want people to think that you’re professional, behave professionally. If you want people to believe you do quality work, produce quality content.
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Getting leads from social media activity is always the barrier — mentally — for people to accept social media marketing as a legitimate part of their marketing tool belt.
Twitter, my favorite of the social media networks, allows you to do so much of your marketing ask: brand awareness, customer engagement, customer service, promotion, discovery and validation, and, of course, sales.
And with sales, I say this. Stop expecting first-click leads.
I say never, but it’s probably an exaggeration. Asking social media to solve your lead-generation problem is short sighted at best.
First of all, it will fail — miserably. Secondly, your focus on leads will cause you to consciously or even subconsciously make decisions out of fear and desperation. Those are almost never good decisions.
Pardon a crude example but to put it bluntly, getting leads without effort is like hiring a prostitute for sex. You may solve your immediate needs but you’ve built no relationship, have poor client expectations, and will only have favors for money. That’s not a realistic view of social media marketing or a good way to build a reputation.
If someone asks me about ROI one more time, why I’ll …
No seriously. When people ask about return from investment (ROI), I think they don’t get it. Because they don’t.
But I’ll break down relationship marketing into three main areas: affinity, discovery, and validation. These principles can be applied to nearly any social network, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll talk about Twitter.
Use hashtags like you would search in the yellow pages to be more successful on Twitter. I suggest geolocation (like #OrangeCounty) and categories like #automotive or #plumber. This allows people to find you — we call that discovery.
Validation is the process by which people check you out after discovering you. This may be an introduction at a Meetup or after they hear you present at a Chamber of Commerce.
People will search for your name and see what comes up. Have you done a search? What are the results?
When a customer discovers you, you are on the path to getting leads from social media. This is part of their journey. The journey to a lead begins with a thousand Google searches. Well, maybe five. You get the point.
How do you optimize the validation process?
You can optimize the validation process by publishing good content that matters to you and your audience.
I shouldn’t post about real estate. Why? Because I’m not a real estate professional or a mortgage broker and I don’t do social media for that industry. Real Estate isn’t bad; it’s not relevant to me.
What is relevant is social media strategy, tips, and WordPress community posts.
Where are these things published? I publish on my blog, I post on Facebook, I tweet, I write posts on Medium.com, I am a guest author for friends, I appear on podcasts and shows, I participate in my industry.
Recently, I sat down with a new client for a branding consult. She came to me because her business coach said she needed it. But she said, “What the hell is a branding person?” Good Question. Let’s break it down.
What is branding?
You’re now entering the subjective zone. You’ll find as many answers to this question as you find branding consultants.
In many ways, branding is the connection of your sensual experiences to your company. People remember how they feel about you (affinity) and that is reflected back on the brand in the form of loyalty — and buying power.
“Branding is the practice of creating the look and ‘feel’ of your brand. Brand marketing is the practice of establishing your image, voice, and persona which identifies and differentiates you from your competitors.”
What is a branding person?
A branding person can be anything from a graphic designer who creates a brand standards document that has your logo, color palette, fonts, and usage, to a person or company who protects your reputation online. And that can range from brandyourself.com to identity protection.
While venting on Facebook about needing to work on my elevator pitch I got a few suggestions. One of them was from Chris Lema.
“Hi I’m Bridget Willard and I help companies with their online brand and reputation management by taking care of both social media monitoring and posting. I help your online brand by reinforcing your differentiated value on the social channels that are right for your business and your prospects.”
Sarah Pressler wrote: “Listen, I create magic. There’s no other way to put it.”
To me, a branding person is someone who understands the voice and tonality that you would like to project to the public. A branding person emulates that voice, replicates that voice, and protects it.
A branding person may even be a guide to your own self-awareness, helping you figure out what really is important to you and what values you’d like to elevate.
A branding person is more like a counselor in my view. Their job is to help you dig out of your person the essence of your passion. You’re too close. You’ve talked to too many of your friends. You have lost objectivity. You may have lost focus.
This is why many business coaches suggest meeting with a branding person. A brand is a persona — an organic, living thing. It needs life. A branding person gives your persona life. And life needs to be protected.
People who wing it, without boundaries, are likely to fall prey to trending hashtags. They are easily distracted by the lure of humor. Not to mention starting endless projects that are so scattered that the company lacks focus — inwardly and outwardly.
You create and edit lists on Twitter. Think of parallel industries, keywords, geolocation, and/or categories and topics.
Lists can be public or private. The names of your public list are visible and users can subscribe to your public lists. When you list someone, they are notified of the list you added them to. Be careful how you name them. I recommend using keyword-type names. I don’t use private lists. I have more detail on the how and why of lists in this blog post.
A Twitter client allows you to do more with Twitter. You can use any kind of Twitter Client like TweetDeck, but I prefer HootsuitePro because the columns you setup are the same on desktop or mobile. Once your lists are created, you can import the feed in a column, to make it easier.
Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson nine in a ten-part series.
In less than five minutes, I show you how join a Twitter chat.
Why join a Twitter chat?
Many people start their Twitter accounts and build a small community, interacting as time allows, and that’s great. I’m a huge advocate for Twitter as you can tell by the quantity of posts I’ve written. Your Twitter use can exist without a chat, but the chat is more rewarding.
Small bursts of conversation on Twitter is fun but unfocused. If your time is limited and you want to make a big impact during one hour a week, joining a Twitter chat is the way to go.
Each chat revolves around a topic which makes the interaction both focused and engaging — allowing you to shine as a thought leader. If joining a Twitter chat is Twitter 301, hosting one is Twitter 401. It’s definitely advanced and a bit more complicated. Though, for me, it reminds me of AOL chat rooms in the 90’s.
Twitter chats are exciting because they are live, sometimes the answers are even controversial.
Even better, you discover people who are engaged and active on Twitter. Meeting people is never a bad thing.
How do you find a chat?
You can go to Twubs to search for hashtags. TweetChat is my favorite chat client.
The easiest way to find a chat, I’ve found, is through one of your trusted followers. Twitter chats are full of friendly and welcoming people.
A5. 1. Find one that fits your brand. 2. Attend regularly. 3. Answer succinctly. 4. Listen. 5. Follow Up. 6. Be kind. #BufferChat
Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson eight in a ten-part series.
In less than five minutes, I show you how to compose content in your tweet. How to tweet is easier said than done you think. Perhaps it’s because you haven’t thought about the things you will write.
What if I have nothing to say?
You may think you have nothing to say. But I’ll challenge you and say that you absolutely have things to say. This is why you have customers. You started a business because you had skills and a passion. You worked hard to build it up. All of that matters. Your education matters. Your expertise matters.
Composing original content and sharing that on Twitter shows off your expertise. Being a thought leader isn’t always about giving a TED Talk; it’s about influencing people around you. Mainly — your customers.
What if I have nothing to tweet?
You have a voice. You have something to say.
Believe me have ideas. You have your own style. You can add value to the world. Are you worried you’ll just state the obvious? Maybe the obvious isn’t that obvious.
“Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them. Maybe what’s obvious to me is amazing to someone else.” Derek Sivers
Start an Idea File
Open up a text file, notes on your phone, or a Google Doc the next time you’re on a sales or customer service call.
What are some of the phrases you repeat?
What are some of the common questions from customers?
Are there words that clients don’t understand? Define them in a tweet.
Jot down your notes and put them into 180-260 words. Now, you have a library of tweets.
Strategy determines tactics. If your main purpose on Twitter is to opine and to be known for such, then you’ll really like being retweeted and you can collect those stats like baseball cards, showing them off when your friends and family come to visit. Being retweeted in this scenario is a good thing (for the opiner). However, if you are the person retweeting, you get little to nothing out of your effort.
If your purpose to be on Twitter is to meet new people, then the conversation tactic is the one for you.
When you read a tweet, you have the choice, dare I say power, to reply. You have the ability to make that one person (or group of two) feel more comfortable.
“Twitter is a party that your neighbor’s brother-in-law’s mother is having. You won’t know ANYONE when you get there. How are you going to get through it? Easy. You start jumping in on conversations and learning about others, so you make friends. Talk about what THEY are talking about and, eventually, they will ask about YOU.” Amy Donohue