Twitter Starts Testing Features for Businesses

December 29, 2009

Twitter has begun to take its biggest steps in providing new features to businesses and monetizing those features.

The first feature made specifically for businesses: “Contributors.”

Contributors is a feature that focuses on creating more authentic engagement for business accounts. With Contributors, a business account with multiple contributors can add the specific user that tweeted on behalf of the business to the byline.

The other big revelation by the company is that Contributors is just the first of several business features, some of which will be visible by users, and some which will be internal for businesses.

Twitter’s getting serious about ramping up its business presence. This may just be the beginning of the Twitter business model. We’ll have more answers soon enough.

Read full mashable article>

Advertisements

How social media impacts your company

December 28, 2009

These days, many social communities have migrated to the Web and new ones have formed. Facebook has fan pages, LinkedIn has groups, Twitter has followers and millions of people are blogging with enthusiasm about an endless number of topics, products and ideas. Each of these social communities are communities for one reason: they share similar interests, beliefs and values and view the world differently, yet similarly, from other communities.

<excerpt>

Sue LaChapelle of LaChapelle Design says, “With all my clients we are monitoring what ideas, feedback and suggestions people have with regard to a product or service. Utilizing the communities is the key to getting valuable, microscopic information from your target audience.” According to Sue, social communities can be used:

• To monitor brand reputation.

• As an early warning system for potential customer service or product issues. The Google team recently used Twitter to obtain feedback on the new Droid (“GoogleVoice rocks!” and “Don’t use it with a magnetic phone case!”).

• To identify competitive activities. Jeff Heger of Nixco Plumbing actively monitors the business community on LinkedIn and Facebook regarding local and national competition, to see what is working and not working for others.

• To provide insights for R&D, product innovations and initiatives. Brenda Stradley (ItsInTheDetailsLtd.com) has a Facebook group that drives traffic from different markets to her site. She studies where new buyers are coming from then targets those areas for Facebook. She constantly is learning what consumers like, which drives her product choices.

• To identify emerging social trends and new vocabulary.

Some social communities are even sparking off-line gatherings, giving firms an expanded opportunity to reach a group of like-minded consumers.

Read full Business Courier article by Carol Shea of Olivetree Research >


5 Ways to Grow Your Local Business with Social Media

December 22, 2009

Most small businesses do the bulk of their business locally. So, the thought of gaining access to Facebook’s 300 trillion users (may be more by now) isn’t that relevant or useful.

However, if those local businesses could use the some of the new powerful online tools and platforms to gain access to the 200-300 social media users in their town, now that might just make some sense.

Below are five things any local business can do to get more business using social media tools

1) Start a Local Group Online
2) Find and Network with Local Bloggers
3) Hold Meetups and Tweetups
4) Find local leads
5) Enhance Local Search Results

Read full article from OPEN Forum >


Corporate Social Media Usage Grows

December 11, 2009

A recent study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide found that approximately two-thirds of companies surveyed plan to use social media to connect with workers in the coming year. The study revealed that 80 percent of companies had upped their use of electronic communications and about half of the respondents had lessened their use of print communications.

What seemed to be a frivolous pastime last year will definitely find its place in business communications next year.

Of those companies in the study not implementing social media to communicate with workers, more than one third complained about a lack of IT support or insufficient technical capabilities. About 40 percent said they had limited knowledge of social media and 45 percent pointed to a lack of staff or resources.

Today’s workers are looking for authentic, timely messages that address how business changes affect them personally

Read full article >


Measuring Social Media Strategies

December 10, 2009

Both business-to-consumer (BtoC) and business-to-business (BtoB) companies are rapidly adopting social media.

Business.com recently published its “2009 Social Media Benchmarking Study” – and we take note because of the depth of their research based on insights into business social media usage provided by nearly 3,000 North American business professionals.

According to them, the two types of firms, BtoB and BtoC, have different social site usage patterns for business purposes – with BtoB firms demonstrating marketing leadership.

How companies are measuring Social Media Success:

The average company in this study used four different success metrics:

1. The amount of web site traffic generated — the most popular way
2. Engagement – with prospects and customers
3. Brand impact – awareness and reputation
4. Leads – both quantity and quality

This study should provide you with context to decide how proactive you are in measuring social media success (you can access the complete study here).

Read full article >


5 trends that will affect small business in 2010

December 9, 2009

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing has come up with five trends that will shape small business in 2010.

1.real-time search

2. augmented reality

3. social filtering

4. ubiquity of cloud computing

5. boosting of offline relationships


The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!

December 1, 2009

Marketing a website isn’t particularly difficult. It’s usually just a matter of knowing what to do, how to do it and having the skills and time to get it done. With that said, marketing a website isn’t particularly easy either. There are so many factors and variables in play that at any given time that the job can be quite overwhelming.

Included is a master website marketing checklist covering over 400 specific items over 23 topics. These topics include things such as website development, SEO, usability, accessibility, etc. This list doesn’t cover any “how tos,” which are essential ingredients to successful online marketing, but sometimes you need to first know what to do so you can then discover how to do it.

Read check list >