Twitter for Business

Twitter Generates New Business | A True Story

Twitter Should Always be a Consideration for Business

This will be a shorter blog post…maybe!

Follow Scott Gombar on TwitterI hear it all the time..Twitter is pointless.  Twitter is for kids.  Twitter is not going to help me generate any business.  What can I do with 140 characters? And I find myself constantly defending Twitter almost as if I owned stock in it.  Well two quick pieces of advice.

First, Twitter can help your business generate clients and leads.  I will elaborate on that with a couple of recent interactions that occurred on my Twitter account.

Second, I would almost never recommend purchasing stock in a social media platform unless you plan to purchase at the initial offering and quickly sell for a profit.  I am also not by any stretch of the imagination an expert so I would also seek the advice of a financial expert.  I happen to know a few so if you are in the market let me know.

How Can Twitter Help My Business?

I am going to argue for Twitter with some very recent examples.  I was recently nominated for a Shorty Award for my Business Blog.  Because the Shorty Awards require votes come via Twitter I focused primarily on Twitter for the campaign.  I only had about 10 days to campaign but if you know me you know that I will take it to the wire even if it looks like there’s no hope.

Here’s what the campaigning on Twitter did for me..and for others.  About 2 days after launching a consistent but not overly aggressive campaign I received 2 inquiries on helping with other marketing campaigns.  You’re probably thinking well why weren’t you marketing on Twitter already.  I was, and I have had some mild success in the past.  ItTwitter Conversationsseems that being nominated for an award also helps establish some credibility with your audience.  I say that as if you and I didn’t already know that.

I am still actively discussing options with those two potential clients and hope to have them aboard as business partners within the next couple of days.  Just the opportunity to further explain what I do and display my level of professionalism and commitment to timeliness will undoubtedly earn their respect, and hopefully their business.  Plus there’s always retargeting!

Scott, you mentioned that it helped others.  What do you mean?

Alright, I was getting to that.  As part of my campaign I also spoke to previous clients.  One of them was for web design only.  Well she was introduced to a world she didn’t knew existed.  She did have a Twitter and she was a fairly regular user but never really used Twitter to its full potential.  I saw her a few days after her nomination and her comment regarding Twitter was “You opened up a whole new world for me”.

You see Twitter can be used for much more than marketing your business or post status updates about what you had for dinner.  You can also communicate with your favorite brands (positive or negative).  You can campaign for awards or crowd funding.  You can spy on your children (did I say that?).  You can communicate with celebrities.  Sometimes you are alerted to an event quicker via Twitter than you are by any news outlet.  Twitter also connects with other social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine making it easier to share media (you can do this within Twitter natively).  You can share blog posts as I will with this entry.

Twitter for BusinessTwitter is not just 140 characters.  It is so much more than that.  Even the 140 character limit is not 100% true.  There are ways to expand on that as well.

If you’re not on Twitter, it is still one of the best tools/platforms for businesses to market themselves.  You can target your audience, listen to conversations (and participate), advertise, share photos and videos and so much more.  You just might win an award.


 

If you want to learn more about how Twitter can help your business just fill out the form to the right of this post.

7 Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

7 Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

My Personal BrandMaybe you own a business.  Possibly you’re a sales rep or an insurance agent.  You could also be a student, or an executive in corporate America.  The truth is no matter where you are in life you have to be concerned with your personal brand.

I am an Inbound (Digital) Marketer by profession which means that I use the internet to market businesses and individuals.  While this is a part of developing a personal brand I am going to focus on the not so technical aspect of improving your personal brand.

7 Simple Steps to Brand Bliss

 

  1. Be Unique-this cannot be over-stated. The cookie cutter method just will not work here.  To stand out, to be memorable you have to be unique.  That does not mean you have to be over the top outrageous, it just means you cannot imitate someone else.People have a keen sense and ability to be able to sniff out someone who is being phony.  Overstating facts or exaggerating stories are almost always easily identified.  A quick turn off; for me at least is someone who is obviously telling tall tales.
  1. Be Yourself-there is nothing worse than someone who tries to portray something they’re not. This kind of segues nicely from Being Unique.  The easiest way to be identified as a fraud is to be someone you’re not.  It’s nice to have people you look up to, maybe even carry a quote or 2 from them but ultimately you have to be yourself.Being Yourself is hard for some people.  I am an introvert.  That means I am not exactly a social butterfly, at least until I get comfortable around people.  To counter that I have what I am told is a very dry sense of humor and sarcasm (I get it from my mother).  Most people identify me with a quick wit, almost always wearing a tie, always talking about my kids and always willing to help another small business owner.  These qualities describe who I have been pretty much my entire adult life.What qualities have you had your entire adult life?  What personality traits can you translate into your brand?

personal branding

  1. Be Personable-if people can’t approach you your brand is going to suffer. I often catch myself folding my arms.  Folded arms sends a signal to others that you don’t want to be approached.  In my case nothing could be further from the truth, it’s just comfortable for me but I am very conscious of the image I portray and correct it.Another way to be viewed as unapproachable is by burying your face in your smart phone or some reading material.Learn people’s names.  There are lots of tips out there on how to remember people’s names.  This is probably one of the best tips I can give you regarding being personable.  I am very good at remembering names but many people are not.  Use Google and research how to remember people’s names.

    When you see someone you met before say Hi (Insert Name Here), how are you?   How’s business?  Even more impressive is remembering specific information relevant to that person.

    For example….I received an email last week from someone who wanted to schedule a meeting with me.  I have seen this person several times before at other networking events.  I remembered that he worked a 9-5 but was also running a business after work hours.  I also remembered what that business was and approximately where he lived.  I responded with some times mentioning that I knew he worked during the day and we could meet near his home to make it more convenient for him.  He replied back with how impressed he was with my memory.

    I also would recommend not being negative in any way.  Don’t put your competition down, or another person down.  The first thing people will think is what is he/she saying about me when I am not around?

    One of the most important tools in your arsenal will be a CRM.  If you don’t already have one in use, get one.  This will fill in the gaps with your leads/clients and fellow networkers.

  1. Be Honest-honesty is the best policy. It’s really that simple.  If you’re not ready to commit to something just be up front.  If you cannot do something for someone due to ability or prior commitments just tell the truth.  If you’re not an expert on a topic, don’t make yourself out to be.
  2. Be the Expert-answering questions and offering quick solutions will quickly establish you as an expert in your arena. Everyone wants to work with an expert and everyone will go to the expert.Some of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert include podcasting, speaking engagements and awards/recognition.  It will be difficult at first to get yourself recognized as an expert on something but with time and persistence you will get there.Networking will definitely help.  So will the use of social media to join in on conversations regarding a topic that you want to be recognized as the expert in.
  1. Be Aware-people will talk but what are they saying. Monitor conversations to get an idea of how your brand is trending in your space.  There are numerous ways to monitor conversations online, especially Twitter, and to a lesser degree Facebook.Google yourself occasionally to see if there has been any feedback that maybe you’re not aware of.  Nothing can set a business back quicker than a negative comment, especially one that goes unanswered.Check some of the more popular directories such as Yelp, Bing and Yellow Pages to see if there are any reviews.

personal branding and social mediaThere are several local directory managers that can help you monitor these sites.

Lastly, survey your customers once in a while.  Ask for feedback on how well you provide services or how they are enjoying your product.  Even an occasional phone call, note or email just to see how things are going will go a long way with building trust and repeat business.

  1. Be Consistent-If you show up for one networking event wearing a 3 piece suit and the next event (of similar type) wearing shorts and a t-shirt you are not delivering a consistent personal brand.If you tell everyone you sell luxury cars one month, and then next month you’re selling computers..you’re not delivering a consistent message.  Worse your audience is not going to remember what you do, or recognize you as the expert on a topic.  A jack of all trades does not usually do well in business.Also be consistent with attendance.  Not showing up for a monthly event for 6 months does not allow you to build a level of trust with other people.

In Conclusion

Personal Brand Equals SuccessChances are whatever you’re in business for you have competition.  While you can specialize in a niche of a particular product or service you will still likely have competition.  At the end of the day you’re not selling your product or service, you’re selling yourself.

People want to do business with someone they know, like and trust.  Gone are the days of picking a name out of the Yellow Pages.  Just ask yourself how many times you have read posts on Facebook asking for recommendations on a plumber?  How often do you take to Google to research before committing to making a purchase?  Do you read the reviews?  Guess what, others are reading reviews too!  People usually post positive reviews about business and owners they know, like and trust.

If you’re trying to move up at work, or looking for a job out of school, it is still critical to build your brand.  How many times have you heard of people getting promoted, or getting a job because of who they knew?  How many times have you heard people ask how did John get that position when I know more than them?  Get out there and network with industry professionals.  Check out Meetup or Facebook for groups that get together and network with them.  Stop watching TV!

Happy Personal Branding

 

Edit 3/20/15: I have added a Slide Share presentation based on thisblog post.

Why Businesses Need to Use GeoSocial Networking

GeoSocial Networking For Business

Geosocial NetworkingWith the continued rapid advancement in communication technologies and the rate at which new techniques are introduced, geosocial networking is not in any way new. In fact, its popularity has been growing just as fast as the social media giants such as Facebook & Twitter. Many people actively use such networking feature remaining adamant about the positive results that the networks help them achieve.

There are many advantages of this type of social networking which is the reason many people use them. However, there are also some areas of concern which seem to get more attention from the news media.

As part of this blog post, I will offer a potential use case, similar to what many who have adopted Geosocial Networking (including myself) have used it for.
Here is a detailed description of geosocial networking and everything it involves including benefits and risks.

What is GeoSocial networking?

This is basically an improved feature that compliments social networking by adding aspects of exact physical/geographical location. Geo-coding and geo-tagging are used to integrate various social networking dynamics and geographic services. It is facilitated by technologies that enable user-submitted data to be automatically included in updates, messages and even by mere online presence. Geo-networking can be achieved for social networks which are IP-based or hotspot trilateral and mobile networks in form of texted location information. In simple terms, this Local SEOtype of networking enables interaction of people within a given geographical location and connects service seekers with providers within the same region. The social networking allows location-based information to be sent or made public in chat platforms and accompanying messages and/or status updates. This type of networking relies on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other social media platforms.

There are a growing number of Geosocial specific apps/sites.  Some of them have experienced rapid growth (and negative media) recently.  Services such as YikYak, Tinder and Waze have become increasingly popular, and have also faced increasing levels of scrutiny.

The benefits of geosocial networking

Geosocial Networking for Local BusinessesThe advantages of this type of networking are quite straightforward and easy to identify. With geosocial networking, monitoring, tracking, information dissemination and control are all simplified. The benefits can be better defined in the use as follows:
• Linking people to places – With geosocial networking, web location mapping services are used in integration with geo-coding (for streets and buildings) and geo-tag details (concerts, events, meetings and hangouts) to link people to places. The information enables matching people to local social groups and places. Information from restaurant and nightclub reviews or any other description that includes specific geographical location can be used in this linking.

• Disaster scenario and control – Geosocial networking enable collaborative coordination of geo-tag information in social networks. This can help in creating situational awareness and informing other people about disasters, riots, fires and any other pandemic. As a result, the feature enables sorting of information and sharing ideas to quickly determine the closest and best aid, assistance and control measures. The current technology allows automatic tracking and detection of potential and frequent disasters. One good thing about this networking is that it filters the number of contributors from a specific location from other locations allowing easy identification of message credibility.

• Event planning – This type of social networking can be used to quickly organize and arrange events, meetings and even protests. Users in a geo-specific location can share event details and plan meetings using social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Usually, such events can be planned very swiftly.

There are many other benefits of this type of networking. The main advantages stem from the ability to share information pertaining to those in a specific geographic location. Buyers can procure services and business such as gas stations, restaurants, clubs, salons, and pharmacies can profit greatly from location-based networking. According to SEO experts, businesses that incorporate more location-specific tags are likely to enjoy higher rating in organic search results within that area.

Concerns of GeoSocial Networking

While geosocial networking has a huge upside for businesses and service providers, it also has a few areas of concern that users must be aware of. Exposure of location-specific data may not appeal to everybody. Some people’s job roles would require their locations not be revealed.  Waze has recently received some criticism regarding the location of speed traps.  Law enforcement is concerned that their safety may be jeopardized as a result. Relationships should Become a more social businessalso expect a certain level of privacy. Employees may not want their colleagues of employers to view location-specific details and track their movements. This type of networking makes it easy to track people provided they stay online and/or make comments, posts, updates and likes on social platforms. Even after shifting locations, the feature can still track. The main concern with geosocial networking often revolves around confidentiality and privacy. Fortunately, most features that allow geo-locating can be turned off.

Use Case Study

For this scenario I will use a very popular GeoSocial Network.  Foursquare has been around for a while now, and is easily one of the more popular apps of this type.  Foursquare is not just about checking in to your favorite gym or restaurant.  Businesses can also offer rewards for checking in at their location.  Coupons at restaurants or no initiation fee at a gym can go a long way to driving sales.

Swarm & FoursquareI get my oil changed at a Valvoline not too far from my home.  On more than one occasion I have used Swarm to check in only to be surprised with $7 off my oil change, or something along those lines.

The car wash I use offers similar deals from time to time.  Who doesn’t love an unexpected few dollars off a service you are going to use anyway?  Now, what if people knew that the deal existed already?  That would definitely drive traffic to your location if a nearby check-in triggered an offer at your business.

Conclusion

Social networking is evolving and features new technologies. Geo-locating is one of the available features that allow delivery of location-specific services and dynamics. This type of communication is becoming very popular and the feature now comes as part of most networking tools and chat platforms. It is wise to take advantage of the many possibilities it presents while ensuring appropriate precautions to achieve privacy.

Want to get started marketing your business using GeoSocial Networking..tell me all about it.

30 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand

Here’s an awesome infographic on building your personal brand from ReferralCandy.  I think the key here is develop your own brand, be unique and be yourself.  37 experts weigh in to share 30 tips on how to successfully build your personal brand.

Of course my favorite tip is don’t sugar coat it.  In other words be blunt and to the point.

Check it out.

How-to-Build-a-Personal-Brand-30-tips