Twitter: Why It Needs To Be Part of Your Online Marketing 

By Steve Hoag

twitter marketing strategies

Social media as a marketing tool isn’t a recent development. Companies are being barraged with reasons to use social media as part of their strategy. There are many different social media networks, making it equally as important to know which ones to leverage. A general rule of thumb is that you should be active in some way on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. In this article we will focus on why you should be using Twitter specifically.

Twitter has more reach than LinkedIn and Facebook.

Facebook may have more users, and LinkedIn may have great search features, but when it comes to overall reach Twitter is #1. In order to see a company’s post you have to be a fan of it on Facebook or LinkedIn. This means that someone has to search through different companies for you and then like your page. This isn’t the case on Twitter. All posts are public and can be seen everyone without users having to follow you. You can even create high exposure, targeted tweets by using certain hashtags.

Twitter is instant.

Twitter is the instant messaging system of social media, while Facebook and LinkedIn are the equivalent of email. Communication in Twitter occurs rapidly, and things move faster than on other networks. You may have to wait a day or two to get a response on other networks, but most replies come in a day or LESS on Twitter. This makes it great for on the fly networking, lead generation, and public relations. Not to mention that many newsworthy developments in the world are publicized on Twitter before mainstream media catches wind of them. I’m not saying you should forego Facebook and LinkedIn, just that you should ensure that Twitter is part of your online strategy.

Twitter’s public nature makes it easy to identify and interact with leads.

This point ties into Twitter having more reach. Twitter makes it easier for consumers to connect with businesses, and vice versa. Its search features make it straightforward to track down prospects. Most profiles on Twitter are public which helps to increase visibility. Twitter also helps businesses identify what conversations to focus on by organizing them with hashtags. Both of these features simplify the process of interacting with leads in a personable and professional manner.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, March 4, 2014 6:47:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C SMB social media social media marketing web trends website

Social Media: How to Make People Feel Valued 

By Steve Hoag

social media marketing

 

Social media to many businesses is a numbers game. The focus is always on ROI even though that can be difficult to measure. So they use easy metrics like followers, retweets, shares, clickthroughs etc. What they fail to realize is it’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. Social media was, and always will be about people. And the best way to appeal to people is to make them feel valued. This will drastically boost engagement and online presence. And it will give you a nice warm, fuzzy feeling with all the thank you’s you receive. Which is nice. So how do you make people feel valued? Read on!

Share other people’s content or thank them for sharing.

People love feeling like what they have to say matters. The easiest way to do this on social media is to share their content, or thank them for sharing. These actions can feel like rewards for users. Not only that, but it keeps your company top of mind. These people are just networking with you for now, but can quickly become qualified leads and sales down the road. Even if they don’t, you have improved your brand reputation and that can lead to positive word of mouth.

Always respond to mentions and messages.

Part of making people feel valued ties into not ignoring them. Respond to every single mention, message, retweet, or share. And do it in a timely manner. People have very short term memory on social media, so it’s important to thank them or respond quickly. Again, this will help you to stay top of mind. Stop thinking of your business profiles as simply that, and treat them as if they are actual personas. That way when you interact with other users you can give them the sense that they are talking to a person versus a faceless company. Be personable in all your responses to user interactions!

Never ignore a chance to connect.

This goes beyond simply networking. If you see someone post a question that you can answer -- answer it. It doesn’t matter if they may or may not be someone you can easily turn into a sale. The only thing that matters is that they have a problem that your business has the opportunity of solving. Brand reputation and awareness are some of the most important things on social media. Going the extra mile and helping when you don’t HAVE to is a great way of improving in these areas. Remember, the point of social media is making people feel valued.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Monday, February 24, 2014 6:44:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise inbound marketing social media social media marketing

Social Media Marketing: 3 Overlooked Mistakes 

By Steve Hoag

social media marketing mistakes

Social media needs to be on every marketer’s radar. It also needs to be done the right way. It’s one of the easiest ways to boost your brand presence, as long as you properly manage it. There are many ‘how to’ articles on social media, but it’s also worth noting what NOT to do. Instead of mentioning the obvious pitfalls, this article will focus on some overlooked ones that can also derail your marketing program.

Not being active when your target segment is.

This really depends on what sort of business you are. If you operate only in the local market, by all means post entirely during standard business hours. If you are an internet business though, paying attention to your target segment’s hours of activity is trickier. Possible leads and sales can come at any time of the day. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of social media platforms like HootSuite or TweetDeck that allow you to schedule tweets ahead of time. Make sure your business has a steady stream of tweets throughout the day so that it is always in front of the right eyes, regardless of where they are in the world.

Not taking advantage of free analytics to track engagement.

A lot of people think the most important metrics on social media are follower counts. While these are important, they don’t give an accurate picture of what kind of engagement you are getting. There are many free tools out there that can track important metrics like engagement, influence, and clickthrough rates. For example, Klout measures your social media influence and what you are most influential in. Services like bit.ly not only shorten your URLS, but also track when and where people are clicking through on your links. Using services like these in conjunction with the standard metrics social media networks give you will help to paint a much more accurate picture. You don’t need a fancy analytics solution right off the bat to help give you insight!

Abusing hashtags.

#Don’t #Use #Hashtags #For #Every #Word. Hashtags used to only be used for Twitter, but they have since expanded to services like Facebook and Instagram. Instagram is notorious for people abusing hashtags like #nofilter etc. Don’t treat your business accounts like a teenage girl’s. Only use hashtags for appropriate phrases that reach out to your target segment. For example, #webdesign if you are in the web design business. Don’t use too many hashtags even if they are relevant in every post. That can turn people away from engaging with your posts. Finally, please avoid using hashtags in networks that can’t leverage them. There are many people on LinkedIn who post things that use hashtags even though they don’t serve any discernable business purpose. Use them when they’re appropriate and crucial to reaching your audience.

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, February 21, 2014 8:06:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise inbound marketing SEO social media social media marketing

Inbound Marketing: Why It's Here to Stay 

By Steve Hoag

inbound marketing strategies

Inbound marketing is taking off in a huge way. And it’s in it for the long haul. Digital marketers and users alike are falling head over heels for this approach. So why is it here to stay, and not another passing fad? Read on!

Low costs and high incentives for users create high engagement for marketers.

People love free things. Inbound marketing is all about providing free, high quality content to empower users. The user is only spending a few minutes of their time to acquire great information. The biggest hurdle for most users is filling out a simple opt in form on a landing page. Thanks to the very low end-user cost and the fact that users WANT this content, inbound marketing campaigns can generate a great deal of engagement. There are also extra incentives that can be added in like coupons or free sample for sharing/liking etc. Consumers aren’t dumb. They know a good deal when they see one, which is why inbound marketing is exploding in popularity right now.

Data friendly.

There’s one thing that every marketing team wants: actionable data. Inbound marketing is great for this thanks to the use of forms and analytics that help provide actionable data. Marketers can quickly gain access to a variety of KPI’s, and in some cases using only free tools.

Synergizes with other (free) technologies like social media.

Marketers love free things just as much as consumers. As I pointed out earlier, there are a ton of free tools and technologies that inbound marketing synergizes with. You don’t have to purchase a fancy analytics package right off the bat. You can use tools like MailChimp, bit.ly, Google Analytics, and more to start a bootstrap marketing campaign. Not to mention that social media is absolutely free, and is arguably the most important inbound marketing tool there is. Inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective business decisions you will ever make. This sort of marketing strategy is not just for the big brands. ANY business can take advantage of it thanks to its high budget flexibility and synergistic qualities.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, February 14, 2014 6:44:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise inbound marketing landing pages SEO SMB social media social media marketing web trends

Big Brand Social Media Lessons for Small Businesses 

By Steve Hoag

social media for small business

 

Big brands are often idolized on social media. They have thousands of followers, everything they post gets shared, and they seem to grow without even trying. Well I have news for you! They do have to try very hard to break through the clutter. In fact, big brands can be highly innovative on social media. Here are some social media lessons small businesses can learn from their larger brethren:

Create a lifestyle, story, or personality.

One of the biggest hurdles of a big brand is to overcome the stigma that comes with being a business giant. Consumers tend to think of you as a faceless giant. Many big brands have overcome this stigma using social media to create stories and a unique personality. Starbucks uses Instagram to post casual pictures of customers, its coffee shops, and products. IBM created a network of blogs to give consumers an inside look into life as an IBM employee.The Weather Channel makes Vine videos to peek into its radio station shows. These are all different tactics that serve the same purpose – namely, to give a big brand a face and personality.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

There are two camps of thought when it comes to big brands when it comes to outside the box thinking. Some people say: ‘They have the budget, resources, and brand recognition to try crazy things and make them go viral.’ Others think: ‘Just because they have the resources doesn’t mean they will be successful. If they fail it will blow up in their faces because of how popular their brand is.’ Both are true. Thinking outside the box is a huge risk for big brands. They will either be celebrated or chastised. Pepsi has created soda machines that give out free samples in exchange for Facebook likes. Chipotle has even fake hacked its own Twitter account to create buzz. The point is, if big brands aren’t shying away from risk, why should you? There’s much more room for error with small businesses!

Pay attention to individual customers. Make them feel valued.

Big brands have thousands, if not millions of customers. It’s hard to keep track of all of their needs and concerns! Big brands have actually done really well at connecting with individual customers to make everyone feel valued. There are dozens of dedicated support accounts for products like Xbox, Comcast Digital Cable, and much more. Other brands like Zappos share cool customer stories like orders from Antarctica. Big brands are constantly monitoring social media, looking for mentions, analyzing sentiment, and then reaching out to those users. The point of social media is to connect people with people. You’ve won social media if you can make another person feel like they’re talking with another human being, rather than a brand. Reach out to people that mention you! Making people feel valued goes a long way.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:27:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise SMB social media social media marketing
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