It is really interesting to see how social media is used, forget about the misadventures of some people who try to cheat their insurance companies, or lie to get out of work and post NSFW (or NFW) photos on platforms like FaceBook. Those types of stories are a great read, but once read they are generally forgotten.
But how does the world use social media?
Based on 2009 data from the site eMarketer (http://www.emarketer.com) here is some great detail:
- 81.50% of people use social media to stay in touch with friends; do you wonder why the USPS and other mail companies are bleeding cash? Even my parents are on Facebook, and though my wife’s mom isn’t her brothers and sisters are so they are always in touch.
- Coming close behind messaging friends is uploading photos at 76.30% – digital cameras, and smart phones have probably accelerated that number. Why print photos, when you can simply e-mail them to friends and family or post them on Facebook and other photo sharing sites?
- Is it surprising that social networking is used by 74.30% of people to find old friends and another 56.40% of people use social networking to find new friends.
This study was conducted by Universal McCann “Power to the people: Social Media Tracker Wave 4″. See the full article at eMarketer or head over to Universal McCann at http://www.umww.com
The article is a bit old by any standards, but well worth the read if you are trying to learn more about social networking. Follow the link: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007232
First and foremost, social networking is just that SOCIAL and NETWORKING. It’s not SOCIAL MARKETING, SOCIAL SPAM or anything else. Just because you register on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other social network out there does not mean that simply posting your business or product will get clicks.
Don’t you know the adage about building a better mousetrap?
Start any type of social spam and you will find that you will not gain any followers (other than by other spammers) and you’ll probably get outed as a spammer and have your account(s) terminated.
You want to leverage the power of Twitter to your advantage, missteps could spell disaster for your business.
Social networking means that – providing something of value back to the network you are growing and taking from that network those items that will benefit you. It also means networking with others, asking questions, answering questions and on Twitter, re-Tweeting interesting stories so others that may not be following the same people as you gain some benefit. You can certainly automate things — but going into that is beyond the scope of this post.
As you build a strong network of likeminded individuals then you can slowly introduce your marketing to them – but blast them with marketing and you will not survive. That said there is nothing wrong in mixing marketing with social networking in the early stages and at the same time providing information.
For example suppose you are a printing business, and in serving your customers you know that one of the most common questions is about “bleeding” (no, not when you get a paper cut). You could post to Twitter or to your Facebook page something like this:
“Bleeding? You don’t need a bandaid to fix this – learn more about bleeding when to use it, and when not to. Learn more at http://www.YOUR-WEBSITE.com“
While you are marketing you are also providing some legitimate information and are not simply blasting Twitter messages (which probably will not get read anyways) or making and sharing useless Facebook updates.
How To Do Twitter Correctly
Yes there is a right way and wrong way to do Twitter. I won’t go into actually setting up an account at this point, but will go into some of the guidelines that you should follow once your account is set-up.
Once you’ve set-up your Twitter account, verify your e-mail address so that you can customize your account, create a real profile, upload an image of yourself or business logo and generally make your account appear legitimate (you still need to get busy following people, adding value so that others follow you).
- Edit your profile.
- Add a picture, don’t use the default egg unless you are an egg.
- Add a real name, people like honesty.
- Set your location – you must be located somewhere, right?
- Do you have a website? Enter it! Are you opting for a Facebook page only, display it! Using LinkedIn only – show it!
- Create a short bio, you are limited to 160 characters.
- There is also an option to post your Tweets to Facebook. You may want to do that.
Within your profile you can also change the default design. There are not many superb ones to choose from, but there are some there. Ideally you should pay someone to create a design for you, it should not cost you more than $150.00 – $200.00 for a design that is uniquely you or your business.
You can also permit other applications access to your post to Twitter, for example I’ve got several applications on my iPad, iPhone and HTC MyTouch Android device. When I’m using any device and am within an application such as Pulse Newsreader (available for iOS and Android devices), I can Tweet a story directly from the application (this is the social aspect of social networking).
I can also respond to Tweets directed to me (mentions), or to direct messages. You also have the ability to revoke access, so don’t worry that some rogue application starts posting nasty Tweets – but in any event you shouldn’t be allowing every application access to your Twitter account.
Some resources for you of companies that are doing Twitter right:
Good question. There are many Twitter directories out there. If you are serious about utilizing Twitter as one facet of your marketing plan then I suggest you make use of the Twitter directories — register on them and actively seek out like minded and complimentary individuals and businesses and start following them. You will actually be quite surprised that most people you follow will follow you back. It’s an unwritten law when it comes to Twitter (though not always the case with everyone) most people will follow you back if you follow them.
Need Twitter directories? Here are a few to get you started:
So how do you do Twitter right? Here are some guidelines that I follow that work well for me:
- Find leaders in your industry and follow them. You can use http://search.twitter.com, or use Google, look for interesting people to follow!
- Follow back EVERY real person that follows you, you’ll be able to tell who is real and who is not easily. If you have followed some boring people, no harm in unfollowing them — but remember, they may reciprocate.
- Grow your relationships, when someone mentions you in a Tweet or direct message and they are a REAL PERSON, follow them back – don’t forget to thank them if they’ve re-tweeted one of your tweets.
- Retweet funny, and interesting stuff – don’t be scared or worried that a million people just retweeted it. Everyones circles of followers is different.
- Reply to your direct messages unless they look like junk Tweets or messages.
- Share links and other relavent content that you find around the web (quality counts) such as web posts, news articles, research papers, polls, surveys etc.,
- Share content through aggregators, I use Pulse Newsreader and frequently share quality articles on my Twitter feed.
- If you have your own blog and post content to it, link that to your Twitter feed – but remember it’s not about self promotion all the time, get SOCIAL, mix it up, chat with others, reply to questions where you feel you can add value don’t be shy!
- Don’t take anything personally, and have fun!
- Don’t spam. Don’t spam. Don’t spam.
- Block spammers.
OMG – Too Much! Can You Do This For Me???
Yes, we can. We’re finalizing some of the details of our Twitter Marketing Service. Please bookmark our site or simply reply to this post with your real e-mail address and we will notify you when it is up and running.
We will also be offering a small number of FREE accounts to help launch our new service, selected randomly. Register by commenting on this post in order to become eligible.