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Twitter

Twitter Small Business

How’s this for a shocking statistic: Three in five small businesses have seen zero return on investment from engaging on social media. Nothing at all. Nada.

That’s according to a study last year by Manta.

What went wrong?

First, the Good News

In the same study, 39% of small businesses said they are seeing returns from engaging on social media.

The message here is clear. You can get results from social media, if you do it the right way.

Let’s take a look at what that means in practice.

Set It and Forget It Won’t Deliver

Social media has caused a fundamental shift in the way marketing works.

Back in the old days, you paid for a newspaper ad or a Yellow Pages listing, and you watched new leads pour in. You could set it and forget it.

Social media doesn’t work like that.

The old way of marketing was like a guy on the street with a megaphone. You shouted, everyone else listened. They didn’t have any choice about it.

The new way of marketing is about having a conversation, as equals. It’s a two-way street. That means if you want to sell, you have to put yourself out there and talk to people.

Yes, it takes more time. But if you genuinely engage with your customers, you’ll reap the rewards.

There’s No Miracle Cure

With the world of social changing so fast (few people had even heard of social media a decade ago), it’s easy to see social networks as a quick-fix solution. Unfortunately, they’re not.

Social media is about building relationships. That takes time. Even when you’re doing it right, you can’t expect overnight results.

It’s also worth noting that social media won’t cure an ailing business. It can, however, compliment a solid business and bring in more leads.

To Find Leads, Listen

Rather than using social media to shout about yourself, use it as a listening and research tool.

People often use social media to vent. So find people who are venting about problems you can help them solve. These are ideal prospects.

Once you’ve found these people, make contact. Let them know you can help, and do the best you can to help using social media. Don’t push for the sale! You’ve planted the seed, now let it grow.

Need more? We’ve got some great tips for finding leads on Twitter.

Track Your Results

Too many businesses have no clue whether their social media marketing delivers a return on investment. That’s because they’re not tracking their metrics.

Online, there’s no excuse for not following your numbers, because there are so many apps available to do it for you.

You should track:

  • Engagement. How many people are commenting on your social media posts?
  • Clicks. Are people clicking through the links you share?
  • Traffic. How many people are visiting your website as a result of social media?
  • Sales. What percentage of social media traffic results in a sale?

When you track these social media stats, you’ll know whether your social strategy is delivering a real return, or whether you need to tweak your approach.

Follow Twitter

 

Who should you follow on Twitter if you want to succeed fast?

It depends.

It depends on who you are, where you’re at, and what success means to you.

Ultimately, you have to decide who’s best placed on Twitter to help you out. Factors you might consider include:

  • How close they are to a person you want to reach.
  • How responsive they are on Twitter.
  • Whether they have the power to make a decision that gets you to where you want to be.
  • Whether you have something in common, so you can start a conversation.

We’ve put together a small(ish) list of 973 people to get you started. We’re not saying you should follow all these people (though give us a Twitter shoutout if you do follow any of them). We’re just showing you how easy it can be to find and connect with people who have influence.

When you’ve found the people who you’d like to talk to, check out our article on getting the attention of Twitter influencers.

Ready to dig in? Then let’s get started!

 

Founders

Are you an entrepreneur or business owner? Other entrepreneurs can give you great advice on how to make the most of your business.

And you never know, they might (one day) give you the investment you need, too (though always build a relationship first, and never use Twitter to make the ask).

You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to connect with business founders on Twitter. These include:

Editors

Got a story you want to tell? Of course, you can start up your own blog, or share it with the world on Twitter.

But if you want to shine an ultra-bright spotlight on what you’re doing, then traditional media is still the way to go. And that means connecting with reporters and editors.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of publications… but it will help you see how easy it can be to find editors and journalists on Twitter.

Bonus 5 We Love!

Here are our special picks – five Twitter users we’re sure you’ll love! (Click their names to check out their Twitter accounts)

Aaron Lee

Who is Aaron Lee? Aaron is a Malaysian blogger who rose to fame sharing his passion for coffee. He now blogs about social media marketing.

Why follow Aaron? Aaron makes a point of engaging with as many of his followers as he can. If you want to start a conversation with an influencers, try talking to Aaron Lee.

Mari Smith

Who is Mari Smith? Mari is the queen of Facebook. Whatever you need to know about Facebook marketing, she’s your gal. She also has a huge Twitter following.

Why follow Mari? Because she’s fun-loving, inspirational and she’ll always brighten your day. Plus she shares extremely useful stuff.

Derek Halpern

Who is Derek Halpern? Derek is the founder and lead writer at Social Triggers, a blog that helps readers become more influential.

Why follow Derek? You’ll learn proven psychological tricks and techniques to help you (and your business) succeed faster.

Ankesh Kothari

Who is Ankesh Kothari? Ankesh is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor based in Mumbai, India.

Why follow Ankesh? Pretty much everything he shares will blow your mind and help you see the world in a new way.

Leo Babauta

Who is Leo Babauta? Leo is the founder of the Zen Habits blog.

Why follow Leo? You’ll learn how to be a minimalist and be uber-productive. Leo will show you how to have a laser-sharp focus that helps you get more done.

You Should Also Follow…

And finally… whenever we feature influencers, we link to their Twitter profiles. Why not check out these articles for the low-down on some of Twitter’s biggest names?

You might also look at our article on using Twitter’s advanced tool to help you find brilliant opportunities and fabulous people to connect with.

Over to You

Twitter is a great way to get ahead through networking. But as we’ve said, who you must follow on Twitter is subjective. It depends on what you plan to achieve.

With that in mind, is there anyone who you’d suggest is a must follow? Which Twitter accounts have you found the most helpful?

Let us know in the comments section, below.

One Last Thing…

Do you follow Social Caffeine on Twitter yet? If not, you should. You’ll find us here.

Spooky Twitter

Remember: any of your hard-earned Twitter followers can disappear at just the click of a button.

You don’t want to show your followers the door, do you?

Yet if you do any of the following, you just might.

1. Be a Narcissist

You know the type. These are the people who love nothing better than talking about themselves.

Of course, there’s a time and a place to share your story. And you can do that on Twitter.

But shouting about how great your business is or telling people to buy from you? Don’t do that. Otherwise your followers will go elsewhere. They’ll look for people who want a real conversation.

What to do instead? Ask great questions. Jump into the conversation. Share awesome stuff. Basically, be a cool person to hang out with.

2. Direct Message (DM) ALL Your New Followers

Back in 2009, this seemed like a good idea. And maybe it was. Maybe. But we’re in a new decade. These days, Twitter spamming is not cool.

Someone’s followed you. Sending him or her a DM merely says, “I’m a jerk who doesn’t know how to interact properly on Twitter.” You’ll lose these followers as quickly as you gained them.

What to do instead? If you want to say hi to your new follows, do so personally and publicly. Send them tweets instead of DMs. And ask them questions about things they’re interested in.

3. Automate Your Tweets

Let’s get clear on the difference between scheduling and automating.

Scheduling tweets is a good thing. With scheduling, you handpick content you want to share, and you line your tweets up in advance. It means you can be active on Twitter without it ruining your productivity.

Automating tweets is the one to avoid. This is where you tell Twitter to share every new article from a website, blog, or ezine. If you’ve not checked out the content yourself, then you shouldn’t share it.

4. Retweeting Everything

People follow you because they want to hear from you. Sure, it’s good to retweet now and again. But if your Twitter feed is constantly flooded with retweets, you’re doing it wrong.

What to do instead? When you discover content you love on Twitter, don’t retweet it. Write a new tweet linking to the content. Credit the person who first found the content by ending your tweet with “via @username”. Reserve retweets for text-only tweets; don’t use them to share links.