Social Media Marketing September 30th, 2009
Promoting a local business on the internet is something a great number of people have taken to doing, and many are using the social media strategies that are available to them online. The problem is that there are many more online marketing strategies that do not work online, then those that do. This includes specific strategies for utilizing certain tools like Twitter. If you want to promote your local business online, there are some things that you really need to think about to ensure that those efforts actually pay you back dividends for the time you have spent on them.
The secret to being successful when using social media to promote your local business is to focus far less on what you can stand to gain by the process. Instead, focus on what you can provide to, in the case of Twitter, your followers.
If you focus only on what you can gain, you will quickly be disappointed, as it is extremely difficult to directly make a gain from a tool like Twitter. This is especially true if you want to see quick profits. Instead, it is a long term strategy that involves you providing things of value to your followers. There exists a nearly unlimited number of people on the internet who could all be potential followers on Twitter. They might not all be listening at once but, for the ones who are listening (reading) when you Tweet, you need to show them that you’re willing to provide things to them rather than asking them for things. Over enough time, this will grow into something that will invert into momentum into your own sales.
Thinking about what to give your listeners, especially in a speed and brevity oriented forum such as Twitter can be difficult. You have to always look at your posts from their perspective. What might your public be interested in? If you can, you should do your best to provide information of real value. Links to great free information, breaking news in your industry, insider information, or other things that have real value are preferred.
Value is the primary concept that you need to focus on. If you provide information in your use of social media that your followers have a need for, you will quickly find them returning to you again and again.
Value is an important concept not only in the quality of the information that you provide online, but also in the quality of the people that you have following you in venues like Twitter. We all know the importance of the qualified visitors to a website. That is to say, that having less traffic that is comprised of people who will, under the right circumstances, make a purchase in your niche online is much more valuable than having many times more traffic made up of random visitors. The same applies to recruiting friends, followers, or any other group of people on social websites.
In the term “Social Media Marketing” it is important to remember that the “Marketing” part is more important than the “Social Media” part in many instances. One of the key skills learned by those who excel at marketing is customer profiling. This means that, when you have a product to sell, you need to carefully analyze who the people are who might buy that product.
For example, the maker of a memorization product might realize that University students wanting to do better on exams, teachers wanting to teach good study habits, and elderly people with memory problems might all be interested in a product like this; each for separate reasons. This is a simplistic example, but it gives you the idea of targeting who your audience is. This is a strategy you can also use to figure out who you want to be following you on Twitter, and in turn, what you can provide that will be interesting to them in terms of the kinds of Tweets that you make.
Once you know who you need to follow you, the primary challenge left to you is to go out and get them. Luckily, there are a number of tools geared towards helping you increase the followers you have for promoting your own local business on Twitter.
Use some of these tools to search for potentially qualified followers for you on Twitter. The best strategy for marketing a local business in this regard is to search for both your keywords and geographic keywords located to the area you do business in, such as your State, Zip Code, City, or Neighborhood.
Twellow and WeFollow are the two tools that you are going to use to primarily search out new followers on twitter. They’re like a phone book for people who use Twitter and allow you numerous tools to find people that might be interested in following you on Twitter. For example, WeFollow will allow you to search out people based on their interests, whereas Twellow will let you search for users by various criteria; including the geographic location, which is so important when promoting a local business.
If you find someone you would like to follow you using these tools, be sure to send them a quick note explaining who you are and why they should follow you. Always attempt to make this type of communication as personalized as possible.
There are other tools you might use to simplify your Twitter experience. As mentioned in a previous social media post, TweetDeck is a good application to help you run Twitter from your desktop or your iPhone, which can be very useful. FriendorFollow lets you see who is following you that you’re not following, and PeopleBrowsr lets you analyze how hot your topics of promotion might be on Twitter.
Additional tips and tools can be found at the Local Internet Marketing Blog.
Combined, this advice and these tools give you a powerful head start in having a successful Twitter campaign in place for promotion of your local business.