Twitter: A Valuable Marketing Tool? (About.com – Laura Lake)

This was a great simple explanation of the possibilities. It is just a matter of figuring out which one is appropriate for your business.

Twitter: A Valuable Marketing Tool?
By Laura Lake, About.com

I hear the debate all the time, and no I’m not talking about the Presidential debate – I’m referring to Twitter.

Should we consider Twitter to be a marketing tool or is it just for people who have a lot of time on their hands and the need to jibber-jabber all day long?

I will be honest, I was an early adopter of Twitter and then I walked away from it I couldn’t see the value, recently my viewpoint has changed.

Think of Twitter as a means to get instant public messages out to your audience, whether it is an audience of colleagues or potential customers.

Twitter is becoming an increasingly important platform for online communication and, yes, conversation. TechCrunch reported that Twitter has more than 1 million users and approximately 3 million messages are posted daily.

How can we use Twitter as a marketing tool?

Good question. Let me see if I can help.

Click here to view the complete article.

What the heck is social media marketing? (Redwood Times by Sean Connors)

Great points about how online marketing is changing and it is not just about having a website.

    What the heck is social media marketing? – Redwood Times

By Sean Connors

Looking for a way to better expose your product offerings and services in this challenging economy? Use the power of social media marketing – for free!

If you have a business, then you should already know by now that you should at least have a small website for you business. Face it – some demographics don’t even know what a “phone book” is anymore, and others find it easier to Google your business than to thumb though a printed book. If all you have is a website for your business, however, you have not yet fully entered the 21st century. To do that, you need to understand how your business website is or could be networked with folks using the Internet.

Traditionally, promoting your site on the web would be just a matter of understanding how site design interfaces with organic/natural listings in the top search engines (with enough quality links back to your site to trump your competitors), and then maybe running some Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns on services such as Google AdWords, etc. That is, most of what you could do was to tweak your site copy and other aspects of site content such as meta title, description and keyword tags to compete with your competitors for “natural” listings and possibly pay for position via PPC advertising.

That may have suited your needs for online marketing in the past, but times have changed folks! There is now a new wave of marking that is much easier and more powerful than the old school optimization for search engines. It’s called social media marketing.

Click here to view the complete article.

Survey: Small businesses not using social networking (Pacific Business News – Honolulu – 10/09/09)

Survey: Small businesses not using social networking – Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

Small-business owners are not making the trek to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, but are slowly dipping their toes into Internet waters, according to a new Citibank/GfK Roper survey.

The study found 76 percent of small-business owners polled were not using social media or finding it helpful in generating business leads during the last year, and 86 percent said they did not use such sites to get advice or information.

“Our survey suggests that small-business owners are still feeling their way into social media, particularly when it comes to using these tools to grow their businesses,” said Maria Veltre, executive vice president of Citi’s Small Business Segment. “While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them.”

Click here to view the complete article.

In Business, Early Birds Twitter Most Effectively – BusinessWeek (Shel Israel)

Great article in Newsweek by Shel Israel on how businesses are using Twitter.

In Business, Early Birds Twitter Most Effectively – BusinessWeek

Companies can work wonders before Twitter’s vast interactive audience of consumers, but it’s best to start slowly and build credibility

Like so many others, Lionel Menchaca, Dell Computer’s chief blogger, thought Twitter was “fairly worthless for business” when he first looked at it in March 2007, but trying new social media tools was part of his job. Menchaca opened an account and started posting links whenever he posted on Direct2Dell, the company’s oft-praised corporate blog, where he serves as principal author.

The results exceeded his expectations. When he posted a link on Twitter, people clicked on the URL in minutes. They commented often—and at Twitter, rather than on the blog. They were the first viewers to spread word of his new blog posts. Twitter moved fast and sent his words further than any medium he had previously encountered.

But that turned out to be less than half the story. Listening to others turned out to be even more valuable than distributing what he wrote. Menchaca discovered that by using the Twitter Search feature, he could monitor and sometimes join conversations about PCs. “Tweeters,” as they call themselves, regularly posted links to relevant content he might otherwise have missed.

Click here for the full article.