A post was written today for (I assume as it was logged in the business section) the world of business owners regarding Twitter, a very popular social media site. If your brand is interested in online marketing and SEO sentiments, should it be using Twitter? A large amount of literature on the topic would promote such a decision, but is general business literature mistakenly misleading SMB owners? In some cases, I think so.
I read another great post (I love reading) today related to SEO trends, tracing link building methods of the last decade. The author (a respected source in the SEO community) closed with a sentiment I champion: rather than chase algorithm changes and SEO trends, ensure you (the service provider) as well as respective clients are putting in hard work, not optimizing businesses towards changing algorithms and trends, but facilitating a valuable consumer-to-brand experience. Hallelujah!! Thanks, Wil, if I said it alone, the sentiment may not get the attention it deserves…
Unfortunately, many more novice SMB readers will peruse the Times article than my blog post, but for those who are reading, let me tweak the Times post to help you elucidate whether you really want to adopt Twitter into your online marketing initiatives or dismiss it, because reports and literature could be confusing and in some cases contradictory. For instance, this post suggests social media use is great for “every” business while this one plays a different tune regarding local business use…what’s a SMB owner to do? Perhaps it’s think like one of their consumers, do some research, and make a decision whether to adopt the social media platform and use it effectively to create a better brand experience, or dismiss it and use allocated resources elsewhere in an effective fashion.
Upload photos – Yes! You can upload photos to Twitter. Is it worth your business’ time? Maybe if its offering products, and a consumer is likely to “value” the additional visual information (ex. used cars, music equipment, surf boards, art work, clothes, etc), using it to make a better purchase decision. Would pictures work for service providers too? It could (showing before and after pictures related to landscaping for instance). Will you get more followers for posting pictures? Not necessarily, but could the extra media create more value to consumers in many cases? Yes.
Cross-post to Facebook – Awesome! You can post the same exact content to your Facebook page as featured on your Twitter account! Is this useful to your valued customers, followers, and friends? Maybe, if there is a major difference between Twitter and Facebook followers…otherwise, aren’t you presenting the same information to consumers twice? Would it make more sense to approach the different platforms a bit “differently” if you want to leverage both? Could you create an experience unique to each platform, and only ‘cross-post’ occasionally, when really important information comes along rather than making cross-posting a “given” or habit? Think about optional tools of marketing; what makes the most sense in connecting with consumers, enriching their experience with your brand? In many cases, business owners don’t tap into one of the greatest sources of a brand’s marketing endeavors – the customers!
Jump to the Interesting Stuff – (the Times’ heading not mine) – Yes! If you’re a business using Twitter, I REALLY hope you consider the “connect” and “discover” buttons; that’s Twitter-business use 101! You’re using it to connect with customers to create a customer-to-brand experience, correct? Not because online marketing and SEO gurus told you to use it, right?
EVERY time you log on your account, you should be checking for interactions. What if something comes up similar to the social media situation I wrote about yesterday? Twitter is not just a vehicle for linking to articles, videos, pictures, and brand-related material. It’s a “social” platform, one where you can truly make “connections” with customers.
I’ll use a real-life example. I’m sitting in a coffee shop as I write this; the owner is Twitter savvy, often inquiring how the service, coffee, food, ambiance was enjoyed by his customers after their visit via the social platform. He’s creating a community, a better consumer-to-brand experience with Twitter. It works for his particular business; did the “traffic” come before the Twitter or did Twitter bring him more traffic?
I think it works both ways for someone who uses the platform so diligently. It’s one of his main marketing tools and he’s making it work for his brand. He’s not just tweeting about his services and products (any billboard can do that); he’s enriching the consumer-to-brand experience. He’s doing his part, understanding and marketing toward his customers. Are you or do you believe the world of online marketing and the options provided allow you to switch your concern and dedication to your consumers to autopilot mode? Such questions can be asked beyond social media, ringing true for other online marketing methods too. The coffee shop owners’ customers are chirping over his decisions. Are yours?