Online marketing has turned out to be the most talked-about trend in the online community. Indeed, there’s just so many ideas out there that you can pick up and use in your marketing campaigns. But the question is, are you really sure that you’ll get a profound impact that will boost your business?
Are you on Twitter? How do you use it? How do you decide who to follow? I recently was in conversation with a potential client and we were talking about the value of building a fresh current website and featuring a blog. I was explaining how blogging is a great opportunity to build brand awareness and to drive traffic to his website. I then went on to explain how he could use social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with existing and potential clients and be seen as an authority in his field. His response to me was “Twitter is for Twits”.
On September 2nd, Chris Brogan unfollowed all 131,000 of his Twitter followers. (As of now, he’s following 376 people and 191,010 people are following him.) Why did he decide to delete all of his followers and start over? Spam. He was receiving over 200 direct message spams a day. Chris is referring to this as the “The Great Twitter Unfollow Experiment of 2011”. Now this may sound a bit drastic but we’ve all heard stories of people who have deleted their Twitter accounts and started all over again for similar reasons. So what went wrong and how can you and I avoid getting into a similar predicament? What sort of Twitter strategy should we implement?
I don’t know if this branding strategy makes sense to anyone but me but when I first reserved my Twitter name, I puzzled over how I could tie it into my brand. After all, 15 characters isn’t much. If my domain name (keepupwiththeweb) had been 1 less character, I could have chosen that as my Twitter name. Of course that wasn’t the case. So I reserved KEEPUPWEB as my Twitter name and decided to make the best of it.
Some business relationships naturally tend to be more beneficial than others. For example, if you are targeting businesses that cater to the wedding market, it makes sense to develop relationships with people who work in businesses such as event planners, florists and caterers. If you’re a mortgage lender, good contacts for you include realtors and an insurance salesperson. By building business relationships with people who share the same niche target customer that you do, you are forming what is commonly referred to as a contact sphere. Contact spheres are generally formed by people who are in compatible but non-competitive professions. As you get to know each other and develop trust, you can refer business to each other and help each other to be successful.
Being analytical by nature, I don’t usually do much of anything without having a goal, a strategy and a plan. Even a trip to the grocery store involves a list (if only a post-it note), a destination and almost always a strategy involving a carefully laid out plan to combine multiple errands mapped out in a path that involves keeping in mind traffic patterns. (My husband’s suspicions that I’m a little nuts might be confirmed if he had any idea what is actually involved in my thought process.) Having said that, when I wrote my last blog article, “5 Tips for Incorporating Twitter into Your Social Networking Strategy”, I wrongly assumed that lots of people start out tweeting with goals and a detailed plan. As I read some of the comments, I quickly learned that some of my blogging friends are frustrated with Twitter and it’s not working for them the way they had intended. So, I’d like to know more.
Social networking is all about connecting and building a community. To me, it’s really no different from socializing in “real life”. Sure, it may be a little more difficult because you can’t hear the person’s tone of voice or see the twinkle in their eye that lets you know they’re kidding but it still is a matter of getting to know each other, building trust and establishing meaningful and hopefully mutually beneficial relationships.