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Benefits of using Twitter in Business

Apr 20, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Brand Recognition, Online Marketing, Search, Social Media, Twitter  //  No Comments

For businesses, there are a number of benefits to using Twitter. Many of which deal with the real-time gathering of information. Here are some ways that businesses should be leveraging Twitter.

  1. Participating in Industry Conversation – your target audience and/or potential prospects are on Twitter where they may be discussing their frustrations or are communicating positive experiences. Why not be a part of that? Participate in the conversation when it makes sense to do so. Thinking of Twitter as the newest type of social mixer to engage with your industry.
  2. Brand Awareness – businesses can use Twitter to keep their brand top of mind. Whether you are Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) promoting an upcoming Kiss concert in Windsor, Canada or Toys R Us (@ToysRUs) promoting the latest Transformer toys, Twitter allows a business to keep their brand out there for people to engage with.
  3. Use Twitter to gain Competitive Intelligence – hey guess what? Your competitors are on Twitter. As a result you might want to consider monitoring their tweets from time to time to see what they are working on. Perhaps they are preparing to launch a new product or are opening a new branch. Heck maybe they are going through massive layoffs and an opportunity presents itself to acquire them or at least hire some of their laid off employees. Twitter can be a great environment for monitoring what the competition is doing. It can also be a great way just to see how your competition is using Twitter themselves. Perhaps you can pick up a tip or two.
  4. Engage with your target audience – Twitter allows you to interact with potential prospects and your target audience. While you do not want to be "in their face" all of the time, Twitter does allow you to engage with these people by re-tweeting their posts or responding to something that they may have tweeted about, which leads us to …
  5. Online Reputation Management – information on Twitter breaks quickly. The reported death of Michael Jackson on June 25th, was one example of this. Businesses can use Twitter to monitor what is being said about their brand almost in real-time. If someone had a negative experience with your brand, chances are they may tweet about it. If so, work to address the issues and communicate the fact that you are doing so. Remember Twitter is a social environment so transparency and honesty can be a good thing.
  6. Promote your Blog Content – if your company has a corporate blog or various blogs, you can use Twitter to promote your blog content. Heck you can set up a feed to automatically post your blog post URLs directly to Twitter.
  7. Twitter and Mobile – because Twitter is so simple to use and is limited to 140 characters, mobile use with Twitter is also easy. You can both send and receive updates what you and your friends are doing on the go using a simple SMS. Twitter can be a great mobile communication tool. As we know in business, this can be a pretty powerful thing.
  8. Understanding Tool – Businesses can use Twitter as an understanding tool to learn what their desired target demographic is saying and looking for. For example, if you are a brand that targets a younger target market, just by listening to their conversation via Twitter, you can learn what their latest interests are and what’s the next shiny new object that they are looking to latch on to.
  9. Feedback Mechanism – launching a new product? Perhaps you are launching a new website? Businesses can use Twitter to obtain instant feedback on these items and as a result make any necessary changes before the formal launch. This feedback can be invaluable and by using Twitter, it is free!
  10. Promotion – of course you can use Twitter as a promotional tool to announce offline endeavors or upcoming online events (webinars, virtual tradeshows etc). If you are an e-commerce site, perhaps you have a deal of the day where you can promote these deals such as how Toys.com is currently leveraging Twitter @toysdeals. The fact is you do not want to be too promotional, but Twitter does present the opportunity to promote your products or service and brand to your friends.
  11. SEO Boost – if you have great content on your website and you want to drive additional traffic to this content on your website, you can use Twitter to do so. A quick tweet with the URL can help drive additional traffic to a preferred landing page on your site to help coax the conversion on your site.
  12. Ask Questions Receive Answers - those who do not ask will not receive. As a business, perhaps you are looking for a specific answer to a question that you have. Maybe you are looking for some industry stats. You can use Twitter to pose the question and if the question is engaging and if your friends are remotely interested in the same question, you should receive a response. Twitter is a social community and usually these social communities are tight knit. Someone is bound to answer your question and at least point you in the right direction.
  13. HR Tool – while this may not be the best way to go about your hiring practices, you can tweet about your HR needs and link to relevant job postings on your site via Twitter. You just might receive some additional interest that you may not have otherwise had.
  14. Press Release / News Management – Have a major announcement? Use Twitter to promote your press releases and to communicate company news. Remember our earlier discussion on Internet Speed? News travels fast online, Twitter is another information super-highway that can help communicate news quickly.Internal
  15. Communication Tool – while not many businesses think to do this, but you can use Twitter as an internal communication tool within your business. There are various ways to do this. Of course one of the best examples of this is Zappos, who encourage employees to tweet. http://twitter.zappos.com/. Again the timeliness of the information plays a key role in using Twitter as an internal communication tool. While we have instant messaging, using Twitter to communicate internally can also be an effective way of sharing information within. Of course there are pros and cons to this, but use your discretion

Top 5 Search Terms at Online Marketing Blog – Including Pirates

Apr 16, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing, Search, Social Media  //  No Comments

Here on Online Marketing Blog, we post a tremendous amount of insight on organic  search optimization and content marketing related topics each month. But how about the site search tool on our own blog? Who’s searching for what, and why? And what are they finding?

Mining the site search report from Google Analytics can be very useful since it’s an indication of what our visitors want to read more of. Here are the six most popular site search terms for Online Marketing Blog including our favorite, “pirates”.

1. Facebook

With Facebook taking off as a top channel for social media marketing, it’s no wonder that them comes up as our leading search query. Just consider the recent numbers:

  • Facebook boasts more than 400 million active users
  • 50% of Facebook users log on during any given day
  • More than 20 million Facebook users become fans of pages every day

A quick Online Marketing Blog site search for “Facebook” yields recent posts on tools for sharing microcontent, insight on social media advertising and how to leverage channels like Facebook to take advantage of real-time search.

2. Twitter

Speaking of popular social media marketing channels, Twitter takes to No. 2 spot for most common site searched on Online Marketing blog. Twitter may only have less than 106 million users compared with Facebook’s 400 million. But consider how quickly Twitter is growing and how active its users are:

  • New users sign up at the rate of 300,000 per day
  • 180 million unique visitors visit the site every month
  • Users post an average of 55 million tweets a day

So what can you get with a search for Twitter on Online Marketing Blog? Learn more about the role of news in blended search or find ways to electrify your social network.

3. Books

Who says print is dead? “Books” turns up as our fourth most popular search term.

Here on the Online Marketing Blog, we’ve posted reviews of some of latest most intriguing marketing online marketing books like “The Art of SEO.”

Plus, we’ve conducted exclusive interview with some of the hottest marketing authors out there, such as David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing.” We’ve even polled our readers on the best available books on SEO.

4. Social Media

These days, social media isn’t just a hot topic for B2C marketers looking to connect with consumers on sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Social media is equally as relevant in the B2B world. In fact, 91% of business buyers read blogs, watch user generated video and participate in other social media, according to Forrester Research.

A “social media” search on Online Marketing blog pulls up posts on setting and measuring goals for business blogging, which social media sites are the biggest time wasters and the risks of sponsored blog posts.

5. Email Marketing

Contrary to predictions, RSS never did replace Email. Social media and network use and status updates or microblogging haven’t “killed” the popularity of email either. In fact, there have been reports that Email use is actually up. So it certainly makes sense that our readers are looking for more information on email marketing.

A search for “email marketing” reveals some insight posts including, “5 Top Email Marketing Tactics for 2010“, 5 Tips for Effective Email Copywriting” and “How Social Media & Email Marketing Boost Customer Reach“.

And Finally: Pirates!

Few things seem less relevant to Online Marketing Blog than pirates. Yet somehow it’s one of the most searched terms on the blog.

So what do pirates have to do with Internet marketing and Web 2.0? There is an answer in this social media marketing post, we promise. Hint: It has to do with Dave McClure.

Are you analyzing the top search phrases on your web site? Are you using that insight to guide your site content?


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