Top 5 Reasons to Use Twitter for Your Business

Founded in 2006, Twitter is a real-time social networking site that has gone on to draw in over 500 million regular users. Although similar to other popular social media sites, the main attraction that sets Twitter apart is called a “Tweet.”

Tweets are short, public messages limited to 140 characters or less that lets users share updates, ideas, questions, announcements and more. As more and more people go mobile, Twitter is quickly becoming the favorite social media application for smartphone users.

Many companies have already realized the power of Twitter and how beneficial it can be to businesses. If you’re still trying to decide if Twitter is right for your business, consider the following:

* Twitter helps businesses get exposure in several ways. Once you start tweeting, your messages have the potential of trending for millions of users to see. If you consistently tweet interesting and authentic information about your business, your tweets may even go viral, meaning other sites will pick up on your information and spread the word about your company. This allows invaluable information about your company and the services you offer to potentially to reach prospective customers quite easily.

* Twitter is a great way to network with other businesses in your industry and follow their progress. In other words, Twitter gives you an inside view of how the competition is doing by simply following their tweets. Additionally, you may find different ways to market your products/services by learning what other successful businesses in your industry are doing on Twitter.

* Twitter is one of the easiest ways to provide customer service. When your followers ask questions, all it takes is a few minutes to reply. Additionally, tweets are in real-time. Customers and followers will see your message just as soon as it’s posted, and can easily reply back to you with a click of a button.

* Twitter is one of the most efficient social media websites. If you’re busy, yet need to promote your business effectively, Twitter’s 140 word character limit along with the site’s ease of use will help you quickly say what you need to say within a matter of minutes. If you need more characters, consider using hashtags. Hashtags, words with the # symbol in front, will reduce your character count and put your keywords into Twitter’s search engine. For example, if you’re having a sales promotion, simply tweet #promotion and your keyword will be searchable to other users.

* Tweets are now starting to show up in most of the major search engines. For this to happen, however, there is a little bit of work involved on your part. By providing consistent tweets with the proper keywords on a regular basis, your tweets, along with your company website and other social media sites, have a better chance of moving up to the first page of Google, Yahoo!, and other major search engine results. Since most people click on the links that show up on the first page, having your company’s information rank as high as possible is imperative.

How to Target Early Adopters with Your Next Big Idea

Not to sound bigoted, but let’s just face the facts: some customers are more valuable than others. There! I said it! More specifically, customers who can be classified as “early adopters,” especially in the realm of digital technology, are major players in the success or failure of a 21st century business and/or product. Early adopters are so important because they’re often also your influences; they run blogs, Youtube channels, and everything they say has triple or quadruple-digit retweets on twitter. Get on the good side of an early adopter, and they can bring with them hundreds or thousands of average users. In some writings on the adoption curve and life cycle of new products in our day and age, early adopters are touted as those who can guide a new business across the “chasm.” The chasm is the period of uncertainty where it is uncertain whether a product will make the jump from something a few people try out to a technology that is adopted and integrated by the majority.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can help your products and businesses be as attractive to early adopters as possible, and how you can best leverage that attention.

1) Find a genuine need. Depending on where you’re at, this might be advice coming too late, but the first step to getting your product into the hands of eager early adopters is to make sure you’re filling a genuine need. People have “cool” ideas all the time, but that doesn’t mean they’re ideas that will come to be known as “needed.” Sometimes, however, your big idea can simply be an improvement of another system (think: Facebook usurping Myspace), however the barrier to entry with these ideas is higher because your product has to be so good it entices people to drop something they’ve grown accustom to.

2) Have a proper incentive system. Don’t just offer to give people free products, give something above and beyond that. For example, you might take a note from the gaming industry: Often times, these companies will offer their early adopters exclusive titles for their profiles or unique character looks called “skins” that won’t be available ever again after the initial testing or adopting period. Think about what rewards could be relevant to your audience in the same way. Maybe you’re launching a mobile ecommerce platform and you offer “veteran seller” badges or other marks of credibility to those who sign up and start using your site within the first 3 months, etc.

3) Communication will make or break you. The world we market in today is one of two-way communication. Social media. You know, that kind of thing. You should be regularly reaching out to and interacting with your potential early adopter audiences through the channels that they use most. Beyond recruitment, this also expands to post-adoption feedback and support. Early adopters will likely be using these channels to either get in touch with you directly or to broadcast their opinions about your product or service. Either way, you should be monitoring social and traditional channels all the time to respond in a timely, appropriate way.

How to Stay True to Your IM Vision

Remember when you first made the decision to pour yourself into internet marketing? Maybe you’ve felt the rush of quitting your 9-to-5 in favor of starting off on a venture where success or failure rest squarely on your shoulders and yours alone, where earning potential is virtually unlimited and the possibilities seem endless. It’s an exciting moment, to be sure… but are you still excited?

Far too many marketers find themselves ambling down a boring dirt road that started out as a gold-paved promenade. In other words, they burn out. They get discouraged as they hit a ceiling, or maybe they just get bored in their routine. Whatever the reason, it’s always important to have a few tools for getting out of a rut on hand.

For starters, the biggest obstacles are always mental: While you want to be constantly learning and getting smarter from your experiences, you don’t want to lose sight of your original vision and mindset. There’s a talent to learning from experiences without letting them make you overly cynical or discouraged. Remember how excited you were to be your own boss? Remember how excited you were to bring your business/product/vision to the world? Good. Now be that person again.

Of course, it also helps if you’ve got the concrete routines and systems in place to help foster such mindsets. Often, the hardest part about working for yourself is, well, making yourself work. Having a strict daily schedule in place can help you stay on task. Many pros use their first few actions of the day as a psychological trigger and launching pad for the rest of the day. For example, you might begin each day by doing a 30 second speed organizing of your workplace, then a 5 minute email blitz, followed by brewing your morning cup of coffee. Repeating your process each day can get you in the mood to work.

Don’t be afraid to expand. Sometimes, you’re starting off with next to nothing and have to do the grunt work for a while, but even someone with the smallest of starting capital (or none at all) should be looking to move to delegation and expansion as soon as possible. A couple of years ago, article/content marketing was huge. The people who made a substantial living off of it, however, weren’t those writing articles day in and day out. Instead, these people quickly hired a writing and website team under them to allow for rapid growth. Or perhaps they started a large writing outfit to cater to the marketers working with content volume. Either way, they were running a business, not a self-employment hobby.

In a business, you would work toward hiring and expanding, and that’s exactly what you should do. Take stock of your resources, and look at which tasks can be quickly contracted to someone else to help give you more time to plan company growth. For many, the first task to go is content creation. For others, it might be SEO efforts. Whatever isn’t exciting to you and is within budget to hire out, do it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to adapt. You may have started your IM venture two years ago, and a lot changes in two years these days. Constantly be learning, researching, and ensuring that your own methods are still considered the best practice today; never mistake comfort with effectiveness.