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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

How Twitter Helped Me Get a Website Restored

Over the weekend, I noticed that one of my websites was offline. It’s not a mission critical site which is why it was not monitored more closely (in case you are wondering), but it is a site that generates income and one that I was getting ready to upgrade.

I noticed that the web stats had dropped to zero for the past few days and I knew there was a problem. I tried to visit the site and it was down so I called the web hosting provider (I will be nice and not out them… but you can certainly see my Twitter history if you know how to find it) :-) Anyhow, I was told that it was a known issue and being worked on and therefore I could not have a support ticket, but that I was welcome to call back and endure another 5+ minute hold time if I wanted an update. Let’s just say, it was less than stellar customer service.

Knowing the power of Social Media, I Tweeted about the issue and named the company in the Tweet, so they would see the message. After not getting a response, I followed up with another Tweet saying that I was surprised that they did not monitor Twitter, given how large of a company they were. Within a few minutes, I was contacted via Twitter asking for my ticket number. I told them the issue and that I was told a ticket could be created… at which time they created a support ticket and told me the issue would be resolved that day.

The next day the issue still persisted and I replied to the support ticket asking for an update because they did not meet the time frame they had said they would. I then Tweeted that I was still frustrated that after 4 days of a website outage (which is simply unacceptable), I still did not have a status. I am sure you can guess what happened next. I got a Twitter message saying that someone would call me to try to resolve the issue, and of course I got a phone call. No one could tell me what magically happened, but they were able to get my site back up within minutes of that call. They said they did a work around to get mine up but that the others on my shared server were still offline. I guess I am surprised that no one else had a problem with their website being down for days.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the power of Social Media. As you might imagine, a few web hosting competitors and affiliates saw my posts and contacted me via Twitter with hosting offers. I went to respond to one to thank them, but they failed to follow me (on Twitter) which means, I could not communicate with them. Well, at least they were on the right track…

How to Leverage Current Events to Promote Your Brand

Do you ever find yourself at a loss for blog content? One thing to keep in mind is that Google gives preference to content related to current events. All you need to do is ask yourself what is going on in the news or what holidays are coming up and then write a blog post about the event or holiday.

There are two approaches to making this work. The first method is to tie it in to your business by either adding a marketing message or showing that your company offers a solution to a problem being mentioned in the news. The second method is to simply put out the related content for brand exposure. Like every other marketing strategy, I recommend testing to see what works best for you.

After you have written your blog post, you will want to share it across your social media networks as this will help to “give it some legs.” A great one to use in this case is Twitter because you will also be able to leverage #hashtags which are basically keywords used to search on Twitter. Twitter monitors the top #hashtags which is an indication of what people are sharing or searching about. Tying your blog post into a #hashtag will help increase exposure to your blog post by leverage the event or holiday related activity on Twitter.

Last week I heard some interesting statistics about the Super Bowl and I decided to do a Super Bowl blog post on Sunday. I went the route of branding and made no mention of my company or what I did. It was a success; and is now the most visited blog post of the year. The real proof that Google listens came from viewing my analytics to see where the visitors came from. Most of the visits on Super Bowl Sunday and the two days following came through Google search (as indicated by Super Bowl search queries) and not just from the social media networks I submitted it to.

The moral of the story is that Google listens when you know how to speak their language.

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Twitter – Fueled Friday

Some people love Twitter and others still find no purpose for it. I get lots of questions from people about what they should do regarding Twitter, and this is what I say. Do not let the “hype” of Twitter distract you from your business or intentional marketing practices such as search engine optimization of paid search. Most businesses will do far better focusing on connecting with those people currently searching for their products or services because these are people who are looking to make buying decisions.

That said, Twitter does have tremendous value in terms of building your brand, connecting with others in your industry, and providing customer service (for those who are on Twitter already).

Here are my recommendations for anyone considering adding Twitter to their online marketing program:

1. Decide how you are going to use Twitter and let people know by putting this on your Twitter page. If you are simply providing customer service, then let people know. If you have limited staffing for Twitter, let people know the quickest way to reach you. If you are building community or having a contest, make that known as well so people know what to expect.

2. Make sure you have someone who can spend at least 30 minutes per day on Twitter. You can even break it down into two 15 minute tiem slots and make the focus on checking for direct messages or mentions of your company and responding. As you grow, you will eventually need to dedicate whatever time is needed to handle the inquiries so be prepared for that. Ideally, you should make time to see who is following you and decide if you want to follow them back.

3. Don’t feel compelled to spend time growing your followers if you are not using Twitter as a branding platform. The customers that want to find you on Twitter will find you because they will search for you. Ideally, you would want to use it for all of it’s value which includes branding and promoting your company, but people need to realize that the more you want to use Twitter for, the more internal resources you will need.

4. Find a tool that helps you manage your Twitter account as simply as possible. There are many, but a few popular Twitter tools to check out are TweetDeck and HootSuite.

I hope that is helpful.

Happy Tweeting and have a great weekend!

P.S. – You can also find me on Twitter (Anthony Kirlew).

Twitters Newest Partner Helps You Tweet Your Valentine

With Valentines Day just around the corner, I am sure you have seen those little candy hearts that come out around Valentine’s with the little messages on them such as “hug me” & “kiss me.” Well, now the Sweethearts candy will have a new message for this years batch – “tweet me”. Your odds of getting one of these is about one in 60, so I assume this will help boost sales of an already popular candy.

In addition, the company is launching an iphone app that allows you to send virtual Sweethearts boxes to your valentine. Read the full story at USA Today.

Social Media is Now More Critical with Google’s New Real Time Search Feature

Yesterday Google announced that it will be featuring more “real time” search results which includes content from blogs and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Just for fun, I have provided a link to the Yahoo News story on this. :-)

As if we didn’t already know that being involved in social media was important to a business, this latest move by Google further emphasizes this. So what does this mean for those that are actively trying to generate business online? First of all, don’t by any means abandon what you are doing. Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search are still the foundation of a solid online marketing campaign, so you want to make sure you are continuing to make strides there. But, if you have not ventured out into the world of social media, you might want to take a look at it now. Here are some suggestions:

1. If you don’t have a blog, start one. Ideally, your blog should be a part of your website (i.e yoursite.com/blog) as opposed to a separate stand along blog, so your domain can capitalize on the inbound links to the blog.

2. If you don’t have a Facebook Fan page, start one. It does not cost anything to set it up, and it’s really not that difficult. Here is a link to the first of a “how to” series I wrote on creating a Facebook page.

3. If you aren’t on Twitter, join. Early on, I was not a big fan of Twitter but as I have seen more value from it, I am encouraging people to join. Here is the key to being successful on Twitter; you have to learn how it works and stay active, otherwise you will deem it a waste of time. A great feature to learn on Twitter, is the “local search” feature where you can do a search based on your region. I actually used this just yesterday and found a partner prospect for my company.

As we go into 2010, I hope this gives you some insights into how you can improve your online positioning by staying ahead of your competition. If you need help implementing any online strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me.


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