Before you answer that question, you first have to have something to measure it against. Set expectations and goals, then make a plan, execute it and then monitor it. Why are you even playing with social if you’re not looking to reach new prospects. You first need to identify your audience, make them aware of who you are and then engage them. Use metrics to keep you on track but don’t get obsessed with them.
Use measuring devices first of all to help you monitor what you’re doing and secondly to fend off the bean counters as to what are we getting out of this. Are you reaching the people? Are you engaging them and building a relationship? If you have a blog, how is your audience embracing your message? With social you have numerous tools that will help you monitor your progress from Google Analytics to Twitter Search, Technorati or BoardReader.com. With my blog, I know immediately if I’ve hit a home run with a post. With Twitter, you can monitor what people are saying about you or your competitors. LinkedIn lets you participate in groups that gives you the opportunity to gain visibility and credibility and hopefully start engaging new potentials.
Several folks have got their own processes in place. Bill Seaver has a L.A.C.E. method which stands for – Leads, Awareness, Customer Service and Engagement. Tarla Cumming’s method is called M.O.M. – Monitor, Outreach and Measure. The point is everyone’s circumstances are different. Try something and if it doesn’t work or it needs to be revised, then do it.
I’d like to hear what others are doing to measure their effectiveness and whether you’re doing it as a quality control issue for your content, or if you’re doing a numbers thing for management.
Finding your best prospective client online audience is not yet an exact science. But for now you can be in the right ballpark. The same is true regarding Twitter. There are plenty of search applications out there, but all have their limitations. The following five sites have been the most helpful to me in locating prospective client “tweeps” to follow.
1. Twitter Search – Twitter’s built-in people search is the easiest place to start, but isn’t necessarily the best way to find people on Twitter. Twitter Search is much better, especially using their advanced search page. Be sure and check out their search operations pages for some handy examples for your search query.
2. Twellow – Is an excellent search tool for prospective clients with over 6.2 million Twitter user profiles now indexed in Twellow and placed into a huge number of categories. You can search the entire lot of profiles, or confine searches to a single category. Twellow also operates a local directory called the “Twellowhood.”
3. Tweepz – Allows you limited searches to specific parts of Twitter’s user information (such as name, bio and location). Through the advanced search filter results by follower/following numbers, location, and other extracted terms, enhances your search results.
4. Twitterel – You can search for prospective clients to follow by doing keyword searches of tweets. This service can update you by email, direct message, or @reply when it finds new people it thinks you might be interested in following. It’s similar to Google Alerts.
5. WeFollow – Is a Twitter user directory that organizes people by hashtags. WeFollow is user-generated and anyone can add themselves by tweeting @wefollow with three #hashtags that describe them.
If you have helpful search sites/directories that have been helpful to you, please share them in the comment section below.
B-to-B marketers are having a hard time figuring out the best way to use Twitter. If they understand that the people who are following them are obviously interested in them and their products, they’ve already pre-qualified themselves. Twitter has become my number-one source of activity to my blog.
Here are 5 ways I recommend using Twitter in a B-to-B setting:
- Share product and technical information: By putting up new product info, technical and other harder to obtain info on Twitter, you’re allowing tradesmen to keep up to date on information without distractions for search engines or even your web site.
- Drive people to your blog: One main objective is to get them to your blog, and Twitter is an ideal way of doing that. We use TweetLater to send out posts hourly during the business day. Our traffic has increased substantially since we started using this, and our followers have also increased.
- Keep up on competitors as well as what people are saying about you: We use Twitter Search as the tool to keep us informed. It’s fast and easy, much like Google Alerts. Wouldn’t you like to know who’s talking about buying something from your competitor?
- Share solutions for specific applications: Manufacturers can do everything from quick tips for tradesmen in the field, to best practices on how to get the most productivity in certain applications.
- Creating buzz at trade shows: This is relatively new, but is a great way to talk about the latest new widget at XYZ’s booth, and you really should stop by booth #2459. Obviously for this to work, you need to have a number of followers in that industry who are probably at the show. Even if they aren’t, you will have peaked their curiosity enough for them to look on your blog or web for more info on the product.
These are my top 5 ways…what are yours?
Here are a few more posts about Twitter that may be of interest to you:
Using Twitter in Customer Service
Use Twitter to Grow Your Brand
Twitter Search Benefits B-to-B Marketers
Twitter is certainly the hot topic in the social media scene. Corporate executives, editors, financial analysts and community leaders, to mention a few, are all participating. From a PR standpoint, there’s great opportunity, but don’t get caught up with the thought that here’s another avenue we can use to pitch editors or analysts. Instead, think of it as a way to bring up awareness and start the process of building long-term relationships. Used correctly, Twitter can give you an advantage in the marketplace. Here are some tips on how to get involved:
- Sign up. To participate, you need to jump in. Signing up is easy.
- Identify Friends. You’ll want to find people with similar interests to follow and be followed. After you’ve found new friends, look at their lists and start following some of their followers.
- Following/Followers. With Twitter, you not only want to follow, but be followed. When someone goes to your Twitter account, they’ll look first at how many people are following you. This brings up your credibility. It’s important that if someone follows you that you should follow them back. Twitter has some automated programs that will do that for you, and also will unfollow those who quit following you.
- Listen. One of the most important aspects of all social media is listening. When you start, just watch what people are saying about you, your products or competition (use Twitter Search and put in key words).
- Jump in and start Tweeting. Once you feel comfortable, start talking. If you see an interesting post or article, link to it. When people respond or retweet your message, be sure to acknowledge them.
- Improve your writing skills. With a 140 character limit, you’re going to soon find out how to choose your words carefully, which is not a bad thing. Make your tweets clear and concise.
By using these tips, you should be off to a good start tweeting your way through life.
Here are a few more posts about Twitter that you might find interesting:
5 Tips for b-to-b marketers to get the most from Twitter
A guide to micro-blogging for the b-to-b marketers
Use Twitter to grow your b-to-b brands
Business marketers trying to reach professional tradesmen can’t seem to warm up to a 140-character message as an impactful way to reach their targets.
Twitter has become a very powerful tool especially if you use some of their tools like Twitter Search which allows you to identify key words and phrases so you can follow and start a conversation with them. You can even monitor your company or product names and see what they are saying about you!
Twitter is a great tool for starting an opinion poll or directing folks to things they are tweeting about. It has been used by marketers at trade shows to create “BUZZ” on the floor: Stop at booth XXX and see their new left handed widget for plumbers.
In a post by Chris Brogan, 50 ideas on using Twitter for business, he outlines steps and hints on how to get the most out of Twitter in your business surroundings. Here are the top 5 tips that will help B-to-B Marketers to get the most from Twitter:
- Instead of answering a question “what are you doing?” answer the question “what has your attention?”
- Have multiple twitters at the company. People take vacations, quit, get on special projects. You need to keep the content going, it has to be good and it’s nice to have a different point of view.
- When promoting a post, give them a hint of what’s coming next.
- Tweet about other people’s stuff – it makes you look human and not always talking business.
- When you do talk business, make it useful. Give them a tip or advice that would make their life better.
What are your thoughts on using Twittersearch?