Monday, March 28, 2011

Twitter Auto-Follow? Why bother ...

I found something new today. You can get programs which will automatically "follow" anyone who "follows" you on Twitter. And there are companies which will guarantee you 1000 followers in 24 hours. My question is, why bother?

What you need are QUALITY followers ... those who will actually read you tweets or visit your website. They will be the ones who re-tweet some of your posts or visit your website to buy something. Without quality followers, you might just as well tweet yourself.

Twitter helps improve word-of-mouth-advertising, consumer trust, and is a great way to actively engage and interact with customers (or potential customers). The key words here are "engage" and "interact". After all, the is social media ...

I would suggest not worrying about the actual number of people following you, but instead worry about the number of people following you who are actually interested in what you do and offer.

Try this for a change ... whenever you recieve a like, actually visit the person's website, and, if you like the site, tweet with with a "thank you" and a comment saying you like their site or products. Include your website link in your post.  If you cannot find anything to compliment them on, why would you follow them?

The best way to attract and keep new followers is with quality tweets. If you offer a great new item, tweet about it. But do you really need to send ten different tweets in a row because the item is available in ten colors?

Bottom line ... treat your followers as friends, offer quality content, and pay attention to what they are tweeting about. Avoid the numbers game.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Additional Social Media Survey Comments

[this comment is from a client with quite a bit of experience and SUCCESS with social media - specifically Facebook]
Social media is very important to any business both local and online. I find Facebook to be the most important and have seen many sales come directly from my Facebook page. However you have to be willing to devote some time in builiding relationships with your fellow Facebookers. I spend about half an hour a day on working on Facebook interacting with people in my feed. 
 You can have a regular page with "friends" or a fan page with "fans" or both. I have both of them. Post your sales and new items and annoucements on your fan page and develop business contacts with your friends page.
 Getting new fans takes a while but after you get over that first few hundred it can grow quickly. There are many "Facebook Follows" out there if you search for them. What this means are that other people will follow you if you follow their page. This will help your fan base grow fast and get you more exposure . When someone follows you it will appear in their stream saying that they "liked" your page. That is your opportununity to get a few more fans because all of their friends will see it.
 Seek out pages of the kind of people who would be interested in your products or services and "like" their pages and leave a comment on one of their posts so that they know you were there. Many times they will like you back and you will gain a fan.
I find very little to be happening on Twitter and have stopped devoting much time to it. For awhile I worked at it the same as I did my Facebook pages but I really didn't see any results from it. Other people swear Twitter is the way to go but for me it is not.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Social Media Survey Results

Last month, we invited some clients to participate in a social media survey. We asked which platforms they currently used and their experiences with them. Some of the received comments are shown below.

Of the people who responded, Facebook Fan pages were the most popular platform by far (78%). Blog usage was second with 48%, followed by Twitter at 30%. Only a couple of respondents reported using Merchant Circle and YouTube, and no one mentioned LinkedIn . Only three people reported using Facebook, Twitter, AND a blog. Although difficult to be exact, it would appear that only about 30% of the overall craft/gift/prim decor online community is using social media in any form, but this percentage appears to be rapidly growing.

Our synopsis of the survey:

Time seems to be a major factor limiting participation.

No one reports being able to retire years earlier from the additional sales being generated by social media presence.

Most people view social media as a requirement to stay competitive and to prosper in the near future. It's seen as a inexpensive way gain additional exposure over the long term. 

We thank everyone who replied to the survey. We have compiled a list active social media pages which can be found on our new Social Media Directory. It's a great way to see how others are using S.M. in their business - please give everyone a visit!
Social Media Comments

FB - I have gotten orders and a following. Email: I get orders. MC: Few orders. Not really productive MySpace: Waste of time Twitter: Waste of time

The one thing that people might want to keep in mind is a solid truth- OUTFLOW = INFLOW.  They may think that they are not getting business from these things but the simple act of outflowing will bring in inflow of some kind eventually :-)

We run adds on Facebook for all three sites. They are pretty effective we find. You can really fine tune who you want to display the ads to so you really tend to get people who want your product.

Just started using Facebook for our business. Not really sure How to promote it yet. Have had a few clicks through, so people are slowly finding us.

I do get sales every once in a while on Twitter - but you have to really go after followers. I like Facebook a lot. I like my blog but I just don't have time to keep it up. I think FB is the best - but I can't seem to get new people to follow me there.

As far as money returns from the Facebook page, I don't think I have seen any. The blog is still to new to make a difference.

I set up a blog about a year and a half ago. Time restraints have limited my posts, but I have enjoyed blogging and have gained a few new customers through the blog.

I don't have a facebook account, but a crafting friend of mine swears by hers. She says it has really helped her draw in customers.

I starting using Facebook almost a year ago. I have gained over 900 fans and had several people purchase things from me that otherwise would not have known I existed.

I haven't seen any increases in business due to using Facebook, but in all honesty, I probably don't work it like I should...with daily updates, contests, etc.

I have considered using social media but I'm aprehensive because I'm worried that I may get more orders than I can handle. My business is already doing very well and I just a little afraid that it might generate more business than I can handle.

Using Twitter gets me extra views, but not sure if any of my sales were a result of Twitter. But it's free, so I figure it can't hurt.

Seems that unless you advertise on FB, you don't get many people finding you. I adverstised last year based on how much I could afford at the time but had to stop. It was getting to expensive. I did receive about 25 people who joined my FB but no $$$ has yet come from it.

Blog & FB: I'm not sure if it's helped or not.

[Blog and FB] both are bringing me orders from customers. I simply find many times I can't find things to post about. I'm not too social network adept at times.

We have gotten a little business off Facebook, but mostly it's just a vehicle for letting people know where we are going to have our carnie trailer.

We have used facebook for about a year now ... It does seem to encourage "action" from our followers when we send out our giveaway or new project info. This does not provide any $$ to us though. We would like to have more people "like" our page to encourage visits and to help more people remember us throughout the months. Seems like a more welcomed way to "remind". Better than email newsletters now. I would like to know if the ads on facebook are a good value before trying it. I would also like to know what other social media I might want to add.