Use Twitter for Business? Tell Us About It
August 8th, 2009 by
UPDATE: At the suggestion of Terri Troncale I want to invite submissions for non-profits as well. Please, please – fans, recommend your favorites! I’m really happy to have the businesses self-submit but I want to get rid of these iTunes cards 😀
Also, my original limitation on location was because of driving distance to http://socialsouth.org. Please submit anyone, anywhere using Social Media to drive sales, membership, contributions, or any trackable outcome.
Let’s get one thing straight right here: I’m not above buying your love. (Just ask David)
I’m going to be taking part in a couple presentations at Social South in a few weeks and in preparation I’ve been asking: who’s doing it?
The “who” I’m talking about: Small businesses in the Southeast United States (hopefully within a day’s drive of B-Ham (that’s Birmingham Alabama, you dig) and non-profits?
The “it” is – using Social Media to promote their business or organization.
So in other words, do you know a small business or non-profit in your area who is trying to use Twitter for business (or Facebook, or LinkedIn, or Orkut, or YouTube, or Blogging)?
Now, a couple caveats:
- I would prefer local businesses/non-profits: plumbers, lawn guys, doctors, spas, hair salons and organizations trying to promote local causes
- I may feature home-based businesses but I’d rather they have a product sales or membership action component
What’s in it for the small businesses? First, I will do an email interview and a follow-up phone call which will be featured as a blog post on the Search Influence blog. Those which represent the best case studies will also be featured on Local Search News (and may appear on Search Engine Land).
And, I will do a half-hour interview follow-up in which I’ll make recommendations and offer ideas for other promotional opportunities. And hopefully we’ll all learn better how to use Twitter for business (and other social platforms).
And, finally, a select few will get an opportunity to join me on-stage at Social South to talk about their experiences.
What’s in it for you? (I know, I know, it’s all about you) I’ve got a stack of $10.00 iTunes cards burning a hole in my pocket, y’hear. I will give a $10.00 iTunes cards to 10 randomly selected participants – in other words, comment below including a link to the business in question and their Twitter account page (e.g. Nancy’s Corner, New Orleans Gift Baskets, Nancy’s Corner on Twitter).
[Ginsu Style] But wait, there’s more – 1 lucky entry will win a $150.00 gift card / certificate to the business of their choice from the entrants listed (small print – I need a minimum of 20 entries to execute on the $150.00).
So, please, let me buy your love – help me find participants for this great panel at Social South, I’ll help you get a little more enjoyment out of life with the gift of music and we’ll both help a local business get a little more exposure online and learn about how to use Twitter for business.
All you have to do to enter is comment below with a link to the business (home page or online profile page is fine) and a link to their Twitter, Facebook, or other social media profile.
Oh, and you should definitely Tweet about it – here’s a good example: RT @w2scott: Know a small biz or non-profit using Social Media? Promote ’em 2 win great prizes – details: http://bit.ly/vQqTA Please RT
Don’t want to copy and paste, if you’re logged in to twitter just click here to automagically retweet (may not work while Twitter is having issues).
Look, this is serious, I’m trying to help others understand how to use Twitter for business (and Facebook and LinkedIn and the others) and you can help a local small business get a little further down the road with this internet stuff. And, like I said, I am willing to buy your love.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I tweet, Facebook, Youtube, Blog and live in a virtual world. I have been at it for sometime now, apparently ahead of my competition, we are consistent and are using social media for branding rather than direct sales.
follow us twitter/thegardengates
friend us facebook/thegardengates
watch us youtube.com/user/TheGardenGatesNOLA
read us http://www.thegardengatesblog.com
use facebook and twitter to promote our online new orleans t-shirt business. our shirts are sold at a store on Magazine street. I think it’s great to have interaction with our customer base. I try to stay on top of posts and replies to keep it personal.
OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi
Web site: Fleurty Girl – Shirts with Yatitude
Facebook: Fleurty Girl
Edited by Will Scott to include links.
Synergy Design Group is a NOLA based design firm specializing in exhibits and graphics for trade shows and events, as well as permanent installations for retail and museum environments. We also have a rental division for our trade show business.
We’re fairly new to using social media to promote our business, and eed to better understand how best to use it to promote sales and traffic to web sites. Synergy’s details: http://www.synergy-dg.com; follow: twitter.com/SynergyDG; friend: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Orleans-LA/Synergy-Design-Group-Inc/97269021001?ref=ts; also listed on LinkedIn. Rentals: http://www.display-rental.com; follow: twitter.com/Display_Rental
(idc) Inspired Divine Creative is a New Orleans-based interactive design and marketing agency with a local and national client base. Our company uses social media marketing to promote our services. It has proven to be an effective means to reinforce our brand and to attract new clients. IDC also provides social marketing services to various clients in an effort to help them to effectively position their brand to a wider audience.
Professionally, I dont think companies should rely on SMM exclusively and should continue to use traditional marketing channels to establish brand dominance. Further, I would rule against companies getting wrapped up in “Follow Frenzy”, those who think that because they have 15,000 followers, they are establishing brand dominance.
From a marketing standpoint, It matters very little how many people are following you. Whats more important is that the people who are following you are within your target audience. So that the messages you tweet are effectively turning tweeters into paying customers.
I have attached a few links to help people new to SMM, understand the dynamics. If you need someone to help you along the way give us a ring: http://www.idc504.com or http://twitter.com/idc504
i am grateful to my friend and business partner @tasteandseepcs for introducing me to twitter. this platform allows me to reach potential customers that i normally would not be able to contact on such a personal level. i truly look forward to added business as a result of twitter, but i am also interested in giving back in whatever way i can to keep this platform alive and thriving.
Web Site: Southern Sweet Potato Pie Co.
Edited by Will Scott to include links.
@Chad Harris, you are ahead of your time! And wow! Love the Real Housewives of The Garden Gate – perfect for Old Metairie. Be sure to @ me with each new release in case I miss them 😉
@Lauren Thom, I don’t know in who’s stream I found you, but I love it! I’m your biggest fan. I mean, c’mon Brake Tag? Awesome.
@Stone Cantwell, great looking stuff and clearly a winning concept in this town. I recently met one of your team mates at a BNI meeting Luz Lobos. You’ve got a great looking site desperately in need of some SEO. I’m looking forward to chatting.
@Garrison Bennett, Thanks for the great list of links. You guys came up in the last week when we were working on the @9wfod redeployment. Good on ya brother for helping them get this far.
@p.w. peaden, I may be biased, but I think you’re about to explode online. I mean who doesn’t love dessert! And sweet potato pie at that! Mmm mmm.
Thanks everybody for commenting. @ me if I miss something in need of a RT.
As a developer and head of a team I never been into using social engines too much. However last week I have started to use my facebook and twitter accounts. From twitter there is no turn back as I dont have too much network on it. However on face book using the status messages quite often made my old clients remember about us and brought new possibilities. So now we have formed twitter accounts for all our teams to use which we beleive will bring us the chance of reminding ourselves to clients and network. Not sure how to get new projects but will be definitely looking forward to have some!
I am more of a home-based business, but I have a online store as well. I use facebook to promote my business, which has been great at getting sales. I also use twitter, which has generated some interest, but I don’t think has led to any actual sales yet. Overall, I am a VERY small business, but these tools enable me to make sales without leaving my house or my family. SCORE!
Social Media Links:
We have embraced the social media tools to facilitate our “word of mouth” marketing. It has helped us tremendously from a brand recognition standpoint. I would be happy to share more comments regarding our social media program.
Great Idea for a contest. I really enjoy reading all of the other companies entries.
Hey Will –
Great contest. As you know, The Receivables Exchange is using Social Media to educate, drive awareness and conversions. Here’s some links –
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=138254&trk=hb_side_g
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ReceivablesXchange
PS – Will, would love to see some best practices around B2B Facebook pages if you stumble across any
I’m going to second Lauren from Fleurty Girl tees. I am a huge fan of her super cute designs that are geared towards the girls. She’s really awesome in person too.
I initially set up the blog b/c I did not have enough cash for a website. It turned into an easy way to update my current work and keep interested parties aware of the pieces that I’m working on. Recently got into Twitter – still a bit unsure when I am using it. However – I just lined up my 1st solo show in Charleston as a result of connection(s) via Twitter. Most of my marketing is by word of mouth and previous clients. I am anxious to see if I can use these other outlets to push my work further.
Hey Scott, we are using social media to promote two home based businesses. I’m trying to follow the suggestions and ideas that I’ve gotten from you, TechAssistLA, and the Net2NO crowd.
We are using FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and one blog
Silk Road Collection – a home based online business that recently closed its retail store to focus on e-commerce website
http://www.SilkRoadCollection.com – current website
dev.SilkRoadCollection.com – website version 2.0 which has integrated WordPress blog, soon to be launched.
I’m trying to use FB with our retail clients:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Silk-Road-Collection/110782006046 – FB Fan Page
I’m trying to use LinkedIn with our Interior Designer clients (a different market and message)
I’m trying to figure out what to do with Twitter but am working on some ideas for how to use it.
And we even have a MySpace account which was created by someone else and which I haven’t even looked at for months until I had to look it up for this. I have no idea who those 27 “friends” are.
I’m also using my personal accounts to explore the media and either find a job or develop my own consulting service. (I’ve have four clients already!)
Let me know if I can be of any help with your project.
I got my start with LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/tomdaly2) as it seemed to be the most appropriate platform for my professional service business (insurance/employee benefits). My agency profile on LinkedIn is: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/hartwig-moss-benefits.
I have been sending an email newsletter for about 7 years (using Constant Contact). I eventually started my Benefits@Work Blog (http://www.dalytom.com) and then came Twitter (http://twitter.com/TomDaly and http://twitter.com/HMBenefits).
Currently redesigning website to integrate social media platforms. I don’t do anything consciously to improve my search results. I am still primarily doing this all to communicate in a rapidly changing business environment.
Thanks for listening. . .Tom
The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross has spent the last month or so working on solidifying a social media presence. The National Chapter is doing amazing things with social media and is often sited by other groups as a great example. We are working to promote our mission of disaster preparedness and response via social media – for our chapter. It’s a great platform for us to share information, engage the public and ensure that those in our service area are prepared for hurricanes, floods, tornadoes & fires (as well as other disasters). (Those four disasters are the highest threats/most common in our area.)
We also recently changed our Facebook presence from a couple of groups and a profile to a Page. This has been a great change and we hope to really engage our fans this way – and we are also encouraging our volunteers to tell some of their stories there, as well:
AND – we just started a new blog (though I know it’s not pretty – I’m working on that) for our NPRC (AmeriCorps) members that started last week. We’ll have weekly postings from each to talk about their experiences here:
SEO is something we could do better, but with our limited resources, I’m trying to learn as much as I can (or get in-kind knowledge donations!) to improve our online presence.
@workNOLA is another good example of a brand (in this case, a non-profit) that is using social media. Since launching http://worknola.com – Jobs for New Orleans, we’ve had 27,972 unique visits. 2,082 of those visits (7.44%) have come from twitter and another 718 (2.57% ) have come from facebook.
Take a look at what Feelgoodz is doing- targeted blog outreach for product give-aways, Twitter with trackable urls and genuine engagement with personality, videos & blog posts chronicling the Tour. He is doing a great job and has the traffic and conversion on site to prove it:)
Sucre is also doing a great job with @sucregelatovan and they also incorporate some SoMe tools like YouTube and Flickr into their website.
Omni Rib Room just started to dip their toes into Twitter and their chef Anthony Spizale has been tweeting out specials and pictures for a while. They are currently crowd sourcing a bar name from the local community. They are very new to social media but are eager to incorporate it into their marketing mix.
Voodoo Music Experience is doing an incredible job of engaging music fans and creating momentum for the Fest through Twitter. Project 30-90 is also using Twitter and has several networking opportunities on their website.
Just a few. Will continue thinking. But I also think it is extremely important to define what business success is and how it is measured- traffic, time on site, sales, newsletter sign-ups, etc… And to look at tactics outside of Twitter that are aiding the conversation between businesses and customers.
In terms of diversity of efforts and experiences, this post is as good as it gets. Thanks Will.
For the last two months, I have been running social media campaigns for both Brite Sky Solar, and one of their affiliate businesses, Hydro Medix Technologies, http://www.hydromedixwater.com both small, independent businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. We are on Twitter, @briteskysolar & @hydromedix along with Facebook, Linkedin, and MySpace.
While it has been great for building up our brand image, as each one has nearly 100 followers on Twitter, it has not resulted in any sales that I know of. Being that we sell higher ticket items, Solar Photo-Voltaic and Water treatment/softening systems respectively, I think it will come as we build more exposure for the two companies. I am always tinkering and trying to learn more about how to increase actual consumer traffic and have enjoyed the experience!
Thank you for the information in your website and outreach to us small businesses 🙂
My wife and I own a 17 room boutique clothing optional resort located in Palm Springs, CA the sunniest city in the US. Social media has been the best thing that has happened to our resort since the web.
We have been blogging for over 3 years. We have 2 versions. One is which is NSFW which is over 3 years old. The other is which is safe for work and about 9 months old as I saw a need for it.
I have been using twitter for over 9 months at http://twitter.com/nudist_resorts and facebook for about the past 2 months at
Social media has brought us more business than ppc advertising which I have cut back on. I highly recommend it.
I am a past president of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. We run a very conservative clothing optional resort which has been picked as one of the 10 best in the world by tripadvisor.com We are perfect for couples trying nude sunbathing for the first time.
I have a full-service commercial photography studio with staff Photographers, Stylist, Retouchers and Editors. Having raised a teenage daughter years ago, I clearly understood the power of social media and where it was headed.
Two years ago I suggested all my employees sign up on Linkedin and Facebook and use it to get their name out there and connect with people. Basically, I wanted them to make some friends, get reacquainted with old ones and find out what other people were doing. It’s important to me that all employees are revenue generators for our business.
In January of 2009 I wanted for every employee to expand their web footprint even more so we created websites for each of our photographers and we also created some niche photography sites for targeting educational markets like colleges and universities. (Prior to 2009, we only had our one site http://www.imagestudios.com ) I also asked each employee to create their own blog. Nearly every staff member is a talented and artistic asset to our business and what they needed to know is that our customers want to see the images and stories that describe their personal and professional work.
Today I have an active studio with plenty to blog about, and that is where Twitter comes in. Now that we have several websites, more than a dozen blogs and plenty of content to tweet about, we also find Twitter a great way to learn more about our customers and community events. If you are a business that gets involved with pro bono services, Twitter is a great place to not only let your followers know about it but help promote the non-profits even more.
Lastly, I’ve found twitter to be a place where you will surely meet some of your competition, however, I welcome it as an opportunity to learn from them and gain more knowledge of what sets our business apart.