For me Twitter and new friends have gone hand-in-hand from the beginning. And I’m not just talking about gaining followers here—I’m talking about true connection, forming relationships and making things happen. I’ve never “bought” a single Twitter follower for any of my profiles, yet I’ve amassed over 700,000 followers to date (and I’ve been active since Q4 2008). How did I do it? By making a conscious effort to connect, converse, and add value always with an eye to building relationships.
Developing content to build an engaged Twitter audience for your brand can be tough, and the potential payoffs can be hard to define. People might sign on to read your witty one-liners or to see your compelling visuals, but can a robust Twitter following result in direct sales impact, particularly for a brand with no e-commerce presence? Duane Reade Inc. thinks so.
Via a localized and photo-heavy Twitter campaign, the 54-year-old New York-based pharmacy brand grew its Twitter following by more than 6,700% between 2012 and 2013, and also drove results at the register, says Calvin Peters, PR and digital communications manager at Duane Reade. “The challenge was to increase our community across the board, from New Yorkers to tourists. We are lucky to be able to leverage New York in our social media. With the landmarks, the buildings and the city itself, many consider New York to be the capital of the world. We’re a brand that started in New York, and because of our vast footprint in the metropolitan area, we get to leverage that.”
How much time do you spend online?
Many hours per day… depending upon whether I am in meetings, speaking or at an event or brand meeting.
How do you imagine Twitter changing?
I don’t imagine, but my use will evolve as necessary w/the platform the same as it has with the changes to Facebook. It’s about the people.
Who do you admire most for his or her use of Twitter?
What’s the funniest celebrity tweet you saw in this past year?
I don’t pay too much attention.
How do you pronounce GIF?
Why’d you start tweeting?
Because back in 2008 @OzSultan told me I had to be on Twitter and @rhollander, believe it or not walked me through the basics.
Small businesses and large alike need to shut up and listen instead of using social media as an advertising and broadcasting tool.
They are too worried about who has more Twitter followers and about who has more fans on Facebook. They’re worried about who is getting the message out more consistently on those platforms rather than taking the amazing amount of market intelligence available to them by looking at people that are following them and reading what they are writing on their own pages.
Businesses need to spend less time tweeting and posting to Facebook, and more time reading, listening and understanding what it is their customers really want. They can’t expect to use social media only when it is convenient for them and expect customers to remain engaged.
Way too few companies are empowering their employees on social media, seeing it as a threat instead of a benefit. Small business needs to recognize that their best advocates are their employees. Empower your employees and they will power your brand.
Who knows your business as well (if not better) than you do? The people who work in your business, of course! And I’m not talking about a sales staff. I’m talking about your nuts-and-bolts employees who know the everyday ins and outs, whether they work with your customers, handle inventory or do the behind-the-scenes work that helps run your company. In today’s socially-connected world, employees are often an untapped resource that (with a little guidance) could exponentially expand your company’s word-of-mouth reach. Empower them so they can power your business.
Your employees can use these four social platforms to help spread the word about your company:
Especially if your company is B2B, have a company profile on LinkedIn, and encourage all employees to have personal profiles that link them to your company. Each person has talents and skills they contribute to your business that could be highlighted with your company’s keywords in each employee’s summary and experience areas. LinkedIn Recommendations can also increase your company’s visibility in the channel.
Ask employees to join groups where they can share their insights and answer questions.
If you have a business page on Facebook, have employees link to it in the “About” section of their profiles. Also, set up a private group where your employees can collaborate. Seek out groups that fit your company niche and encourage employees to join; not to SPAM others with your messaging, but to find ways to contribute, answer questions, share expertise, etc.
Twitter is a great place to provide an extra level of customer service that goes beyond your own company brand on Twitter. People-to-people interaction gives your brand a more human touch. Each person can actively “listen” for company mentions, questions and conversation around keywords and jump into the conversation where appropriate—even if it’s just to thank someone for mentioning or Retweeting your brand. Encourage employees to share Tweets around your company’s activities and content. Come up with a company hashtag or a series of hashtags (e.g. #companyname, #companyevent) and pre-craft Tweets to make it easy. They can just cut and paste to share on their Twitter feed.
Even if you don’t have a photogenic product, your employees with smartphones can still spread positive messaging about your company with Instagram. From photos of the lunchroom, to customer gatherings to company events, there are many ways your employees can pull in prospects with images.
Hashtags can now be used and tracked on all four of these platforms.
A little encouragement goes a long way!
Set some formal guidelines, keeping in mind that if you clamp down too hard, employees may back away from participating. Offer in-house social training, led by your best in-house and local experts. Provide incentive programs to reward the employees who provide the most relevant ideas and responses.
Remember that your employees are your company’s best resource—make the most of their passion and individuality. They’re already social, so start thinking of how you can empower your employees to have their own voice, and you will discover many can and will become your company’s most active and valuable social advocates.
Originally published October 2, 2013 at salesforce Blog
The World’s Most Followed CMO – Ted Rubin
Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, 2013, and number #2 on the Leadtail August 2013 list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers.
~via Wired City… New York City drug store giant Duane Reade is connecting with more customers via social media.
Its Twitter fan base surpassed 1 million followers, a major milestone for the Walgreen-operated drug store chain among the drug, food and mass-arena segment. Duane Reade has raised its presence on Twitter more than 6,000 percent in the past year.
Don’t forget that although Twitter’s only used by small % of the population, it’s a seeding medium with content that very often finds its way to other mediums via every day users and influencers, a place for real-time news, sentiment analysis, and feedback… and an incredibly viable search engine. #RonR
I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter recently, both my personal use of it and for the brand I work on @sbarro. For the last year I’ve been on a Twitter deep-dive and I’d say I’m an intermediate with ~900 followers.
I wanted to write this blog to help other executives realize the opportunities that I have found in Twitter, for themselves and for their brands. If you know anyone who can benefit from Twitter please feel free to forward.