Twitter, launched in July of 2006, has emerged as one of the top social media platforms enabling users to connect with friends and companies and stay current with constant streams of information. With over 200 millions users generating 190 million tweets a day, Twitter has become a great resource for businesses to engage with consumers.So, what can you possibly say in 140 characters or less to help your business expand and increase traffic to your website?Well, Mashable and ChrisBrogan.com have identified a few tactics businesses should keep in mind while Tweeting.Here are the top 10 you should check out: 1. Hashtags: You should familarize yourself with this symbol (i.e., #) and make it your friend. Put this hashtag in front of a keyword or your company website and Twitter will convert these hashtagged words into searchable keywords. What does this mean for you? Anyone searching for something can find all tweets containing your hashtagged word in a single location, thus making it easier for them to find your tweets even if they’re not one of your followers. Search the database for hashtagged questions pertaining to your business or topics of your expertise and connect with these followers. You’ll find you not only do you have more readers, but possibly more customers as well.2. Engage with your followers: Simply sending out tweets and not responding to your followers will get you nowhere. It’s important to respond to those that tweet at you and answer any questions they might have. Each time you interact with your followers, make sure it’s a personalized message. No one wants to feel like they're receiving a mass tweet. If they feel your message is sincere and they like what you have to offer, the chances of them retweeting your information is even greater, thus ultimately exposing your business to more followers.3. Combine your platforms: Make it easier on yourself by synchronizing your Twitter account with all of your other social platforms. You can do so by associating your Twitter account with the RSS feed of your company website, Facebook page or blog. By doing so, every time you make an update it appears across all of your platforms, meaning you only have to make one update at a time. Sounds efficient, right?4. Update your profile:Although most of your followers are only reading your tweets and not your bio, it’s important to have a profile in place that’s up-to-date and professional. Think of it as an extension of your brand. Potential new followers and customers will be checking out your profile to see what you're about before hitting the golden “Follow” button.5. The power of a list:This Twitter feature has helped companies gain followers and spread their knowledge to a larger audience. A Twitter list is somewhat similar to a Facebook group. Basically a compilation of followers, grouped together for whatever reason you come up with. You can use these lists to your advantage by promoting and rewarding customers. How? Try creating a list comprised of all your valued customers and reward those on the list with a 20% off coupon or free gift with purchase. Lists can also help your business internally. By creating a list of all employees and those that tweet on your behalf, it’s an easy way to manage these tweeters and aggregate accounts. Once you’ve created your list make sure people know about it by adding it to a list directory such as Listorious.6. Keep track: It’s important to track your followers and identify whose really paying attention to your tweets. You can do so by tracking retweets, clicks, messages and hashtag mentions. This will give you the opportunity to engage with your loyal followers and maintain these relationships.7. Ask questions: Get feedback from your followers by asking the right questions. Find out what you’re doing right, what you need to work on and what they want more of. This shows not only that you’re listening, but can provide you with valuable insights about your followers and consumers.8. Tweet about others:You don’t always need to talk about yourself and your company. It’s important to integrate other's ideas and links into your tweets. Retweet what your followers have tweeted, share their links and let your followers know what you find interesting about a particular tweet. This lets your followers know that you're human and are interested in what they have to say as well. Not to mention it’s a great way to build and expand your community.9. Promoted tweets: This is a new feature of Twitter that enables businesses to speak to a larger audience, even those that don’t follow them. How does it work? First, send a tweet to your followers and then promote that tweet. The promoted tweet then appears as content in search results, so those looking for something pertaining to your tag will see it in the search engine. Twitter offers these promoted tweets on a cost-per-engagement basis, meaning you only pay when users retweet, reply or clicks on your tweet.10. Customer Service:Best Buy is a great example of how to use Twitter to provide real-time customer service. Create an account in which users can tweet questions about products or services to you directly and tag the answers with a hashtag back to your company website. This allows you to interact with your consumers and provide them with something of value. Best Buy is leading the ranks with over 2,900 employees on board to answer questions and have responded to over 38,000 inquiring tweets. You could be next.What are some of your favorite tips on using Twitter? Did we miss any you think we should add? If so, let us know in the comments section below. While you're down there, how 'bout Re-Tweeting this post for us!Posted by Rebecca Wilson, marketing analyst for the 60 Second Marketer.
Blogging is a great outlet to provide information, promote your business and establish relationships with your readers. Whatever the reason you have a blog, it’s important that your blog has a purpose and is written for a specific audience.So, how do you take your blog to the next level? Avid bloggers, Chris Brogan and Michael Pollock have identified some great tactics to get you there. I’ve broken down the top 10, so check them out:1. Write with purpose: First and foremost you must have an objective for your blog. It's important to have a focus and think about what you want your readers to get out of it, what you can do for them, and what you want them to do after reading your blog.2. Give them a purpose:Okay so you’ve provided your readers with all of this information, now what? Extract the insights for your readers and let them know what to do next. It’s better to provide your readers with content that’s helpful versus thoughtful. Give them a reason to read your blog and a reason to come back for more.3. Know how people read: Put your best information first. If they like what they read, they’ll keep reading. People want information fast, so make it easy for them to get through your post. Bold the first sentence of paragraphs and lead with a strong sentence. Break up the post and make it easy for your readers to skim through and understand what they’re going to get out of it.4. Be Brief: The key is to keep your blog short and simple. No one wants to read long complicated paragraphs. They want the facts, so be short and direct.5. Ask Questions: This is a great way to get your readers thinking and involved in what you’re talking about. It’s important to make the question relevant to the reader and to ask thought-provoking questions, not just ones with yes or no answers. Make sure you check back and see if people are commenting, if so respond. Another great tactic is to start your post with a response to one of your reader’s questions.6. Be human: It’s okay to sometimes let your personality shine through. Find a way to connect with your audience on a deeper level, if it’s appropriate.7. Learn from others: Some of the best blogs are a compilation of others ideas. See what people are talking about and what people are reading. This might give you some inspiration or help you go in a different direction. You’re in the blogging business now, so get out there and see what’s going on in the blogging world.8. Join the conversation:Start commenting on other blogs and provide a link to your blog in the comment section. This is a great way to not only learn from others, but gain possible new readers as well.9. Build your audience: Want more readers? Try promoting your blog. There are many ways to do this, but one is to run your RSS feed through a service such as FeedBurner. This allows you to extend your feed and gain more exposure. Your URL is the ultimate link, so make sure it’s everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, company website, back of your business card, a part of your email signature, you name it, just get it out there.10. Don't overstuff your post with Keywords: Keyword search tools are great ways to figure out the terms most commonly searched by your audience. But don't over-do it. Google, Bing and Yahoo will discount your blog post if they feel that you're trying to game the system. The best approach is always to simply write good content that your target market will share with others.For 5 more tips on blogging, check out the 60-second video below: Posted by Rebecca Wilson, marketing analyst for the 60 Second Marketer.
Jack in the Box restaurants decided to stop providing toys in their kids' meals, a technique made famous by McDonald's over 30 years ago."While we've been aware of efforts to ban the inclusion of toys in kids' meals, that did not drive our decision," Jack in the Box spokesman Brian Luscomb said."Our advertising and promotions have focused exclusively on the frequent fast-food customer, not children," added Randy Carmical, also a Jack in the Box spokesman.As reported in the International Business Times, "Carmical said the San Diego-based company has been more focused on the food in its meals for children, such as grilled cheese sandwiches or grilled chicken strips. The company pulled toys from the meals when it began offering parents the option of substituting sliced apples with caramel sauce as an alternative to French fries, he said."Not long ago, I created a 60 Second Marketer video for our YouTube channel that discussed the Kids' Meal technique developed by McDonald's over 30 years ago. To watch the video (and learn why this was a revolutionary strategy), click the video below.If you like what you read today, you can have these blog posts delivered to your in box each morning by clicking marketing blog. Or, you can sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter by clicking marketing newsletter.Posted by Jamie Turner, Chief Content Officer of the 60 Second Marketer. Jamie is also the co-author of How to Make Money with Social Media.
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