16 Ways Twitter Can Support Your PR Efforts

  1. Broadcast your PR pieces. As a publicity tool, Twitter can get the word out about something new and can link to online news releases. More often than not, a release posted online is ignored. But what if your release actually contains some really interesting information and not mere fluff? How do you get it noticed? Tweet about it to get those online thought leaders to see it.
  2. Get more mileage out of publicity. If a favorable article appears in small media market or obscure publication, how can you get it seen all over the country? With Twitter you can spotlight such an article and keep giving it exposure long after it’s news cycle has passed.
  3. Find out immediately when your company or product is in news. if you don’t find out about a news piece right away, your opportunity to maximize exposure from it can be lost. Twitter enables you to find out about these favorable mentions early by having a pre-set keyword search in place.
  4. Offset bad publicity. Get your side of the story out quickly. Because Twitter gives you an early warning whenever someone tweets about your company, you can rebut or present offsetting information about the bad stories before they gain traction.
  5. Humanize your executives. The more your audience can relate to your top people as humans, the better.

    For example, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks uses his blog and Twitter account to talk about his ideas and opinions. Cuban is loved by some and hated by others, but no one doubts that his humanity and passion. He puts himself out there gives his voice and views on a wide range of topics When he puts out a new blog post, he sends a tweet out about it as well to bring visitors to read it.

    As a result, people all over the U.S. relate to Cuban not as a corporate suit, but as a person.

  6. Humanize your company. Highlight individuals who work hard to create great products and deliver great service. Don't just claim that your company is different, show it.
  7. Showcase customer service “heroes.” What happens in most companies when an employee delivers exceptional service for a customer? Usually they are given a pat on the back and a lame “attaboy.”

    Nothing will convince people that your company has a culture of caring for customers more than showcasing individual employees who go the extra mile for a customer. Not only does this build loyalty from outside the company, it also builds it from within.

    Create a piece that features what one of your “hero – employees” did for a customer that went the extra mile, and then use Twitter to send people to that piece.

  8. Highlight your high standards. It’s one thing to claim that you have high quality, it is another thing completely to show your quality control standards in practice. Do you have procedures that demonstrate your fanaticism for producing quality products or insuring great service? Again, create a piece to show the world how your company goes the extra mile, and then send out a tweet with a link to the piece.
  9. Use Twitter to do good. Support causes, talk about the needs these causes address and show how others can help. Use Twitter to create buzz about needs, issues and concerns you feel are being overlooked. If you know of certain people suffering dire plights, you can champion their cause as a corporate white knight.
  10. Preview launches and rollouts. Get pre-orders in advance of your product hitting the stores. Build excitement and anticipation for the product before it can be bought. Offer beta versions or advance copies to some key people on Twitter to help build buzz.
  11. Create buzz for upcoming events. Twitter can help make sure an event is well attended and gains the maximum exposure.
  12. Spotlight commercials. Let’s face it, your most creative and expensive commercials are probably going to be ignored. Use Twitter to make sure they get more attention than it otherwise might receive.

    Create a video of the commercial's production. Give some insights into how the spot was made, who made it, why the message was worded as it was. As a result, a few more people may stay and watch it instead of making a refrigerator run.

  13. Get more out of trade shows and conferences. When members of your team will be attending a conference, trade show or forum, tweet about it beforehand. Invite attendees to visit your company booth, attend breakout groups in which your people will be presenting, or just look them up as individuals going to the same event.
  14. Get testimonials. Inviting people to talk can lead to some very positive feedback which can be used as case studies or testimonials. Moreover, if you use Tweetdeck, you can set it so that anytime your product, brand or company name is mentioned, you will receive notice. If someone says something positive, ask if you can use that quote on your literature or press releases.
  15. Show how the sausage is made. Add value to your products by using Twitter to highlight pieces on your manufacturing process. Customers like to see the inner workings of how the things they buy and use are made. They especially relate to seeing (not just hearing about) high quality control standards. Not only would a video of your process build more brand loyalty, it also removes pricing barriers to premium products.
  16. Keep your old content working. This is one of my favorite uses for Twitter. Old content, old press releases and old news stories need not die out or fade away. Twitter can drive traffic to even old information as long as it is still relevant.

    Just because your company had a favorable article written a year ago does not mean people are no longer interested in the information it contains. Twitter can enable you to connect interested readers to dated, but still useful, information.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown

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Value-Added Email Marketing

(This post was a Google Sidewiki note that I attached to a very insightful article in Yaro Starak's Entrepeneur's Journey blog.)

Great insights (as always) here. Too many marketers give value in order to get subscribers, but act like the courtship is over once they have opted in.

Not true. I just wrote an article yesterday on this very topic. Smart marketers build "social capital" with their subscribers by adding value, giving good information, and providing great content at every opportunity.

A great example of this is Marcia Yudkin's weekly "Marketing Minute" newsletter. She always has an insightful article followed by her sales material. In other words, she gives before she asks for anything from her subscribers.

My article on this topic is at http://webmarketingcoach.blogspot.com/2010/01/monetizing-social-media-part-two.html. Hopefully it will add to the thoughts in this piece.

in reference to: http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/2113/email-marketing-is-changing/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monetizing Social Media - Part Two

Whenever I hear someone say that social media has no value as a marketing tool, or that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flikr, etc. are a waste of time, I suspect these are the same people who, ten years ago, were saying there was no reason their business needed a website.

Yeah, this internet thing is just a passing fad.

But when it comes to social media, I have to admit that a lot of people are not getting results, and for them it IS a waste of time ... so far.

The problem is that a lot of people are acting like party crashers on social media. They butt in on conversations and pitch their business, regardless of whether the listener is interested in hearing about it.

Contrast this to the person who gets on Twitter and other sites to make friends, to build name recognition, to add value or to build trust and credibility.

These people understand that they can form relationships that can lead to business down the road, but they aren't out to spam anyone and everyone who comes within "tweet shot" of their messages.

The fact is that social media tools CAN be monetized and can produce business, but it is above all else a form of relationship marketing.

Take a look at the diagram I created at the top of this article. It is a funnel in which social media activities gently lead contacts to Opt-In to an email list.

Forming relationships on social media that then progresses to a form of Permission Marketing is the key to doing business on social media. Once someone opts in to receive your email newsletter, they have given you permission to market to them. They have "raised their hands." as Seth Godin puts it, to indicate that they have at least some level of interest in receiving information about your product or service.

In order for this to work, you must build social capital at every step of the process. You build social capital by adding value, by offering free information that solves problems, by being generous, and by making friends along the way.

And occasionally (very, occasionally) you offer them something of value in exchange for opting into your email autoresponder system. This allows you to build a list of interested people, who trust you and with whom you have a relationship.

From that point on, you continue to build social capital and add value. Become a valued resource to them. I suggest to my clients that their emails come in some sort of "tip of the week" format that offers valuable information each week.

A weekly, informative email contact system adds to subscribers' view that you are someone who knows a great deal about your topic and it builds both trust and credibility.

This last ingredient of this "Permission Marketing Funnel" - offering something of value to induce your contacts to subscribe to your emails - is often in the form of ebooks, white papers, videos or list articles. It can be anything as long as it has a high perceived value. Whenever an email marketing campaign fails, I suggest you look first to your free offer. If it is not attractive enough, it will not pull in subscribers.

Getting back to the party analogy, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and others are a place to mingle, form new contacts and make friends. But you never want to be the guy who incessantly talks about business at social gatherings.

That said, there is everything right about moving relationships you form at social functions to another location that can result in business. It's done all the time at country clubs, golf courses and social clubs of every sort. Just take care to build social capital at every step, and you will be very pleased with the results.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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How to Monetize Social Networking - Part One

Recently I have been approached by two business people who wanted to know about using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to promote their businesses.

Normally I would suggest that they build a following based on sending informative content that their potential clients are interested in. However, both of these individuals sell insurance, and feel that a lot of their potential clients really aren't all that interested in their topic.

Their is another way to build relationships via social networking.

Since almost every person who drives a car, owns a house or feeds a family has a need for the products they sell, practically EVERYONE is a potential client for these two agents.

But you can't really market intelligently to everyone in the world. A better strategy is to target a niche.

In real life, a business person might join social groups, volunteer for charitable work, or get involved in a group related to a hobby they enjoy.

I once knew a financial planner who was really involved in flying model airplanes. He joined several groups for similar hobbiests. He got involved, attended their events regularly and made friends. He also became a resource for other hobbiests who came to respect his knowledge and advice.

Because he made friends with people who had the same interests he had, it wasn't long before his new friends started coming to him for financial advice. This obviously led them to become clients.

Another financial planner I know is an avid deer hunter. He also joined several groups of deer hunters and outdoorsmen. He also formed several deer hunting excursions and made friends who also became clients.

The same thing can be done online with Twitter and other social media platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn both offer several groups you can join online. Once you've joined these groups, get involved. Be active. Share information and ideas.

Most of all, become a resource.

On Twitter, find a niche of people who would make good clients and who have a specific interest. Then go online and gather information these people want to learn about. Become a knowledgeable source of problem-solving content.

Armed with this information, you use Twitter to "tweet" about this information. Send out messages with links to this content you have gathered.

Gradually, you will make friends, build trust and credibility among the people you are targeting.

But that is not the final step. You still have to reel them in to your marketing funnel.

Now you need to create an email newsletter. In the case of my two insurance agent friends, I might suggest a "Money Tip of the Week" newsletter. Some of the people you have befriended will choose to opt in to your email list.

DO NOT just send out solicitation emails to the people you have met online who have not opted in to receive your emails. The word for this is spam. Don't do it. This will simply ruin your relationships.

You can send them an email that invites them to opt in to receive your "Tip of the Week" or to listen to a free teleseminar as a way to get them to subscribe.

There are a number of reasons not to spam. Spamming destroys whatever respect and credibility you have already built. But even more important, you are much better off targeting people who choose to opt in. These people have self-selected themselves to receive your information. That means they at least have some level of interest in what you do.

(For information on how to make this work for you, check out my updated ebook on email marketing).

As the people who have opted in receive your low-pressure, but educational emails, they will come to trust you more and will likely do business with you when their timing is right.

To sum up, use social media to create and build relationships, trust and credibility. Then invite them to subscribe to your email marketing system. Your emails will gradually give them more and more reasons to do business with you. When THEIR timing is right, they will let you know.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown

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Updated Ebook on Email Marketing For Small Businesses

I just updated my ebook on email marketing for small businesses called, "How to Increase Your Sales With Email Marketing."

It is full of case studies on how several business owners have used email marketing to grow their businesses. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Drastically cut your advertising costs.
  • Build a valuable email list entirely of opt-in subscribers.
  • Turn a higher percentage of your prospects into buyers.
  • Profit from your email list again and again.
  • Create dominant positioning in your customers’ minds.
  • Build relationships of trust and credibility.
  • Never let your prospects forget you.
  • Get more repeat business from existing customers.
  • Master the art of “Permission Marketing.”

To download a free copy, click here.

Also, if you are looking for an excellent autoresponder to manage your email follow up system, I personally use Traffic Wave. Click here for more information.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown

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Absolutely the Best SEO Firm

I have worked with Mark Crowson and his company and am constantly amazed at his SEO knowledge.

He really gets results for his clients.

in reference to: http://www.toppageclickz.com/dallas-seo-firm.htm (view on Google Sidewiki)

Nuts and Bolts of Video Marketing

I just got off the air with Rodney Geisler, a local small business owner who has been using short, low-cost videos to market his company and his services.

You can listen to the broadcast here.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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