Tom Levers

What is your Twitter Voice

Posted in BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, DEMAND GENERATION, MARKETING by Tom Levers on May 7, 2011

Twitter is not complicated. But it works most effectively when you make it do 1 thing well.

What is difficult, is knowing what kind of voice you want to use. This takes some thinking about. You need to decide what do you want to accomplish. By answering these simple questions you will save the many hours that I personally have spent with different Twitter accounts, stumbling as I learnrd to00000000… ask myself these simple questions before I set up a twitter account:

1. Do you want to promote a website or blog ?

2. Do you want to use twitter to talk about your business or what you do (very different) ?

3. Do you want to downplay what you do or your company, and focus more on your personal relationships ?

4. Do you want to build an interest group, or a specific community ?

Based on your answers in the above questions, you can better focus your Twitter objectives. Below are some of the most common types of account owners who use Twitter. So make your choice, and select the email account business or personal that maps to your specific twitter objectives.

The Totally Corporate Twitter Account

There’s a difference between being a business person on Twitter and being a business on Twitter. When you take The Totally Corporate Twitter Account it means that you’ve decided to tweet like you are a company… not a person. There’s no employee or real personality publicly tied to the account in any way. The focus is on social media business news, blog posts, deals and to offer customer service. It’s not on building genuine relationships with customers. Everything that is done is done from the perspective of The Company.

The Corporate Persona Twitter Account

The Corporate Persona allows the business to tweet as a Corporation, but to also include a bit of personality and insight behind the person publicly running the account. Customers will be able to tie a face and a name to the account to help build a community around it. It will still be very clear that the person tweeting is doing so on behalf of the business and that’s their reason for being there.

The Strictly Personal Account

A personal Twitter account is one with no obvious tie to any business or corporation. The person is tweeting as themselves, for themselves. They tweet about what they’re doing and where they’re going; they tweet after hours and on the weekends. The account is there to build relationships and to gain information. We know the person works for someone but that “who” doesn’t play into their daily activity.

The Business/Personal Hybrid Account

A hybrid Twitter account is the most common. It’s an account that mixes both the personal and professional. You can tweet about what’s going on in your industry, what blogs you’re reading and any struggles you’re facing as a person in your field. But then you use the same account to tweet about taking your kids to the movies and what you’re making for dinner. You mix both worlds, even if that means alienating some who’d rather not know about the other. However, you don’t dilute your efforts trying to grow multiple accounts.

The Twitter Interest Group Account

The best way to create an interest group is with Twibes. Twibes is a group of Twitter users that have indicated they are interested in you similar interests. Because each twibe has its own members and keyword tags, following a topic on Twibes filters out all the useless Tweets that might include a certain keyword, but have nothing to do with the topic. And because you can join up to 10 twibes, it’s also a way to get to know a wide range of other Twitter users who share your passions.

In Conclusion

There’s no right way to use Twitter, just like there’s no wrong way. However, there is the right way for you and that’s why it is easier to ask these questions before you start using Twitter. You may even decide to adopt multiple account types. The question to ask yourself is, what’s going to help you get your message across?

Click to follow on Twitter

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Twitter and Sales

Posted in DEMAND GENERATION, MARKETING, Sales by Tom Levers on April 10, 2011

Twitter allows an easy way to sell and promote without a fancy marketing department.

We’ll…. look at how Dell does it! Dell sells computers via a dedicated Twitter feed. Dell employees don’t “tweet” what they had for breakfast or where they are going – they tweet the latest deals. Since Dell’s target audience is online – and they’re already using Twitter. So all they had to do was set up a Twitter account , and spread the word that if you wanted great bargains , follow them at Twitter. The result is Dell sales people are selling more computers using Twitter.

So I ask you, “Can you make Twitter work to help you sell more?” It can obviously do so. The real question is “HOW ?”, most of us do not work for this type of company. Of COURSE we CAN make Twitter “work” to sell , or communicate about anything – computers, cars, real-estate, and even my business of enterprise software . However, it’s more than just a question of “how do I use Twitter?” Instead, it needs to be a question of “How do I COMMUNICATE with existing and prospective clients?”

Let’s take the case of the local software person who wants to use social media tools – Twitter in this case – to educate their clients about the newest features of their product. The first step in crafting a social media sales strategy with Twitter would begin by building a foundation of Twitter followers – put twitter at the bottom of every email. So the first “key” is to be sure to build a Twitter following of the “right” people. Just as in direct email – the “magic is in the list”. In Twitter, the magic in using Twitter for attracting the “right” followers. Once again – it’s better to have 100 Twitter followers who respond than 10,000 who are not responsive.

Create a Twitter profile which explains what followers can expect and you will see your follows organically grow over time. The uses of Twitter are truly exciting.

You can tweet about:

special pricing

new products

training courses or documentation

services,

white papers,

success stories.

The list of possibilities goes on and on… so when it comes to using Twitter to communicate you value, the real “root” question is:

How are we already CONNECTING and COMMUNICATING with our prospective customers/clients?

Twitter gets frustrating as a sales tool when you don’t have a clear audience (or too many different audiences) and more than 1 clear message. Then again – that is when all sales gets frustrating for businesses of ALL sizes. The same message that “works” via other media will probably also “work” well with Twitter.

In Conclusion

This is why real professionals get jazzed about Twitter. Instead of going to the time and expense of creating a marketing mailing, Twitter allows a quick, easy and personal way to promote your products and services instantly.

Best regards,

Tom Levers

www.BridgeWays.ca

Click to follow on Twitter

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Whats the Business Value of Social Media

Posted in BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MARKETING, PUBLIC RELATIONS by Tom Levers on January 19, 2010

To many organizations are setting up Twitter, Facebook, Company Blogs without a clear plan. Its not done with Advertising, Direct Response, or Public Relations, and Social Media should not be any different? So here is what you need to ask yourself to succeed.

If questions below are not asked before employees are encouraged to tap social networking sites they can fritter away hours, or worse. Their lack luster commentaries can spill company secrets or harm corporate and partners relationships. Skeptics can draw from plenty of examples of social media experiments run amok.

What’s Your Pitch?
Can you describe what your company does in 120 characters or less? Most companies can not. With all the communications ability we have, our attention span is shorter.

Because the number of people we connect with each day forces us to edit our communication. We cannot have fully formed conversations with dozens of people every day and still have time to write, eat, sleep, drive, play games on our iPhone, complain about the housing market, and look at multiple media formats.

Also, the interconnected nature of communication today makes long-form communication less necessary. When I talk to my friends on the phone, it’s usually a pretty quick conversation. Not because I don’t like my friends, but because they already know much of what’s going on in my life via text message, Twitter, Facebook, email and other short-form missives.

As individuals, we know this is true, and we see how it impacts our daily life. Yet as businesspeople, we can do a better job.

What’s the Type of Result You Want?
What type of program is this? Awareness, Lead Generation, or Loyalty?

What Type of Relationship Do You Have and Want with Your Audience?
What does your audience know about you today? Nothing… to an advocate. Pick segments to focus upon, but make sure they are adjacent on this scale. It’s too confusing to have a strategy that targets advocates AND people that have never heard of you. That would be two strategies, not one.

How Does Your Audience Use Social Media?
Using the Forrester Social Technographics Ladder see http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2007/04/forresters_new_.html , understand how your target audience (as defined by gender, age, and geography) uses social media. If your audience skews older, you may not want to engage in a lot of “make a video” contests, since that segment indexes low on the “Creator” scale.

What’s Your One Thing?
What’s the soul of your brand. What’s the one thing – and it’s not features and benefits. Volvo = Safety. Apple = Innovation. Disney = Magic. What’s on the other side of your = sign? Brand anthropology, and have an agency help you find your one thing.

How Will You Be Human?
Social media is about people, not logos. How will you let down your guard? If you’re a small company, congratulations, this should be pretty easy. If you’re a big company, how can you act small again?

How Will You Measure Success?
Lots of ways to measure social media success, so make sure you determine your key metrics BEFORE you get started. I recommend picking three solid metrics to track. Appropriate metrics differ based on what your objective is for the program.

Focus on what you can actually measure. Unless you have a unlimited budget, enormous resources and extremely sophisticated data management capabilities, you aren’t going to be able to capture and measure every bit of data that comes your way. While some of you may be able to implement fairly impressive measurement practices over the next few weeks and months, most will find that much of the data you wish you could capture, plot and analyze will be beyond your reach. Don’t panic. Measure what you can, make the most of it, and don’t worry too much about what you aren’t able to measure yet. Your ROI analysis will require a little more art than science, but that’s okay. As you will soon see, certain key metrics should give you a pretty good idea of the effectiveness of what you are doing.

Financial outcomes are the most basic metrics. Opportunity sales funnel metrics. No interpretation or estimation required. The most obvious is of course sales performance and prospect generation. So get yourself some sales data.

Along a timeline, your sales data when it comes to analyzing the impact that your activities is having on your sales knowing whether revenue deltas are coming from Yield, Frequency or Reach is pretty important.

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