For many of us, each New Year brings with it a mishmash of emotions and challenges, some good and some bad. It’s a time to reflect on everything that went right in the year gone by as well as an opportunity to initiate the process of making positive changes moving forward. But change is rarely ever easy...
For many small business owners, the holiday season can be overshadowed by the unpleasant reality that the latest tax season is upon us. Yes folks, it’s time once again to answer to Uncle Sam and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service, as if you didn’t know!).
And while some SMB (small- to medium-sized...
Deciding whether or not to stage an exhibit at a trade show or other networking event as part of your marketing mix for 2014 is something you as a small- to medium-sized business (SMB) owner might be thinking about right now. If so, you’d be one of many.
Contrary to speculation in recent years that...
The verdict is in: Twitter use among small- and medium-sized business owners is on the rise, especially younger ones. In fact, more than two times as many businesses of this kind are using Twitter for marketing and branding purposes than were in 2009 according to a recent study. Kept in context, total users still represent a mere fraction of small- and medium-sized businesses overall, and Twitter use continues to lag behind other social media such as Facebook.
So what’s a business opportunity or other small franchise owner to do? Is Twitter worth your time?
The truth is that whether or not to use Twitter is a decision that is unique to your business―one that must be grounded in its individual priorities, needs, goals and available resources. Additionally, it’s important to realize that not everything about social media marketing is positive. There are downsides.
Herewith a brief overview of what you may want to consider when asking yourself the ultimate question: To Twitter or Not to Twitter?
How Twitter Can Help You
Promos, special deals, coupons and other timely offers zip right to your customer’s cell phone at a moment’s notice. A number of applications are available to help you accomplish this task quickly and easily on a routine basis. Because Twitter allows you to communicate in real time, business owners are using it to drive same-day traffic in ways they would have never thought possible.
Your customers can opt-in on Twitter, which means you're able to focus on people who want to hear from you.
If your business is mobile―a food cart of some sort perhaps―you can easily alert your customers as to where they can find you at any given time.
Twitter is a great way to guide potential customers to your or another website for information and special promotional offers.
You can become a recognized expert in your field via Twitter―offering free, quick tips and other helpful hints that will whet your prospects’ appetites for more, which they can then access by referencing your website.
Twitter allows you to create a great visual through the use of an eye-catching background and avatar―a good way for small businesses to make an impact and establish their brand.
Small businesses with little to no ad budget may find it’s easier to set up and closely manage a Twitter account than it is to create and maintain a web page.
Twitter is the ultimate digital word-of-mouth advertising vehicle and small business owners typically get more than half of their customers this way.
Small businesses are no longer relegated to creating their most coveted, colloquial relationships solely with customers who live nearby. Many are finding they’re able to close not only the geographic but the emotional distance between them and their customers as never before thanks to Twitter.
Twitter’s a great tool for networking to find out which suppliers, consultants and contractors offer the best products, services and prices.
Twitter enables you to keep track of your most important customers and then manage those relationships in new and innovative ways.
You can easily monitor keywords and phrases that your potential customers are mentioning on Twitter and respond or target them with appropriate information and promotional campaigns.
Twitter is still only being used by a comparatively small number of people on a routine basis. Check out the latest Pew Research Center report on the subject. Those that are onboard tend to be younger, so you need to know your target audience really well to know if it's worth your time and energy.
Negative word-of-mouth travels just as fast as the good stuff. Twitter is being used by a growing number of unhappy customers as somewhat of a “reverse public relations” tool.
Keeping your Twitter account current and having something valuable to say every day is the only way to gain credibility. This can take up a lot of time and energy, which means you’re more than likely neglecting other things you shouldn’t be.
The number of characters per Tweet at 140 can be limiting, so you better make it good—short and effective takes time and some degree of expertise.
Although they can make your life easier, the apps and shortcuts available to help you manage your Tweets can work against you if things start to look too manufactured and your customers lose interest.
Customers are increasingly using Twitter as a tool to issue very public complaints and demand concrete retribution, so you need to be ready.
Managing your own lists of people to contact via Twitter can be cumbersome; spammers abound.
And because spammers abound and the time between Tweets can be almost infinitesimal, it’s all too easy for you and your company to get lost in the shuffle.
Leading location-sharing platform Foursquare has announced that it is extending its current advertising program to include small businesses, therefore providing them with the tremendous business opportunity to reach its 40+ million-strong user base in an unprecedented and measurable way. Finally, small...
Attention business opportunity and other small business owners! Whether you're home-based, storefront or online, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity you don't want to miss! It's a chance to capitalize on the growing public appreciation for and recognition of small businesses and all that they do...
Leading marketing cloud provider, Vocus, Inc. has just released the newest in its series of FREE guides aimed at helping business opportunity and other business owners gain “experience-based insights into the day-to-day management of marketing, social media and PR campaigns.”
Hopefully, you’re already among the unprecedented number of business opportunity and other small business owners who actively participated in last year’s Small Business Saturday® initiative. If not, then you don’t want to miss the boat this year, that’s for sure. Either way, NOW is the time to get started...
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