Sign In

    15 Tips to Increase Twitter Followers for your Local Business

    Last updated 3 years ago

    When it comes to increasing followers on Twitter, there is a big debate in the social media space about quality versus quantity. But it is a near universal goal for businesses to increase their fan and follower count on social media. So, how can you balance the need to increase followers while making sure you’re connecting with real, authentic, and targeted consumers? Try these 15 tips for increasing your number of quality followers.

    Be Worth Following

    On Twitter, in addition to people who share interesting, insightful information, there are many spammers and aggressive marketers that the typical consumer avoids following. To be a figure worth following, you don’t want get labeled as a spammer. So the first step in increasing your followers on the site is to make sure your account is worth following!  Here’s how to do it:

    1) Make sure your Twitter profile is optimized with an original picture, bio, and links. Don’t make these newbie mistakes that keep people from following you.

    2) Post interesting content often. Balance unique content (authored by you) and shared content (authored by others). Many experts say for each self-promotional tweet, you should share 5-10 tweets about something else.

    3) Time your tweets so people see content during peak hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You can use an automatic scheduling tool like su.pr, Hootsuite, or ReachCast to time your tweets throughout the day.

    4) When someone follows you, follow them back. You can do this manually or use a service like Social Oomph to automate it. Since Twitter won’t let you follow an unlimited number of users, keep your following/follower ratio in check by using a tool like ManageFlitter.com to unfollow users who don’t follow you back.

    5) Be social. Use the site as a way to connect  with others, not just to promote yourself. Unmarketing author Scott Stratten, who has built a successful blog and business from growing a large, dedicated Twitter following, says that over 75% of his tweets are @replies to other users.

    Find and Follow Interesting Users

    The next step to increasing followers is to find and follow people yourself. How will people know if you’re out there to follow unless you tell them?

    6) Connect with connections first. Put your Twitter URL on business cards and in-store signage to encourage consumers to follow you online. See if people you’re already connected to are on by looking up contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL email accounts and linking your account to your LinkedIn profile under the “Find Friends” section of the “Find People” function on your account. Connect with those you’re already connected to first, because those are the people most likely to follow you online.

    7) Connect with local consumers. You can find local tweeps to follow on Localtweeps.com and Trendsmap.com, or use Twitaholic.com or TwitterGrader.com to grade your Twitter profile and find local users with top scores in your market.

    8) Follow people in your industry, niche, and topic area.  Who you follow may influence the content you will retweet and @reply to. Find topical users to follow on Wefollow.com, listorious.com, and twellow.com.

    9) Follow From Users’ Twitter Lists and “Following” Links. Find people or organizations on Twitter with similar interests, and click the link labeled “following” from their profile page to see who they find worth following. Better yet, look at Twitter lists they may have created on certain topics to find hand-cultivated lists of people worth following. Just make sure to follow the individual users on a list and not just the list itself!

    10) Tap into influential local circles. Who is influential in your market? Aside from grades on Twitter tools, which may or may not reflect true influence, it may be difficult to determine this at first. One tip is to find and follow local media outlets, businesses, and organizations. Then, look at lists they have created to find more important local figures to follow.

    Invest in the Twitter Community

    Twitter is more than a marketing tool. It’s a community you cultivate for yourself. So, give back and invest in the community to build follow karma and increase not only the number of followers you have, but the number of lists you are mentioned in as well.  

    11) Particiapte in #FollowFriday. Promote other people worth following by recommending followers on the popular #FollowFriday hashtag meme. Every Friday, just select someone you follow, write a short explanation of why, and tag it with #FollowFriday or the succinct #FF.

    12) Create Twitter lists of interesting users, such as local and topical users and those you’ve met in different social circles. Adding users to lists not only allows you to watch a cultivated, topical stream of their tweets, it’s also a form of virtual endorsement, which may encourage the users on your lists to follow you back.

    13)  Participate in Twitter chats. There are numerous special interest chats that anyone can chime in to to network, learn, and share. This is one of the best places to find like-minded Twitter users. So, find a chat for your industry, niche, or market, and join in! Use a tool like TweetGrid or TweetChat to help you keep up with the conversation on the chat’s hashtag, and follow users you meet there.

    14) Answer questions and offer advice. In addition to sharing links to interesting content, you can use Twitter as a place to answer questions or offer advice in 140 characters, building your industry expertise and cultivating trust with consumers. You can find hashtags on topics of interesting using wthashtag.com and use that as a way to find questions and tag answers you provide to extend your expertise outside your existing Twitter social circle.

    15)  Take time to respond an engage with fans and followers through @replies and retweets. Make sure that you’re using Twitter as the powerful, two-way communication tool it is, and engage to increase your fan and follower base.

    Do you have favorite tips, tools, or ideas for increasing your fanbase on Twitter? Share them in the comments!

    Enjoy this Article?
    Share it with your network on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and subscribe today to learn more about creating content, or get updates straight to your inbox.

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.

    We Heart Small Business: 5 Creative Social Media Valentine's Day Ideas

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Holiday and seasonal marketing is traditionally a great way for small businesses to gain awareness with local consumers. And, this Valentine’s Day, consumers are expected to spend an average of $116.21 each, up 11% from last year. But Valentine’s Day marketing isn’t just for restaurants and retailers. Other small businesses can use the holiday as a reason to reach out to customers to show appreciation, offer a discount, and more.

    So, this year, how can your small business use social media as an opportunity to connect with customers? It’s just two weeks away, so here are five Valentine’s Social Media Marketing ideas you can use immediately!

    1) Change Your Social Avatars & Build Awareness for a Cause

    A simple way to celebrate Valentine’s Day on social media is to change your social avatars – the pictures on your sites and profiles. You could add some hearts or color to your current profile pic, or find a themed image. Or, consider adding an avatar or editing your image to support a cause or organization you want to help build awareness for.

    Example: Notice something a little different this week? In honor of Valentine’s Day, we changed our Avatar to the logo for the local women’s shelter to show the love and help build awareness for the great work they do. Change your avatar too to help spread the word! Learn more about the organization at their website.

    2) Create a Valentine’s Coupon or Deal for Twitter and Facebook Followers

    Restaurants, spas, and retail stores can offer Valentine’s packages, promotions, and deals. But other local businesses, like plumbers, auto repair shops, and eye doctors, can offer holiday deals too! Offer a discount or coupon like 10% off a popular service or product to all your social media fans or followers.

    Example: Not sure what to get her this Valentine’s Day? Forget the flowers and get something she ‘s really been wanting. Get that engine noise she’s been complaining about checked out! We’re offering 10% off of tune-ups for all social our fans and followers Valentine’s week. Just bring in this message for your discount, and we’ll throw in the card and chocolates so you’re not empty handed!

    3) Share a Social Media Customer Appreciation Valentine

    To spread the love, consider creating a branded digital Valentine card to post to your Facebook fan page and share on Twitter to express your appreciation for your customers. To help your message spread, combine this idea with a social coupon or discount so fans will pass along the Valentine’s message to their friends. All you need is a clever, sincere or unique message, a good offer, terms and restrictions (like with any coupon or offer), and a nicely designed image that can easily be shared online.

    Example: We Heart Your Business! Thanks for being a loyal customer. Please enjoy 10% off your next hair cut when you present this coupon, and pass this card along to share the savings with those you love!

    4) Host a Valentine’s Day Video Contest

    Want to get more content and testimonials about your brand? Host a video contest asking customers to share a 60-second clip about why they love your local business, and offer a prize like a gift certificate or service package for the winner. If you’ve never done a giveaway before, you’ll need to make sure to have official rules and guidelines created that you can post online to share when you promote the contest. Then, create a blog post to serve as the page you’ll promote online. Ask fans to post their testimonial videos on your Facebook page (if you have that feature enabled) or have them upload and post links to YouTube videos in your comments section. How to pick a winner? Have a random drawing, or judge for the best video – whatever fits your style!  

    Example: Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Gift? Enter our “I Heart Dallas Spa” video contest for your chance to win a $500 Spa Package (a great gift for you – or someone you love). To enter, create a 60-second video sharing why you love Dallas Spa, post the link to the video here or our Facebook page, and read our full terms and guidelines, since terms and restrictions apply. We’ll announce the winner on Feb. 14!

    5) Show Love to a Local Charity for New Fans and Followers

    As social media has become more widespread across business disciplines, many companies are finding ways to champion charities and causes, integrating “social good” into their marketing mix. So, for this holiday, consider donating $1 to your favorite local charity for each new Facebook or Twitter follower you get during the week of Valentine’s. Simply benchmark your number of fans and followers before the week (take screen shots to document this number), share your goal with fans, spread the news, and follow up on the promise! If you have a limited budget, consider adding a cap to the amount you will donate.

    Example: To celebrate Valentine’s Day and spread the love to our favorite local charity, we’re giving $1 to the local Boy’s and Girl’s Club for each new fan or follower we get this week, up to $500! With 255 Facebook fans and 145 Twitter followers, can we double them both? Spread the word to help make a difference!

    Bonus: Get More with Integrated Campaigns

    To get even more traction, consider combining several of these ideas to create a Valentine’s campaign, or extend the reach of your offline holiday promotions by sharing them on your Facebook and Twitter pages, too!

    Does your small business use holidays to reach out to local consumers? Are you integrating your campaigns and making them social? Share your stories in the comments section!

    Enjoy this Article?
    Share it with your network on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and
    subscribe today to learn more about creating content, or get updates straight to your inbox.

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.

     

    Behind the Scenes with ReachCast Web Presence Professional Teri Guill

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Behind the Scenes with ReachCast Web Presence Professional Teri Guill

    On this blog, we like to provide tips and ideas you can use to build a dynamic, effective web presence, sharing information about content marketing, social media, reputation management, and search discovery. That’s because ReachCast is all about helping local businesses effectively market themselves online in an evolving web landscape (in fact, Google is evolving so much we just launched this informative SlideShare presentation to help you understand the basics).

    What sets ReachCast apart in our ability to help your business get more content in more places to get you more customers? The combination of powerful proprietary technology with our service team called Web Presence Professionals (WPPs).

    Meet Teri Guill, Web Presence Professional

    What does a WPP do? How do they help our customers? In this new behind-the-scenes series, we’ll feature members of our Web Presence Professionals team and how they’re helping small businesses owners build their web presence each and every day. This week, we’re interviewing Teri Guill, a WPP and social media enthusiast.

    What’s  your favorite part of being a WPP?

    Teri:  “I truly enjoy being able to effectively bring local businesses into the social space with a solid web presence. Having a dynamic web presence isn’t an option for businesses anymore; it’s a requirement— but so many SMBs don’t even know where to begin beyond their website and maybe a Facebook page. So, I really like being able to guide my clients and help them navigate this online space, help them create quality content, and help them engage and interact with fans and potential customers.”

    So, what exactly does a WPP do? How would you explain your job to your parents or grandparents?

    Teri: “At its very essence, the role of a Web Presence Professional is to help local businesses better communicate with new and existing customers online. The rest—Facebook, Twitter, search results, Cast pages—are just tools for doing so.”

    So, take us behind the scenes with you this week. Tell us about how you’re helping one of your small business owner clients market their business with social media.

    Teri: “I’m in the process of helping one of my clients develop and promote a special incentive for their fans on Facebook. I recommended this as a strategy for getting more fans for their business page and they loved the idea. They’ll be offering fans an exclusive 10% discount on their next order for the month of February.”

    What’s one of your go-to pieces of advice you share with small business owners getting started using ReachCast to build their web presence?

    Teri: “I always try to tell my clients that a successful ReachCast campaign is truly a team effort; you get out of it what you put into it. As a WPP, it’s hard for me to effectively represent a local business if I’m working in a silo. Behind every one of my great campaigns is an involved, active client who keeps me informed, up to date, and full of information about what’s going on in their world—and who acts on my recommendations so they can get the most out of ReachCast.”

    Can you share with us a success story you’ve been able to help a small business owner create through social media?

    Teri: “One of my favorite stories is from one of my car dealers. Before their first monthly review, I had an opportunity to reach out on Twitter to someone who had wrecked their Mazda Miata and needed body and repair work done. This simple interaction actually led to the customer contacting the dealership for the work he needed. I was so pleased to show them this when I had our review call, and they were really impressed with the power that social media can have in finding potential customers and delivering great service.”

    In your own words, why do you think it’s important for small business owners to build and optimize their web presence?

    Teri: “The online space is constantly growing. More and more eyeballs can be found online. It’s also constantly changing. We’re no longer in a Web 1.0—or even Web 2.0—world. Some even argue that the web is dead and the way forward is purely mobile and apps. In an online environment like this, how can a local business compete with just a single, static website? How can they be part of the app and mobile world without having a presence on app-friendly sites like Google Places and Facebook?”

    “With traditional advertising, any marketing consultant worth their salt will tell you two things: you need to have a good media mix, and you need to put your message where your customers are. The same is true for digital advertising. You need to have a good presence across the web—a good ‘mix’ of places – and you need to make sure you have a presence where your customers are—Facebook, Google, Twitter.”

    What’s the most common mistake small business owners make when it comes to social media marketing? How do you think ReachCast can help them address that?

    Teri: “I think the most common mistake is simply not being present. Lots of small businesses have claimed a Twitter profile name or started a Facebook fan page—but stopped there. These pages exist but no one is keeping them updated with fresh content or nurturing their follower base. This is a common concern for SMBs because web presence and social media takes time and effort—time and effort that they don’t necessarily have to spare. That’s why ReachCast is such a valuable service; with a Web Presence Professional, a local business now has a dedicated person who is able to monitor and update those online profiles.”

    So, there you have it! A behind-the-scenes look at social media marketing, web presence, and small business success with one of our Web Presence Professionals. Teri, thanks for taking the time to talk with us!

    Can a Web Presence Professional Help Your Small Business?

    If you’re interested in learning more about how your small business can work with a Web Presence Professional through the ReachCast service, feel free to contact ReachLocal today.

    Enjoy this Article?
    Share it with your network on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and
    subscribe today to learn more about creating content, or get updates straight to your inbox.

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.

    10 Online Video Ideas You Can Use to Promote Your Small Business

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Using video is a great way to market your small business online.  People love watching and sharing videos, because it’s interactive and engaging content. The sky is the limit to what you can share and how creative you can get when creating online videos for your small business. So, here are 10 ideas you can use to get started, featuring online videos created by our very own ReachCast clients!

    1) Creative Employee Features
    As a small business owner, your staff is a great resource to reach out to for content and video ideas. ReachCast clients Muzi Chevrolet tapped into the creative genius of a technician who wrote a song about the Chevrolet Cruze to create this fun, entertaining video.

    2) Tutorial Videos
    Tutorial videos are a great way to showcase your business expertise and knowledge.

    The fitness center at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, creates a weekly workout video, which they share with their social fans and followers.

    3) Product Knowledge & FAQs
    How do you find the perfect diamond earrings?

    ReachCast client Mervis Diamond Importers shares knowledge and expertise about how to shop for diamonds , from flash to size to budget to metals. Is a screw-on earring better than a notched post? How do you insure diamonds? FAQ videos are a great way to share your expertise with consumers. 

    4) Special Events & Media Coverage
    If your business helps put on special events, you can showcase your products and services in action like ReachCast clients Four Flashes Photo Booth did with this video, which showcases one of their photobooths being filmed in action on the TLC show “Four Weddings.”

    This behind-the-scenes peek at the event, and the filming, was a hit with fans and followers. Plus, using keywords like “TLC Show” and “4 Weddings,” this video may also be found by fans of the show, extending the reach of the brand.

    5) Behind the Scenes Videos
    A behind the scenes video can highlight testimonials, onsite footage, and business owner interviews, giving potential customers a sneak peek at what it’s like to do business with you. One ReachCast client, The Dental Comfort Zone, showcased Dr. Jerry Gordon at work along with testimonials and comments from satisfied customers in a behind-the-scenes testimonial video called “The Painless Dentist.”

    He also creates behind the scenes demonstrations of dental procedures, tallying up over 1.5 million video views on his YouTube channel.  Videos like this Root Canal Demonstration show a behind-the-scenes walkthrough of a dental procedure with video of the procedure that then goes back and narrates step-by-step.

    6) Service Demonstration Videos
    Canine Obedience Unlimited shows a short demonstration of training with a 10-week old puppy in this 1-minute video to showcase what they can do with puppies of such a young age in just three weeks of training.

    Plus, who doesn’t love a video of an adorable puppy!

    7) Customer Appreciation Events
    Do you host customer appreciation events? This is a great excuse to create video and post it online. And, you don’t have to use expensive equipment to create and share fun, interesting videos.

    The Gents Place, a local men’s spa, created this short iPhone video of a Mojito Mixer they hosted for clients and guests, showcasing the facility, the consumers, and the fun in under a minute!

    8) Product and Service Overviews
    You can create an informative, brochure-style video using music, images, and text to inform customers about different product and service features.

    ReachCast clients Steam Express created a video about their 100% organic products, highlighting their eco-friendly approach to steam cleaning.

    9) Customer Testimonials
    Do you have happy customers? Consider creating videos that showcase them talking about their products and services like SLEEK Surgical & Med Spa, a ReachCast client in New York, did.

    Have your customers put their experience in their own words to create a powerful video testimonial you can share online.

    10) Site & Facility Tours
    Create a video showcasing your facility or grounds to give customers an idea of what to expect.

    Canine Obedience Unlimited created this walking video tour of the Greenbriar Pet Resort to give potential consumers a look inside the facility so they could see for themselves exactly where their pets would be lodging.

    There you have it! 10 ideas you can use to create fun, interesting videos to help promote your small business online.

    Have you ever created and shared online videos? Any other tips or ideas to share?

    Enjoy this Article?
    Share it with your network on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and subscribe today to learn more about creating content, or get updates straight to your inbox.

    Want More?
    To find more resources to help you create and market online videos, ReachLocal offers TotalVideoNow, a turnkey video production service, and ReachCast, a Web Presence Optimization service that puts more of your content in more places to help you get more customers. To learn more about these solutions, contact your ReachLocal representative.

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.

    A Quick Guide to Quora for the Small Business Owner

    Last updated 3 years ago

    There’s been a lot of buzz about a new platform called Quora, a question and answer site. What exactly is Quora, and how can you use it for your small business? Here is a quick guide you can use to learn the basics:

    What is Quora?

    Essentially, Quora is a place users can go to ask and answer questions. It combines a social and crowdsourcing approach to share and filter information and expertise. Think of it as a more collaborative, flexible Wikipedia, where anyone can post or answer a question and other users vote answers up or down in an attempt to showcase the most valuable insights and make sure quality content rises to the top. Plus, you can connect your account to Facebook and Twitter to share your questions and answers with your social graph. In addition, you can follow topics and other users on Quora, both of which directly impact your experience of the site. One thing that has built so much buzz for the site is the status of many of its initial users, including powerful and influential business figures.

    Why Should I Use Quora?

    Quora is both a place to find information and to showcase your own knowledge and expertise. For finding information, it’s different than conducting a search engine query, because the answers you will find have been answered and filtered (or voted up and down) by the site’s community rather than by a search algorithm.

    Much of the buzz about Quora has been around how and why you can use the platform to share information, including marketing tactics like building expertise, generating leads, conducting market research, building inbound links, and developing a strong personal brand. In addition, you can use the influence you build on the site to shape the conversation and knowledge around subjects you care about, like the products or services your business sells.

    For small business owners who want to build a robust web presence and power a personal brand, Quora offers the opportunity to develop and share your knowledge in an easy, flexible way.

    Is Quora Indexed on Google?

    Quora recently enabled public search so that Google and other search engines can index content from the site, meaning that questions and answers can now show up in Google search results, Google Alerts, and the like. However, you can enable search engine privacy, which tells search engines like Google not to index your profile page or your name where it shows up on Quora based on your activity under your profile. Your name will appear as an anonymous user to search engines if you enable this setting, but your content will still be indexed by search engines.

    How Can I Get Answers on Quora?

    When you first sign up, you will have a chance to follow people and topics you are interested in. This can help you discover answers and information. You can also use the search box at the top of the site to find existing questions, topics, and people. This search function can lead you to question and answer threads that may already have answers you are looking for. If you don’t find the question you want by searching, you can add a question directly to an existing topic or straight from the search bar.

    Why Should I Answer Questions on Quora?

    Answering questions on Quora is a good way to build expertise. And, getting on board early with the tool will give you a jump start on building your brand within your niche. It’s also important to have an active Quora profile in order to get the best SEO benefit. Since you can add links to sites in your profile, when you have an active, public profile, your answers, along with your name and other details you provide, will be indexed on search engines, adding another avenue for search discovery. Quora is also poised to become a useful tool for online reputation management, giving business owners another search-friendly way to answer questions about their business, products, and services.

    Who Can Sign Up for Quora?

    The site is designed for individual user accounts and does not have a structure for business or brand accounts. To represent a brand or company, you can add your job title, company name, and other details to your user headline or profile. You can also set up topic-specific bios for yourself. This allows you to brand a formal presence for questions you ask and answer for certain topics, such as those related to your business, industry, or market, and an informal presence on other topics, like your personal interests. In addition, you can choose to post a question as an anonymous user as needed.

    Have You started using Quora?

    If you haven’t tried Quora yet, create an account and take a little time to explore the site and examine how other people in your social graph are using it. Read a few questions and find topics and people that interest you so you can experience relevant content and learn the rules of engagement firsthand.

    If you’ve started using Quora, what have been your initial thoughts and impressions?

    Enjoy this article? Share it with your network on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and subscribe today to learn more about social media marketing for small business.

    About the Author: Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a Mashable Award-winning service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.

Do you like ReachCast?
Connect with ReachCast on Facebook



Mashable Award Badge


Links

  • Recent Posts
    • Loading posts... Spinner
  • View All
  • Recent Comments
    • Loading comments... Spinner
  • Popular Tags
    • Loading tags... Spinner