New insights on how followers benefit small and medium-sized businesses

Last month, we released an interactive desktop example to illustrate the impact that a single follower can have on your business. Now, a recent study further supports that illustration and offers new insights about the value of Twitter followers for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

We partnered with research firm DB5 to survey 1,000 active U.S. Twitter users who currently follow SMBs. We think the results, along with previous research, help paint a more complete picture of how followers can benefit SMBs.

Our key findings are included below, and you can also download the full white paper here.

Followers develop a higher affinity towards your business.
When someone follows you on Twitter, you gain an opportunity to interact with that person over time. As followers learn more about your business’s unique personality, products, and services through your Tweets, they begin to think about you differently - in fact, 73% of respondents say they feel more positive about an SMB after they follow that business and read its Tweets. This could explain why they are more likely to take action on information shared via Twitter than from other, more traditional channels.

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#SocialSelling with Your Own Virtual Twin #marketing

"Social Selling is about building relationships ... not just pipelines. Above all, treat people with respect -- just as you would your friends and family members. Use social technologies to facilitate real human interaction, not avoid it. Remember, social media connects you with people, not faceless targets or records in a database. Share your expertise without expecting anything in return. Help first & sell later. Giving builds trust. Be clear and upfront that you sell something for a living. Sell value. Sell something that enriches lives and customers will find you. A one-way stream of message is not selling, it's yelling. Respect people's boundaries. Be Human; admit when you have messed up & do what is necessary to make right. Connect with others for the greater good, not just your own benefit. Tell the truth."

Small quote we took from a sales performance website which encapsulates the spirit of social selling.

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TrueTwit Validation Sucks! Thanks for wasting everyone's time @GoTrueTwit! #truetwitspam #TrueTwit via @MaryCLong

If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter, you’ve likely received a TrueTwit validation direct message. It says something like “Nelly Nameless uses TrueTwit validation service. Please validate your account.”

If you think this practice is okay, you need a Twitter direct message refresher. And when you’re done reading THAT, we’ll tell you why this “harmless annoyance” (aka TrueTwit) is anything but.


In case you’re never clicked one of these links (and you’d be smart NOT to as most spammy DM links do little more than compromise your account), here’s what happens when you try to “validate” your account:

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From our very own BColony/News Network which provides local and regional audiences with up-to-date news as well as enable us to interact locally on a one-to-one basis. 

Why you should build your community, here is a (short 10 min) Peter Clayton podcast interview of Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust -- listen here.

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