Small and Medium-Sized Businesses: Your #Twitter Presence Impacts Your Audience #smb

As a small or medium-sized business (SMB), you wonder how Twitter can help you. You wonder if your efforts on this social network will lead to positive business results.

You can stop wondering.

SMBs are feeling the love on Twitter, and we've uncovered some exciting information that will help you understand the value.

A new survey conducted in May, 2013 by Market Probe International suggests that Twitter users are loyal patrons who will help drive sales and enhance your reputation. Here are some takeaways from the survey:

Followers Turn Into Customers

SMB Twitter followers are more inclined to, not only purchase from a SMB, but recommend them to others. Of the US and UK followers who were polled, 73 % say they follow SMBs to receive updates on future products. These products then have a good chance of being researched and purchased.

 

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Facebook Hashtags Do Nothing New Study Reveals

According to new data released by Facebook's analytics service, EdgeRank Checker, posts with hashtags do nothing. In fact, including hashtags in Facebook posts could potentially have a negative effect. EdgeRank's blog post about the findings revealed "The data shows that posts that didn't include a hashtag performed better than posts with hashtags... posts with hashtags don't increase viral reach." According to the study, EdgeRank Checker analyzed over 500 pages that posted both hashtags and no hashtags during the month of July. The pages posted over 35,000 times with over 6,000 posts using hashtags. What the analytics service found was that, when hashtags were used, viral reach went down as did organic reach and fan engagement.

Twitter, meanwhile, continues to experience a positive correlation between using hashtags and engagement and viral reach. "For Twitter, using a hashtag typically resulted in roughly double the likelihood of being ReTweeted," EdgeRank concludes. "Over 70 percent of the brands experienced an increase in RTs when using a hashtag versus not using one."

Why Are Facebook Hashtags Doing So Poorly?

EdgeRank believes the reason behind hashtag poor performance is a lack of clicks and incorrect usage by brands. EdgeRank explains "hashtags are often used in promotional material, for some brands, they've created campaigns around particular hashtags and used them in all posts associated with the campaign.

 

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Twitter And LinkedIn Are Preferred Networks Among CEOs


A recent study conducted by Domo and CEO.com concludes that the heads of large Fortune 500 firms are starting to recognize the benefits of particular social media networks. Joining the likes of Oprah, Rupert Murdoch, Richard Branson and Mark Cuban, CEOs of North America's biggest companies are logging on to Twitter and LinkedIn more, but aren't yet so keen about Facebook or Google Plus, according to the new research.

With a 55.6% net increase in active tweets, Twitter is slowly gaining CEO interest. The rise in accounts isn't huge, with just 12 using their accounts within the last year (with a total of 28 Fortune 500 CEOs now on the network), but it's progress! Another network seeing more top leader activity is LinkedIn, with a total of 140 CEO-owned LinkedIn accounts, up 8.5% from a year ago. Facebook, meanwhile, is on the decline among top companies, losing three CEO's in the past year. Google Plus is hardly seeing activity from the top CEO's with just four out of the top 500 holding accounts.

CEOs of North America's top companies recognize the value of social media, and as long as they focus on the value of the content they're sharing, can have the opportunity to influence followers even more online than they are off. Are you following any top business leaders on Twitter?

7 Proven Twitter Prospect Engagement Strategies


With over 200 million active users, Twitter is a great place to build a large network of prospective clients. This is a social network that allows everyone to connect with anyone without barriers, creating the perfect environment to start conversations, build relationships and grow your community.

While Twitter is a great place to engage with prospects, it can be a challenge to introduce yourself in the required 140 characters or fewer. When it comes to successfully finding and introducing yourself to the right prospects on Twitter, there are some best practices to follow.

Listen - Take time to read the conversations going on between your Twitter followers. Listen to their needs before you engage. Doing this arms you with the information you need to move your relationship forward.

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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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