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Your brand in 140 characters

17 tips for using Twitter to grow your business

"Take me now, you magnificent beast" is well under the limit

In 2008, companies woke up to the power of Facebook as a way of engaging customers, building brand, and selling their products or services.  Today, the hottest new marketing tool is Twitter: a social network that consists entirely of people exchanging 140-character messages with their friends, family and colleagues.

Just like black-and-white photography can reveal depths you’ll never see in colour, the short length of a Twitter message encourages new levels of creativity and effectiveness in marketing.

Don’t believe me?  Here are my top tips on getting started with Twitter…and each is 140 characters or less.


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You could be the lucky winner

Using online contests as a marketing tool


Asked on LinkedIn:
In an earlier question regarding promotional ideas to promote our community classes, it was suggested that we offer a free sign language course (value $195) to someone in need; maybe a family member, spouse, or other individual who wants to learn this valuable and important language. We like the idea of this type of promotion, but not sure how to structure this offer and create criteria so that the selection of winner is fair. We plan to send a press release to announce this free offer. Do you have any ideas on how-to set the criteria, and/or any lessons learned offering a similar promotion?

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Pretty people, smart people

Using B2C social media for B2B marketing


Asked on LinkedIn: Has anyone had success using social media to market B2B?

The business-to-business versus business-to-consumer dichotomy can be a bit of a trap when thinking about social media. To achieve a critical mass of participation on a social media site, you need to be drawing on a potential audience of tens of thousands, ideally at least hundreds of thousands; this will be rapidly narrowed by the relatively small percentage who are interested in checking out any social media presence, let alone actively contributing to one. There are very few business niches in which you have a large enough, or techie enough, audience to achieve that necessary critical mass.

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Blog ROI: You can relate

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 4, building relationships

Lots of hands

So far in this 10-part series, we've seen how blogs can help you give your organization a human voice, gain valuable feedback and create a communications alternative to news releases and advertising. Now we're going to look at how it can help you build relationships with your customers, your public and your team.

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Going for the Golden Graham

NIche messaging with social media

Reach each of your audiences with the message that speaks to them.

That's one of the central appeals of social media: the ability to target your message, affordably and appropriately, to each of the audiences you're trying to reach. Create a YouTube clip with an edge to hook your under-25s. Create a business-value app on LinkedIn to reach your b2b audience. Sponsor a mom's group on Facebook with your most family-friendly lines.

The sniff test

The sniff test

(one dog at a laptop computer, speaking to another dog) On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. But they can smell a marketer from a mile away.

Web 2.0-faced

Web 2.0-faced(student in a 'Social Web for Marketers' class) How about if I deceive people transparently, authentically and passionately?
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Friends of the show, doing cool things

Congrats due for Vancouver social media companies celebrating successes and launches

In the hubbub of our various projects, we've let two three interesting developments in our local social media scene slip by unremarked.

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Wrap your brand in reflected glory

How focusing on your community's needs leads to success for your brand

Someone needs to tell the folks at Glad: Unless your customers pay for the privilege of wearing your logo, don't build an online community around your brand. That's rule #1 in marketing with social media -- and reason #1 for instead taking an approach we call reflected glory marketing. In reflected glory marketing you create a web site that resonates with your brand, but focuses on something your customer cares passionately about.

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Now cartooning at One Degree

Exciting news: the wonderful Kate Trgovac has invited me to cartoon at One Degree, the premier gathering place for Canadian online marketing types. Their contributors are some of the smartest people I've met in this field, and I'm delighted to join their ranks.

So head on over, subscribe to their feed, and you can get a sneak peek at a selected Noise to Signal cartoon every week! (The first one's right here.)

Social Signal on...

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.