I gave a speech last night on social media to the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB — ChooseChicago.com) that went very well. As is normal at these things, some people decided to hold on to their questions until after the speech was over so they could ask me directly and privately. I like spending that time with people since they don’t fear telling you what they really think.
While I did field many good questions, I also listened to many people describe their pleasant experiences using the various forms of social media to promote their companies. But despite there being many different tools in the social media arsenal, quite a few people said they focused everything on Twitter — as in, Twitter was the ONLY social media tool they used. I was surprised by this (some admitted that Twitter was all they knew and liked), but even more surprised that even with their great results, they were still only interested in using Twitter. From Twittered view, I’m sure the results were indeed impressive. But I could only imagine how much more impressive their results would be if they added more tools to their bag.
Now, I understand what Twitter is and how to use it to promote your business. But come on, it just isn’t the bees knees in social marketing. It’s one tiny piece of the puzzle with some really powerful benefits. So if your social marketing efforts are based around Twitter alone, you are missing out on some big things.
You see, focusing all your effort on Twitter is a lot like focusing all your media dollars on the Yellow Pages. Sure, you could have some success. But the point is that your marketing will not have the best reach. Twitter is good. It’s cool. People know about it and those who use it are pretty loyal. But while its growth is amazing, it’s still not a major tool to reach the masses. To do that, you must use other social media tools — just like to reach a broader audience traditionally, you need to add print, radio, outdoor, etc. to your Yellow Pages buy.
We have a proven program that uses various tools including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bebo, etc. to generate advocates for our clients and build relationships with them. But to build relationships, you must first generate the advocates. After all, how does someone find you on Twitter — only through Twitter? Although possible, most people get connected from others, or they see from websites, blogs, forwarded eblasts and ads that you have a Twitter account and then they connect to you that way.
So rather than just focus on Twitter, you really should also utilize Facebook, blogs and posts to stories (with links back to your sites) to generate people to your sites and then get them signed up for Twitter or whatever else you’re doing.
Once they’re signed up, send them eblasts that link to your blogs. That’s where the real selling occurs — NOT Twitter. Twitter’s role is to help customers connect with you INSTANTLY so that you could give them answers to questions, solutions to problems, ideas on something that just came up, etc. It’s like a great customer service tool and yes, it does add to future sales because you’ve just kept a customer happy.
But to generate any significant future sales from new customers, Twitter is only part of the solution — blogs and eblasts are the main ones, along with all the other social sites you can handle.
So have fun with Twitter and learn how it can help you. Just don’t do it at the expense of other social media tools or you could find yourself De-Twitterpated in no time.