There is a term going around in the marketing circles. Some people use it to describe social media.
You know: touchy-feely, makes-you-all-warm-inside, like roasting marshmallows and singing around the campfire kind of stuff.
In other words, social media—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever—doesn’t bring any real, tangible benefits.
I used to think that, too.
But, looking at my last 12 months, the takeaways from Twitter alone have been about as non-woo-woo as you can get.
5 Non-woo-woo Results from Using Twitter
1. Got off-the-charts visibility through 3 high-profile guest blog posts (for amazingly talented bloggers I’ve never met).
I met one of the best marketers in the business on Twitter. He invited me to write a guest post for his popular blog. And then an encore post.
An additional—surprising—result: he added me to his home page list of best small business marketing blogs.
And, through that connection, I met a social media expert who specializes in marketing for rural businesses.
Through a series of seemingly random exchanges on Twitter, she learned that I had moved my business from the city to an island. She asked if I would like to write about that experience on her small biz blog.
Two blogs with huge readerships and the opportunity to introduce myself to some new folks. I couldn’t have bought that kind of publicity.
2. Grew a close support network of writers I’ve never met to bounce ideas off of and explore partnerships with.
Both our businesses—Cat’s Eye Marketing and Savvy WordPress—are mostly or solely online ventures. Our clients and customers come from across the country.
So do my friends and colleagues, I have found.
There is something special about tweeting a need for a piece of information or advice and seeing someone in my circle respond with a solution. Whether it’s a simple grammar question or a more complex pricing issue I’m grappling with, my Twitter buddies are there.
The mentoring goes both ways. Sometimes, when Twitter’s 140-character limit makes us crazy, we schedule a live phone chat.
And because we know each other’s strengths and niches, we can easily refer work back and forth.
No, I don’t do that kind of writing, but I know the perfect person for you.
3. Got help and advice for writing, pricing and promoting my first ebook (see below)—from people I’ve never met.
This was very cool. Some of my Twitter friends had produced lots of ebooks and shared solid tips and lessons learned: on focusing the topic, figuring out a fair price, finding the right people to help promote it.
Other friends were coming out with their first books themselves. We critiqued each other’s drafts, which was hugely helpful because it resulted in tons of insights and suggestions for improvement, all from fresh, objective perspectives.
4. Saw big traffic increases at my own blog when highly respected Twitter followers I’ve never met retweeted the links to some of my new blog posts.
Sometimes a blog post will just strike a chord. It comes across someone’s Twitter stream at exactly the right moment. And it can happen amazingly fast.
One of my followers will rewteet it to their followers, one of them will send it out again and so on.
When this happens, it causes a huge spike in my page views and blog visitor numbers. And, more importantly, it increases my chances for more regular readers and subscribers.
5. Became a member of a close, caring community of other business owners I’ve never met.
Okay. This one might just be a little woo-woo.
But I have come to see my Twitter network as my ‘support group.’ I can have real-time conversations with them. I can take a break from my work every once in a while and just connect.
I can take a moment to share a link to an interesting site that I know the follower of mine who is a history buff would love. Or my photographer friend from Italy might post a “twitpic” of something she calls, “Old Tuscan door.”
Kind of the way neighbors used to share stuff over the backyard fence.
Just that moment’s break from all my crazy deadlines.
And all these results simply from showing up online in a consistent way. And engaging with people I’ve never met.
Which brings me to why I wrote a book about ‘showing up online’
I wrote Guide to Showing Up Online because I wanted to help people figure out how to start small and develop a strong online presence. You know, the kind that helps them get noticed?
Many people have asked me if I could package up my past blog posts on using social media and emarketing so they can access them, by category, all in one place.
And here you have it: my first ebook. In it, you”ll find lots of practical, use-tomorrow ideas, laid out in step-by-step form.
Step-by-steps for writing online bio’s that attract the right customers—the ones you want to serve. For how to avoid writing mistakes that make you look stupid.
For managing your social media time so you don’t burn out.
For creating an enewsletter that your prospects and customers will eagerly consume.
For fixing the number one reason you don’t have more blog readers.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, you can buy it here—27 chapters, 91 pages, with photos—for just $17.
Have you seen promising results from using Twitter? Still on the sidelines but thinking about jumping into the waters? Or maybe still trying to figure out if it’s the right tool for your business?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box.