Here’s a guest post from my dear Twitter friend, Jenise Fryatt, of Icon Presentations. Enjoy!
For 20 years our company relied on word of mouth to get business but when the recession hit, we needed to develop a marketing strategy. I don’t have a marketing or advertising degree nor the budget to hire someone to do that for me. But I’d been playing around on Twitter and started to realize it might be of use in our situation.
As I watched what was being tweeted, I began to learn that social media marketing was decidedly DIFFERENT from the kind of marketing I grew up with. Doing things the old way (ie blasting superlative-laced messages as often as possible to the widest audience possible) would put you in danger of being unfollowed, blocked or even banned on any social media site.
From the viewpoint of a message receiver, I really appreciated being protected from the inundation of promotional pleas. (I recycle 3/4 of the snail mail I get, unopened.) But as a message sender, I realized I needed to learn to speak a new marketing language.
As I played around on Twitter, my fascination with information and my love of learning began to kick in and I found myself sharing what I was learning through links in my tweets. Useful things I learned right away included:
* How to write punchy tweets that get people to click on links
* How to quickly find useful information to share
* How to find the best people to follow
* All about retweets and how to get them
* How to use hashtags
* The importance of thanking people
* How important it is to help others on social media
I became slightly obsessed with finding, managing and sharing this information because I enjoyed it and because I knew that everytime I tweeted something useful, my reputation grew.
When I began to realize that social media marketing is all about building individual relationships (something I’d been doing my whole life) I made a concerted effort to have a conversation with at least one person on Twitter every day. And in no time the conversations began to grow naturally.
Then it came time to finally publish my own blog and I was VERY intimidated by the thought of writing for industry professionals. Nevertheless, when I pushed myself to do it I discovered that I had friends on Twitter who would support me. They commented on my posts, retweeted links to my posts and encouraged me every step of the way.
I continue to learn new things everyday on Twitter. Lately I’ve been focusing on optimizing my website and developing a strategy for offline networking. Again Twitter has been there to lead the way and educate me at my own pace. And my Twitter friends continue to spur me to new heights in a field of endeavor that I hadn’t even heard of a year ago.
Business is much better now, but we won’t be going back to our old no-marketing ways. There are just too many possibilities with social media marketing. And, anyway, now I am truly hooked.
About the Author:
Jenise Fryatt is Co-Owner and Marketing Director of Icon Presentations, audio visual for events located in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. Her blog, Sound ‘n Sight offers information on the events industry with an audio visual and social media bent. She is married with two teenagers (one now attends college in Canada) and has a background that includes print & broadcast journalism, PR, theater production and acting.