We’re excited and honored to have the brilliant Melinda Emerson be part of theVerizon Webinar Series this coming Wednesday, October 10. Click here (or go to http://vz.to/PJOzoC) to register today for our live free webinar featuring Melinda on Oct. 10th as she shares tips on, “How to Become a Twitter Ninja.”
As the final installment of our celebration of National Women in Small Business Month, Melinda (@SmallBizLady) will walk us through some advanced techniques for using Twitter to grow your brand.
Recently, Forbes named Melinda the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts a weekly live Twitter chat at #Smallbizchat and is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.
Melinda (ME) agreed to answer some mostly Twitter-related questions in advance of her presentation next week.
1. What are your thoughts on organic growth versus paid follows?
ME: Organic growth is authentic growth. If you pay for followers or fans your will never be able to monetize your online influence. Take the time to build a real following; that’s the only way to build a lasting brand.
2. What can someone expect as a reasonable time commitment to do it right, that is to employ all the tips and tricks effectively while building a presence and a following?
ME: It took me 18 months of steady work sharing valuable content online before I was noticed and taken seriously as a small business authority. Many of the other big names in social media have shared similar time frames. Social media marketing is a long-tail strategy. It is not going to start raining money in your business the minute you start using Twitter.
3. What are your thoughts on scheduling tweets – usually sales offers or upcoming deadlines/events – to repeat at intervals?
ME: I am a firm believer in scheduling tweets. I even wrote a recent blog post about it in my New York Times column, “How Many Times Can You Tweet the Same Tweet?”
You can build a social media empire by using twitter one hour each day. The trick is checking in on your account several times a day to respond to people and build personal relationships. Engagement is the key to really leveraging Twitter. People love to be acknowledged.
4. What are your top three favorite tweet management tools?
ME: In terms of managing my social media marketing, I love Hootsuite and Sprout Social, and I use TweetGrid to manage my live tweetchat #Smallbizchat each week.
5. Where did the idea for #Smallbizchat come from? How long have you been doing it? What topic has gotten you your highest attendance?
ME: When I first started using Twitter I noticed @PRSarahEvans was doing #journchat for PR professionals and journalist to share ideas. I thought the idea could work well for small business owners. There were a few other chats that targeted small business owners, but they were not run very well. My background is a TV producer so creating a structured conversation that would help small businesses with their biggest challenges was pretty easy.
I treat #Smallbizchat like a TV show that I do live on Twitter each Wednesday from 8-9pm ET. I book a guest expert and interview them live, and the audience jumps in with follow-up questions. It is basically a peer to peer mentoring program. I also publish the full Q&A session every Thursday morning on my blog, so that anyone who missed can still get the information. I’ve been doing #Smallbizchat for three and a half years. The biggest guests that I’ve hosted were Guy Kawasaki, Michael Gerber, and Alexis Maybank, co-founder of the Gilt Groupe.
6. What’s the funniest, most interesting, or rewarding experience you’ve had when engaging your Twitter followers?
ME: One of the funniest experiences I ever had on Twitter happened when I saw some people talking about the top rappers of all time. I am a huge hip-hop and old school rap music enthusiast, so I decided to chime in on the conversation with my picks. It really caught people off guard. About a dozen people started tweeting, “Wait a minute @SmallBizLady likes hip-hop??” Apparently my followers were surprised to learn this and had a good time joking with me about it. I told them they might not want to challenge me in karaoke hip-hop battle either.
I regularly have rewarding experiences on Twitter from fans who read my blog or have read my book, telling me how much my writing has helped them. Some even accused me of reading their minds as I select blog topics. Twitter is such a wonderful community to be a part of online.
Want even more insights from Melinda? Click here (or go to http://vz.to/PJOzoC) to register today for our live free webinar featuring Melinda on Oct. 10th as she shares tips on, “How to Become a Twitter Ninja.” Visit http://succeedasyourownboss.com/ to learn more about Melinda and about how to start your own business.
Feel free to post any questions about Twitter that you may have for Melinda. Is your business on Twitter? If yes, send us a shout out (@VZSmallBiz)! If you’re not using Twitter to engage with your customers, why not?
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