@YSmallBusiness Online Marketing Twitter Chat Recap

    By owenl | Small Business

    We hosted a live chat on Twitter yesterday to discuss the topic of online marketing in general and the new Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard in particular. It was hosted by @SmallBizLady, aka Melinda Emerson, host of #SmallBizChat, Author of the book, "Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months"

    We compiled the highlights of the chat into the following transcript. The only changes have been omissions and a few corrections of typos to improve clarity. We also made a Twitter list of all the active participants which you can subscribe to here:!/YSmallBusiness/ydashboard-chat.

    Chat questions and answers

    @SmallBizLady 12:29pm
    Good afternoon everyone and thanks so much for joining us for the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard Tweet Chat!

    @SmallBizLady 12:32pm
    Q1 What are some techniques to attract new customers?

    @YSmallBusiness 12:32pm
    @SmallBizLady is the author of Become Your Own Boss and blogger of Succeed As Your Own Boss.

    @SmallBizLady 12:32pm
    A1 The tools that I find to be most useful for attracting new customers are blogging and using social media.

    @SmallBizLady 12:33pm
    A1b When you position your business with an authoritative blog you will attract customers to you.

    @SmallBizLady 12:33pm
    A1c Your blog should already show that you are qualified to solve your customers business challenge.

    @SmallBizLady 12:35pm
    RT @YSmallBusiness: One Q1 answer. 4 Cost-Effective Tips to Get More Customer Leads for Your Business

    @MarcREnriquez 12:36pm
    A1a No matter how attractive your product/service is, people may not be ready to buy right now.

    @AlexSocialMedi1 12:36pm
    @SmallBizLady I actually think social media is more important at this point, especially if there is good interaction.

    @SmallBizLady 12:37pm
    @AlexSocialMedi1 I agreee totally.

    @MarcREnriquez 12:37pm
    A1b You must therefore put out educational content to alert prospects to the nature/severity of their issues.

    @SmallBizLady 12:37pm
    Q2 What tools generate the most customers for you?

    @YSmallBusiness 1:05pm
    A2. more tips Managing Your Reputation is the New Key to Customer Service

    @MarcREnriquez 12:38pm
    A1c As well as content to describe ways to solve those issues - this develops interest in solutions.

    @SmallBizLady 12:39pm
    A2 I have found the best results in using Twitter and LinkedIn to find customers with Facebook being the third option.

    @SmallBizLady 12:39pm
    A2b Writing guest blogs on other high profile websites also is a big help.

    @MarcREnriquez 12:39pm
    A1d By offering valuable knowledge before trying to sell, you become a trusted advisor to your market.

    @AlexSocialMedi1 12:41pm
    @SmallBizLady Most of my projects are local, and Facebook is the best for that, in my opinion.

    @SmallBizLady 12:41pm
    Q3 How have you optimized your website for the search engines?

    @MarcREnriquez 12:42pm
    A2a The key to having #marketing efforts pay off is having a SYSTEM to convert prospects > leads > clients.

    @MarcREnriquez 12:42pm
    A2b Everything else you do - #socialmedia,#publicity, #directmail, etc. - simply feeds your system.

    @SmallBizLady 12:42pm
    A3 I use the WordPress platform for my blog which has built in SEO functionality

    @YSmallBusiness 12:43pm
    30% of US Small Businesses need help identifying the right keywords.

    @YSmallBusiness 1:05pm
    Q3 answer from YSB advisor - the single BEST way to optimize SEO is to provide great content for your clients and customers

    @easton_place 12:43pm
    @SmallBizLady hi all! Jumping in while I can :) A2: Social media is a wonderful tool IMO

    @harriscommerce 12:43pm
    A3: It's good to incorporate key search terms that also help describe your services.

    @YSmallBusiness 1:05pm
    Q3 answer. Online Marketing Revolves Around Your Reputation

    @SmallBizLady 12:44pm
    A3b I use Scribe to get keyword suggestions for each blog post to increase the searchability of my website

    @MarcREnriquez 12:44pm
    A3 WordPress w/ SEO and #socialmedia plugins help a great deal - but it's the content that draws visitors to you.

    @easton_place 12:44pm
    @SmallBizLady Agreed! Twitter is top if the list.

    @harriscommerce 12:45pm
    A3: It's good to incorporate key search terms that also help describe your services within your website content.

    @YSmallBusiness 12:46pm
    The Free Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard makes it easy to understand what keywords are driving traffic

    @SmallBizLady 12:48pm
    Q4 What are the best sources of leads for a small business?

    @MarcREnriquez 12:48pm
    A3b As important as SEO and content are - make sure your site is also "CRO'd" - Conversion Rate Optimized

    @MarcREnriquez 12:49pm
    A4a In general, best source of leads is referrals from existing clients. They come at least partly pre-sold

    @harriscommerce 12:50pm
    A4: State contracting websites have been helpful leads!

    @SmallBizLady 12:50pm
    RT @LoisMarketing: The best sources of leads for a small business? << Referrals from existing customers/clients

    @MarcREnriquez 12:51pm
    A4b But even referred leads aren't necessarily ready to buy - make sure you have a nurture system in place.

    @SmallBizLady 12:51pm
    Q5 Do you use analytics to determine where your website traffic is coming from?

    @easton_place 12:51pm
    @SmallBizLady A4: Best leads always come from referrals. Happy clients = return clients & quality referrals & leads :)

    @MarcREnriquez 12:51pm
    A4c And unless you know how to REALLY leverage them, it's a bad idea to buy leads generated by someone else.

    @SmallBizLady 12:52pm
    A5 Since my blog is my business, I look at the analytics of my blog and#Smalbizchat from Twitter each week.

    @SmallBizLady 12:52pm
    A5b We use Google Analytics and to pull the data.

    @SmallBizLady 12:52pm
    The Free Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard makes it easy to understand what keywords are driving traffic

    @MarcREnriquez 12:53pm
    A5 I use WordPress referral data as well as Google Analytics.

    @SmallBizLady 12:54pm
    A5c I also use @ZimanaAnalytics to produces analytics reports with a summary and suggestions of what we need to adjust.

    @YSmallBusiness 12:54pm
    .@SmallBizLady the free Marketing Dashboard seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics:

    @YSmallBusiness 1:04pm
    Q5. The Path To Recommendation — What Every Small Business Needs to Know

    @harriscommerce 12:52pm
    A5: Have not yet utilized analytics for SEO traffic; I know it's needed but it seems overwhelming.

    @MarcREnriquez 12:55pm
    @harriscommerce Unless you're willing to hire it out - you're gonna have to make time to learn it. #Analytics are vital.

    @SmallBizLady 12:55pm
    Q6 How do you use email to engage your audience (newsletters, special offers, etc.)?

    @Zigginnators 12:57pm
    @SmallBizLady I use it for links to other info, keep them up to date on company happenings and to give special offers

    @MarcREnriquez 12:57pm
    A6a Email (and even PRINT) newsletters are VITAL - but to be engaging they have to do MORE than be salesy.

    @SmallBizLady 12:57pm
    A6 Email is really the only way to monetize social media.

    @MarcREnriquez 12:58pm
    A6b You need to produce content that not only informs but also entertains, and shares personality.

    @SmallBizLady 12:58pm
    A6b I'm a big social media user, but I can't do business unless I have my customer's contact information.

    @contentwithlane 12:58pm
    A5: We use Google Analytics and HubSpot for Analytics.

    @MarcREnriquez 12:58pm
    A6c If you aim for "Pass Along Value" (meaning it makes readers want to share) - you're doing it right.

    @SmallBizLady 1:00pm
    A6c I have several ways to engage my web visitors to give their contact information: free downloads, blog sign-up, giveaways

    @easton_place 1:00pm
    @SmallBizLady A6: Monthly newsletter with or without special offers. Always a follow up email a week after product received:)

    @MarcREnriquez 1:01pm
    A6d FYI, most people aren't interested in *another* newsletter, so entice subscribers w/ free content.

    @YSmallBusiness 1:03pm
    Branding Through Social Media Profiles | Profit Minded - Yahoo! Small Business Advisor

    @MarcREnriquez 1:04pm
    A6e Also, paid newsletter/continuity programs = high perceived value = high readership & purchase frequency.

    @SmallBizLady 1:05pm
    Q7 How do you entice customers to sign up for your mailing list?

    @harriscommerce 1:07pm
    A7: Build quick sign-ups by offering a teaser to the prospective subscriber. Engage them to keep them wanting more.

    @MarcREnriquez 1:08pm
    A7a Most service businesses can offer a free report or content related to what they do.

    @MarcREnriquez 1:09pm
    A7b #Retail businesses are often unsure what to offer to entice subscription. Doesn't have to be coupons.

    @MarcREnriquez 1:10pm
    A7c #Retail biz can ALSO offer variety of reports related to things to do w/ what they sell.

    @MarcREnriquez 1:10pm
    A7d So the grocer can offer recipes, and the hobby shop can offer model painting tips.

    @SmallBizLady 1:11pm
    A7 Offering a free quote is a great way to get contact information as well.

    @YSmallBusiness 1:12pm
    Ten tweeting tips for small businesses | Profit Minded - Yahoo! Small Business Advisor

    @SmallBizLady 1:12pm
    Q8 Do any of you use online directories or local online business lists?

    @YSmallBusiness 1:14pm
    Small businesses say online directories are the marketing option they use most now and are most likely to use in next 12 months

    @YSmallBusiness 1:17pm
    The free Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard gathers ratings, reviews, mentions from up to 8K sources:

    @contentwithlane 1:17pm
    A8 @SmallBizLady Yes, I used when I first started.

    @SmallBizLady 1:18pm
    Q9 What are some ways you get customers to write reviews for your biz online?

    @YSmallBusiness 1:18pm
    How does online data affect your biz's rep? 83% of consumers say online reviews influence their perceptions about companies

    @MarcREnriquez 1:19pm
    A8 Get listed in as many directories as possible - provides citations to search engines' local listings.

    @consultlisainks 1:19pm
    @radiantcosmetic I am more likely to sign up for a free eBook than newsletter.

    @YSmallBusiness 1:20pm
    According to eMarketer, 8 of 10 Web users said negative info online made them change their mind about purchase decisions

    @consultlisainks 1:20pm
    I just ask and provide a link. RT @SmallBizLady: Q9 What are some ways you get customers to write reviews for your biz online?

    @SmallBizLady 1:21pm
    A9 Within 7 days after a purchase send ur customer an email with a link to ur yelp page to ask them for a review. Make it easy!

    @MarcREnriquez 1:21pm
    A9 One favorite review-gettin' strategy: Offer monthly raffle entries for people who write reviews.

    @harriscommerce 1:21pm
    A9: Convey to customers to allow your company to remedy any concerns so that any review posted is positive.

    @WithinEssence 1:23pm
    @YSmallBusiness @consultlisainks @radiantcosmetic Same here! I love e-books

    @easton_place 1:23pm
    A9: I ask them when I send the follow up email or handwritten letter. A happy client is thrilled to give a review/feedback!

    @harriscommerce 1:24pm
    A9b: Having an excellent/high/good rating is esp important on eBay and sellers include that request in the product listing.

    @YSmallBusiness 1:28pm
    Try the Dashboard to discover lead gen opps. 1 mo free of Rep Mgmt Quarterly w/ the code DASHREP1MO.

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