David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Twitter Success for SOHO Small Business

A lot of small business owners are thinking about social media marketing, but are not sure if or how to do it.  A lot of them have heard about how Twitter tipped the balance in the last US election.  But many business owners still are not sure.

Yesterday I was meeting with a group of SOHO entrepreneurs.  To give you an idea of the crowd, there was…

  • A local real estate agent
  • A local gift catalogue agent (who can sell across Canada)
  • A virtual assistant (Drop me a line if you want her contact info)
  • A local mortgage broker
  • A local home decorator/renovator

Notice the word “local” appears a fair amount?  Can a local business, such as these SOHO folks effectively do social media marketing.

Yes.  I advised them all to sign up for Twitter.

So, without further ado, here is David Leonhardt’s crash course in Twitter for SOHO business.

Pick a smiling avatar.  At networking meetings, you need a firm handshake, a smile and eye connection.  On Twitter and other social networking sites, your smile does all the heavy lifting.

Find people to follow who broadcast good information in you niche, such as links to articles, blog posts, other experts to follow, tools, etc. These people will do almost all the research you’ll need to keep up on new tools, new developments, new resources and more in your field.  Congratulations! You have just hired a research department that won’t even ask to be paid.

If your business is local, follow as many people as possible in your area.  Go to Twellow and search for a location.  Some people will show by country, some by state, some by town, so you’ll want to do multiple searches.  Follow these people, at least long enough to see which ones follow you back.  If your business is not local, you can search by pretty much any criteria.

Remember that anything you type into Twitter will be read by just about anybody.  It’s like a worldwide networking meeting with a microphone over your head, so be tactful and be professional.  On the other hand, Twitter is a medium where people like to know you as a human being, so polite informalities are a plus.

Make sure you are tweeting the right things, things that will advance your reputation and your business. Things that will build credibility. Things that will create opportunities. Things that will attract more people toward you. Sooooo many people tweet the music they are listening to, the food they are eating or preparing, the trouble they have getting out of bed – I suppose they are trying to get intimate and help followers feel like they are right there with them. But so many tweets on those topics make one’s eyes gloss over and reduce your value to the majority of followers (my opinion). Here are a few things you can tweet:

  • Tweet your successes.  That reinforces both what you do and your competence.  This builds your credibility as someone who is effective at what you do. Don’t brag, but do brag just a little.
    Just sold another home.  It was a tough one.  Required extra effort.  Feels good. 
  •  Tweet profound or quick facts that your followers might find interesting.  That also makes people want to keep following you and builds your credibility as a knowledgeable person in your field. 
    56% of Americans never read a nutrition label.  How often do you?
  • Tweet useful resources related to what you do.  That also makes people want to keep following you and pay attention to what you are doing.  It also makes you the person they come to when they need advice, which might lead to business for you.
    Helpful guide to pre-workout stretching here: [URL] 
  • Occasionally – very occasionally – ask for clients.  Why not?  A little self-promotion is accepted by most people.  And if you lose three followers and gain one client, it’s worth it.
    Booked until end of March.  Know anyone needing party planning  in April or May?
  • Ask questions.  This is a great way to do research and make yourself more knowledgeable about the market. This tends to work best when you have a large number of followers.
    Trade-in of keep it running – what are your car plans for the next few months?


Use Twitter to network, but if you start an in-depth conversation (which is good), take it off-tweet.  Phone, email or even Twitters DM (direct message) feature are preferable.  Your other followers don’t want to be bombarded by one side of a conversation they are not party to.

Remember that in all social situations, it helps if you give first.  People give to helpful people, so send ideas, referrals and pats on the back to people following you.

There are also tools that can make Twitter more effective, but not really useful for a newbie.  If you start getting really into Twitter and find you are following too many people, download TweetDeck and set up groups of people you wish to follow.  For instance, you can set up a group of most important prospects that will appear in one column (so that you never miss the chance to respond to their tweets) and a group of your industry idols whose information you don’t want to miss.

Should a local SOHO business be on Twitter?  Yes.  You can do a year’s worth of networking in a week.  You can find leads, referrals and clients.  You get an instant research team.  Go for it!

P.S.  You can follow David Leonhardt on Twitter or retweet this post to your Twitter followers.

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12 Responses to “Twitter Success for SOHO Small Business”

  1. wilson (40 comments) Says:

    Honestly, David. I didn't hear the "Twellow" thing before! Do we need to pay for becoming the member of Twellow?

  2. David Leonhardt (140 comments) Says:

    Twellow is free. I have used it many times.

  3. Allen Lemoine (1 comments) Says:

    This is very useful info. This is just what I needed to learn how to market on Twitter XD

  4. Amy Grave (1 comments) Says:

    David , I have to agree this is very useful, and will be incorporating into my plans,
    Thank you

  5. Online Shopping (10 comments) Says:

    Twitter is a good way to socialize.Not only joining twitter small business should also join other power socializing accounts to widen their mailing list.

  6. Design Ireland (1 comments) Says:

    This is the direction the entire economy is going, better jump on in now.

  7. tyler (3 comments) Says:

    ahh..you gave me ideas to add to my consulting bag of tricks. =)

  8. Tim Andren (1 comments) Says:

    Good social media advice for beginners. Small business owners need prescriptive marketing steps to follow so they're not swept up in the random noise of the Twitter stream.

  9. SEO Shawn (1 comments) Says:

    In the beginning i was a bit, skeptic, about twitter, driving traffic into your site, or for that matter, increasing your sales, or profit, but once i fully understood how it works, and its potential, I couldnt stop tweeting. LOL, Btw, your post, shows the step by step creation and setting up of an account, and how easy it is. Great!

  10. maxgxl team (1 comments) Says:

    Twitter is fast, free and simple way to get immediate results for your online business… You can increase your traffic today, and reap the benefits quickly…. Use the search feature to find like-minded people across the world… Use it to find people who may not possess the same talents as you, but complement your talents….

  11. Growing Business (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for sharing your views by giving special focus on twitter. Yeah, twitter has some excellent features which makes it unique.

  12. hummingbird twitter (2 comments) Says:

    Tip* to deliver updated content daily on twitter, you can utilize a news aggregator or RSS feed, you can as well post at planned times during the day. The maximum tweets you should post daily should be between 2 and 4. 5 or more per day is overkill.

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