On a recent Indie Business Radio, I interviewed Shel Israel, author of Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods. At his Twitter profile, Shel describes himself simply as, “Writer, speaker, nice guy.” He's also a social media journalist, a public speaker and has contributed to Fast Company, Business Week and the Down Jones Company.
Shel is a longstanding and energetic user of Twitter to collaborate and share information. In his book and during our interview, he recounted stories of ordinary businesspeople who use Twitter to get closer to their customers. Here are some of the most valuable tips he shared during the show.
- Little Tweets, Big Opportunities. Shel reminded us that Twitter “reduces geography” for everyone who uses it. Especially for business owners, Twitter negates the would-be advantage of “big” and allows tiny businesses to engage customers all over the world. Shel said that small businesses have been “drowned out” most every other way, and Twitter helps to level the playing field.
In light of yesterdays' announcements about the new indexing agreements between Twitter, FaceBook, Google and Bing, I am excited about the passion with which Shel makes this important point.
- Skip A Website. If Twitter is as important as Shel says it is, then it is also important for small and independent business owners to have tools that connect with it in useful ways. Shel addresses this point directly by advising startups to skip the website and join a conversation.
Shel said that websites are “static, expensive, time consuming and you can't use them to learn and engage.” They are one-directional, says Shel, and that minimizes their usefulness overall as a marketing tool.
- Employ “Mass Micro-Marketing”. Shel defines “mass micro-marketing” as a kind of marketing where the brand is identified to a person instead of to a logo. He notes that big businesses are (finally) catching up to the notion that up close and personal is better. Of course, small businesses have known this forever.
In response to those who say that using Twitter is just “frittering away time,” Shel says that time spent getting as close to your customers is never “frittering.” Says Shel (and as a mom, I love this!), “You have to go online because that's where your customers are. Talk to your kids to see proof.”
I say “Bravo!” to that! How much more of an incentive do you need if you are setting up your business for long-term success??!
Listen to the Show
Learn more of Shel's tips wherever it's convenient for you. You can download the entire show on iTunes (search on Indie Business). You can also stream it or download it at my radio show website, where you can also pick up a copy of Shel's book. If you like where you are right now, simply click on the link at the bottom of this post to listen right now! It's a great way to digest useful information while you work.
Click here to enjoy the companion newsletter for this show. The newsletter features the story of how IBN member Marge Clark owns and manages her thriving aromatherapy business. In the story, Marge shares some of her tips and recommendations for being successful in business, and also shares a bit about her products, including numerous exclusive aromatherapy blends.
Coming Up Next Week!
Coming up on October 26 at 1:00pm EST on Indie Business Radio: Marc Warnke, author of ONO, Options Not Obligations: Enrich Your Personal Life by Rethinking Your Financial Life stops by to share how to enrich your personal life by rethinking your financial one.
See you then!