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What Do High Growth Businesses Do Differently?

Over the past 5 years the importance of the “High Growth Business” and how this relatively small group of businesses disproportionally impa...

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Can Twitter work for the Smaller Business?

When I started using Twitter I had two objectives. One was to see how Twitter functions as a social media marketplace and the other was to get a sense of how smaller businesses could use it as a channel to market.

Despite the hype around it Twitter still seems to me to be a niche product. That is based on the composition of its members. It reminds me of all those speed networking events that were so popular, their limiting factor was that it was predominantly sellers who attended and what we really need is buyers. I don't pretend to suggest that Twitter will die out as speed networking has but it does suffer from this phenomenon of too many sellers.

There are some areas where Twitter is well suited. The B2C environment for one, and there is certainly anecdotal evidence that companies have generated real revenue from Twitter and those providing digital products have found it a regular source of new business. It is however fair to say that this is not a quick win, it does take time and effort to build up a reputation and presence on Twitter. Mostly however its time; for those who are involved in delivering digital services, this is not an issue since using online environments is their natural marketplace. For those offering physical products and services it's a more challenging environment. However, if you're selling into the B2B or SoHo markets then it can still be an effective route. Essentially the fact that you can readily communicate with the decision maker and that the sales process is simple and short means that using Social Media Marketing (SMM) works well and having good visibility on twitter will certainly generate interest.

At the other end of the scale major corporates' have the time and resources to dedicate the man hours necessary to regularly insert their message and build that vital link of trust with their customers and prospects. So you can see many of the worlds largest businesses using Twitter including, Dell, Ford, etc. Dells assertion that it obtained $1million in revenue from Twitter has been well publicised. We must however accept that larger businesses already have an advantage since they've built a level of "trust" around their brand long before Twitter came along and they leverage that advantage further now.

One should not forget also that Twitter is more attractive to business because postings are necessarily short and unlike Facebook, You Tube or MySpace is text based. Interestingly this will make it more readily adopted by the professional in a higher age group and therefore more suited to today's decision makers.

The more difficult question is how "Fred Bloggs of Bloggs Joinery" can use Twitter. B2B business is not necessarily well suited to Twitter and many owner managers don't have the time to devote to develop a network, and quality is still as important as quantity. This is ignoring the import question of whether they "get Twitter" which is likely to be a major hurdle in itself. I have spoken to a number of small business owners who just don't "get it" and have subsequently stopped using it before they really had a chance see what it could do for them. So what options are open to them, well firstly assuming there is sufficient marketplace on Twitter for their product (something that is seriously open to question), they could encourage all their staff to join Twitter and use a collection of voices to build up a following or secondly, outsource. This may seem an extreme step or even heresy in Social Marketing, but to me it's an inevitable consequence of how social marketing works. SMM agencies will naturally develop enormous power simply by having several clients each with several users promoting several products. With that infrastructure its becomes almost inevitable that they would harness all the voices from all the clients to cross promote each new product growing in power and effect each time they add new clients. The next logical step is to dispense with real voices and create surrogate voices after all it's relatively easy to create persona's which people can use as templates. If true it would completely undermine the concept of Social Media Marketing as we know it.

These are surprisingly radical conclusions but supported, I think, by strong logic. I dont presume to know that this is true and I'm looking to you to tell me what do you think? Let me have your thoughts.

Laurence Ainsworth www.exigent-uk.com

Wednesday 18 February 2009

UK/possibly Global - Cambridge Who's Who Invitation A Scam??

I thought I'd share this with you not only as a warning
on a possible scam, and I'll let you decide on that one; 
but also because its explained in such a pleasant 
and engaging way.

Monday 16 February 2009

Latest Social Network Rankings – Worrying Times for MySpace

Compete.com has just released its traffic survey on social networking sites. The biggest climber by far is Twitter shooting up from 22nd in 2008 to 3rd in 2009. Interestingly the biggest looser is Bebo.com dropping 9 places to 14th.

Myspace continues to exhibit a decline having hit a peak in 2007 and fallen 1% in 2008 and a further 13% in 2009. This must be a worrying trend for its owners and suggests, despite its obvious popularity, that it is somehow not meeting the needs of the new internet generation. It may be that it is a victim of its own success and that it has never quite managed to capture the imagination of users outside of the US. This is supported the fact that Facebooks' growth is now almost exclusively driven by users outside the US and its US subscriber numbers has also stagnated. Perhaps more worryingly for MySpace, is its drop in marketshare as a percentage of the top 25 social networking sites from 61% in 2007 to 33% in 2008, which perfectly illustrates that it hasn't enjoyed any of the 61% growth in traffic for the top 25 as a whole.

It clear that MySpace is in a difficult position, and if it doesn't to something soon it will find its position further eroded as other sites enjoy continued growth at its expense.

Find us also at www.exigent-uk.com

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Googles New "AJAX" Search Invalidates All Non Google Keyword Searching

I discovered this article on Twitter. If true it is very worrying and puts Google potentially in the same position as Microsoft vis exploiting its Monopolistic position.

In short if this is being rolled out by Google all non Google analytics programs will be rendered useless. I like many people use non Google sites to look at keyword analysis and keyword searches and its probably the most important items I track.

This article puts it much more sucinctly than I ever could... read the full story @ http://tinyurl.com/c5uv8e

Find us also at www.exigent-uk.com