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Russell Allert 18th August 2011 08:02 PM

Social Media - What Do You Want To Know?
Hey All

I have been reading this forum for a while now and I would love to get your feedback on something I am working on.

I am about to start writing a free eBook on social media and social marketing for small and micro business owners who are just starting out with social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

I would love some insight into what small business owners, and people in general, struggle with.

What are you unsure about? What do you want more practical help with?

To give you some background, this eBook will be a free give-away when I launch my social media/marketing blog some time in the next few weeks.

The goal of the eBook (and the site) is to make social media and marketing easier for time-poor small business owners by giving free practical advice.

Cheers! And thanks for your imput in advance.

Russell Allert
You can find me on Twitter: @RussellAllert

Mike.Bean 22nd August 2011 12:07 PM

A great subject would be how to gain followers starting with nothing, no mailing lists, no e-mails, no ad's. Just gaining followers from the ground up organically.

Russell Allert 22nd August 2011 05:01 PM

A great idea there, Mike!

I have done this with Twitter and Facebook, which is both fun and challenging. It does matter a lot on the type of business you have, but there are some general ways you can kick-start a social network account.

I agree that this is a resource that many would find useful.

Thanks for the input - it's really appreciated.

Russell Allert

andrewjohn1 23rd August 2011 05:34 AM

Interesting and useful topic.... Currently i want to start to use twitter for my business. For Twitter, how do you attract the right crowd? For example, I am in the service business. How do I attract people to visit my site and contact me for my services ? How can i generate lead to potential business for me?

Russell Allert 23rd August 2011 05:57 PM

Hi Andrew

Thanks heaps for your question. It is always hard starting out. I will definitely be taking yours and Mike's comments on-board. It is starting to look like a lot of people are looking for a "how to get started" guide to social media.

Until I get something written and published, I hope the following may help you (and Mike) with Twitter.

Starting Out On Twitter
To put it simply, you need to give people a reason to follow you.

This can be done is a variety of ways, but from a small business perspective you really want to become a person or business that people go to when they want information about your industry.

Think about it as world of mouth on a broad scale. But do keep in mind that this can, and probably will, take time.

The first practical thing to do after signing up for Twitter is to fill in all your details. Put a picture up of you (I would recommend this over a logo), fill in the profile section - you only have 140 characters so make them count and explain exactly what you do), and set your location.

The next thing to do is to find people to follow. Don’t just follow anyone. You want to find people who share your interests and that of your business.

There are several ways to do this, but depending on your business you could use to find people in the same industry, use Twitter’s (newly upgraded) search at, (use their advance search features),, and there are many others as well.

I would also recommend using Twitter Lists. When you find someone who is worth following and they have been listed in Twitter Lists then click through to those lists to see if anyone else in the lists would be worth following as well.

This can take a little time but it will be worth it.

Once you start following people of interest you should be doing the following:
  • Re-Tweeting their interesting tweets - this will make them happy and get you on their radar.
  • Tweeting your own relevant thoughts and comments - make them as helpful and precise as possible
  • Linking to online articles and news stories related to your industry - Add context and commentary to each link.
  • Comment on others tweets
  • Always thank people for following you and Re-Tweeting your tweets

Always remember that you should tweet often and consistently. That doesn’t mean you need to be on Twitter all day, everyday - simply get yourself a third-party Twitter client (I use Hootsuite -, but many others are available) and spend 15-30 minutes scheduling your Tweets throughout the day. Then simply check in every so often for replies, re-tweets, etc.

That should be enough to get you started. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions. :)

Russell Allert

Ted GWL 23rd August 2011 08:37 PM

I think it would be interesting to see a social media expert start from scratch as has been previously mentioned. But, it would be more interesting if that person ran a blog that publicly stated the goals that they set out to accomplish. Then have that person detail every step of the way as they build up a Twitter account with x number of targeted followers. Each time they got a new follower they should update a blog post to say how they got each follower and why.

You could break it up by writing summaries for each week.

Then list the exact specific things that were done that resulted in getting them.

Don't generalize. Be incredibly specific for each given situation.

Say things like , I retweeted this tweet by soandso. 3 hours later ee thanked me for the ReTweet and started following me.

Being incredibly transparent every step of the way would be valuable.

Johndiv23 23rd August 2011 09:20 PM

getting my business known in the internet is my biggest struggle. I've been doing some SEO and i've been getting traffic every now and then.

Russell Allert 23rd August 2011 10:00 PM

Hi Ted

I definitely know where you are coming from - specific information is definitely more useful than generic guidelines. I think sometimes though that the more specific you get the more businesses you alienate, as not every tactic or strategy works for every business.

Having said that, I want to be as practical and as specific as I can with my soon-to-be-launched blog, mainly because I think that too many other blogs out there are way too generic with their advice.

I will definitely think further on your idea, Ted. I think something could certainly be built that is close to what you are after.

If you want some help with something let me know and I can see what I can do.

Russell Allert
Find me on Twitter: @RussellAllert

Russell Allert 23rd August 2011 10:03 PM


Originally Posted by Johndiv23 (Post 150309)
getting my business known in the internet is my biggest struggle. I've been doing some SEO and i've been getting traffic every now and then.

Hi John

My area of expertise is in social media and social networking so I may leave this to the SEO Experts out there.

One thing I will say however, is that blogging (on your own blog or other people's blogs - that is, guest blogging) is a great way to increase visitors and SEO.

Russell Allert
Find me on Twitter: @RussellAllert

dr1ven 24th August 2011 12:23 AM

Nice post about twitter. Waiting for a similar post about Facebook Fan Pages. ;)

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