Exciting Developments at Root Orange

We’ve listened to a lot of customer feedback and are in the process of developing a new product – a twist on our current offering – that will pique the interest of small businesses and SEM professionals alike.  In an era of performance-based marketing, it is important that we price our products in a competitive manner that makes sense to everyone.

I won’t spill the beans just yet because we are limiting our initial customer base while we perfect the system.   On the SEM front, we’re confident our product will be a hit with small businesses, SEM shops like OrangeSoda that serve them, and niche shops like LegalSEM that operate in the legal marketing sphere.  Please reach out to us via email if you would like to learn more and participate in our beta trial.



How Small Businesses Can Use Twitter’s Business Center

Twitter has begun to test what they call the “Twitter Business Center.” Currently, it is only available to a few users, but Twitter will gradually roll it out to all accounts.

Some of the key features as of now are:

  1. Customizable page contents
  2. Verified account pages
  3. Extra preferences
  4. Ability to add contributors

Maybe the biggest caveat is that businesses can receive direct messages from anyone on the service, even from users they do not follow!  This allows for a much more free flow of communication between businesses and potential customers.

Here is a preview:

Once activated, a business’ account is automatically verified.  This signals a move by Twitter to offer certain aspects of the platform to brands and organizations, not just individual users.
Interesting to note is the “Contributors” tab, which gives organizations the ability to add multiple users to a certain business account so that they have the ability to tweet on its behalf.

So what does this mean for small businesses?

The ability to accept direct messages from any follower, even those they are not following, allows organizations to better engage. Businesses can elicit feedback from any follower as well as perform customer service more easily.  In addition, with the introduction of the “contributors” tab, businesses can now have several employees tweeting on behalf of the organization – this gives the organization a greater deal of versatility and flexibility.It will be interesting to see how this impacts businesses as Twitter begins to roll out its Business Center to more and more accounts. It is definitely a sign that Twitter is making the push to become a more viable business platform, one which businesses should utilize to their advantage!

How To Use Twitter & Blogging for Lead Generation in a Small Business

By Dan Nieves

Blogs and Twitter can be a great way for your small business to increase leads. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing has the potential to bring more leads for less money. Small and medium-sized business have the opportunity to level the playing field with some of the big guys by strengthening their online presence. The focal point of social media is engagement and by regularly adding blog posts and content on Twitter, you can do just that. Another value add of frequent blogging and tweeting is that it can boost rankings on search engines such as Google. By having a more visible presence online and engaging the community comes the potential to increase your customer base.

So Why Tweet & Blog?

  1. Engagement. Both Tweeting and Blogging provide an excellent means to become engaged online.
  2. Drive Traffic. Tweeting can help drive traffic to your organization’s website and company blog (then your blog can help position your organization as a knowledgeable and valuable resource…a 1-2 punch!)
  3. Build search engine presence. More blog content means more pages indexed on major search engines like Google. The more pages your organization has, the better the odds of someone coming across your business. And with search engines now including real-time results, tweeting can give you another opportunity to increase your online presence.
  4. Lead generation. The numbers don’t lie, SMBs who are tweeting and blogging are generating more leads, some cases nearly double the amount.

Let’s take a look an interesting graph on the effect of Twitter usage:

Effect of Twitter Usage on Median Number of Monthly Leads Among B2C SMBs in North America, by Number of Employees, December 2009-February 2010As you can see, those SMBs that were using Twitter had nearly twice as many monthly leads as those who were not using Twitter. If used correctly, Twitter can be a vital tool in lead generation. Twitter can be great for highlighting services and products your business offers, relevant articles to your industry and simple, engaging conversation. With that being said, it can be just the tool your business needs to compliment your marketing and drive potential leads to your business.

According to eMarketer, companies with 100-500 followers on Twitter generated 146% more median monthly leads than those with 21 to 100 followers. Beyond the 500 mark, there was no further gain. It is quality and not quantity when it comes to Twitter followers, so seek to create a loyal and engaged following. Furthermore, Tweeting can be another means of spreading the word about your business by growing search engine presence, Google for example, as they now pick up real-time results.

In addition, blogging also has been found to increase monthly median leads. Companies who blog regularly were found to have nearly double the amount of monthly leads than those who did not blog. A key factor to remember is that blog content must be added regularly in order to keep visitors engaged and coming back to your site. Frequent, pertinent blog content demonstrates credibility and can allow you to position your organization as a valuable resource.  People buy from people they trust, so start by being a trusted resource.

Blogs are a great means to be engaged as well as an outstanding way to increase brand awareness. Regular blog content can help companies increase the number of pages they have indexed by major search engines such as Google and Bing.  The more you blog, the greater the opportunity for someone to come across your company. According to HubSpot, organizations that have more pages indexed on Google tended to generate more leads.

Is your small business tweeting and blogging? If not, start ASAP!

How Small Businesses Can Use Google’s Tools for Online Success

Google Launches a Small Business Toolbox: “Tools for Online Success”

Google has long been interested in further engaging small business owners and took another step by introducing a new web page: “Tools for Online Success.”  The new site offers tips and advice on how to be successful online, and word on the street is that is has the support of the U.S. government as well (the U.S. Small Business Administration). Both the Google logo and the U.S. Small Business Administration logo appear on the page.

Let’s take a look at the page:

Again, you can see the partnership between Google and the Small Business Administration at the top of the page. Each tab will have a video of a small business owner offering advice on how they used the internet to help their business.

Some of the topics highlighted include:
  1. Establishing Your Online Presence
  2. Promote Using Free Online Marketing
  3. Measure Results With Web Analytics
  4. Engaging Customers With A Website

Though not a direct sell by Google, they hope to get more small business owners on board with Google tools by introducing this new online toolbox.

How can a small business owner benefit?

The opportunity to learn online marketing best practices from other small business owners could be extremely helpful in growing your business…plus it comes at a great price: free! The variety of topics that the toolbox covers offers a solid look at many of the key tactics in being successful with online marketing.  Everyone is now online so the need to have effective online marketing is greater than ever for small businesses looking to level the playing field.  The Internet can provide the stage to compete with some of the big players if the small business owner knows how to use online marketing tools to their advantage.

The new online marketing toolbox is a win for small business owners, so check it out.  You never know what you could learn that takes your small business to the next level!