interesting piece at Mashablethat highlights nine businesses succeeding on Twitter, and offers examples of how each is doing social media right.

Now, these are big corporations, with big-time marketing budgets. Of course they should be able to do it right. Right?

But how does it apply to your small/medium business? Well, for each company mentioned, there are a couple of “takeaway lessons” listed. We’re going to look at them.

We aren’t going to mention the company names… we want you to see that large corporations and small businesses need to learn the same lessons when it comes to social media. And the most successful, large and small, are already putting their knowledge into practice.

Let’s study that list of “takeaway lessons”:

 

  • Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry.” Showcase the people and personalities behind your company.
  • Bring your brand’s personality to life with multimedia. Have fun with your followers.
  • Authentically engage with celebrities. With much larger followings than most brands, celebrities can easily influence your brand and follower count on Twitter.
  • Everyone loves a good deal. Use contests and offers to drive excitement about your brand.
  • Twitter’s not about you, it’s about your audience. Figure out what your audience wants to hear about and tweet it.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously on Twitter. Accelerate the positive comments and embrace the negative ones.
  • If your customers use your product or service outside of business hours, figure out a way to be responsive on Twitter whenever they need help.
  • Not every brand can be quite as much fun on Twitter as ___, but we can all learn to lighten up a little, ask questions and give away free stuff.
  • Find Twitter chats to join by using hashtags. Consider starting and hosting your own Twitter chats on a regular basis.

The Mashable aricle names all the companies who prove the above advice. And they’ve got a fancy slide-show and everything. You can go read the whole thing. But we believe that what big-budget corporations and small-to-medium businesses really need to know boils down to the same simple lesson we’ve been teaching all along.

That’s right. Engage your customers.

Everything on that list… every “takeaway lesson” from the big, successful companies… every piece of advice we have offered… it all boils down to the same thing – engage your customers.

Make them smile. Heck, make ’em laugh if you can. Ask questions. Answer questions. Respond to their input, positive and negative. Learn about them. Find out what they want. Show them the personality behind the profile. Get them involved. It’s called “social” media for a reason.

Give us a call. We can help.