50 CentWhile the hip-hop world ponders over their love-hate relationship with 50 Cent, he´s busy making money.

Earlier this month, 50 Cent (born Curtis James Jackson III ) made a reported $8.7 million in one day using Twitter.

The rap entrepreneur used his Twitter account to promote the publicly traded H&H Imports, Inc., of which he owns 30 million shares. His used his Twitter account, which has 3.8 million followers, to urge fans to invest in the company. This raised the company’s stock price from .10 to .39 per share. His followers purchased $50 million worth of the penny stocks, earning the New York-based rapper $8.7 million from those exchanges.
 
“Entrepreneurs can pick up a trick or two from 50`s Twitter escapade,” says Laura Ciocia, Senior Digital Strategist at Everywhere (www.beeverywhere.tv), who has worked with brands like Lexus, Macy’s and Qualcomm to develop and implement social media policy and strategy. 

“It [Twitter] absolutely can be a real business tool when used thoughtfully and strategically. More than half of Fortune 100 companies are using Twitter as part of their marketing/PR/Customer service efforts,” she notes, adding that what worked for 50 might not work for every businessperson. “But it’s important to note that what works for 50 isn’t necessarily going to work for the average business or brand. There isn’t a blueprint or a one-size-fits-all approach and that’s part of what can be intimidating to small business owners about the space. Businesses large and small, have to determine what’s going to resonate most with their consumers and that likely has nothing to do with what works for 50 Cent and his brand.”

The fact that 50 has so many followers reading his Tweets is a major plus for the celebrity. “50 is a bit of an anomaly in terms of the influence he wields and the sheer number of fans he is able to reach,” notes Ciocia. “I’d say the biggest takeaway for a small business owner is to take full advantage of the creativity that social media allows. Measured risks are the key to determining what will really resonate with your customers and yield the biggest return and that’s exactly what 50 did in this most recent stunt. 50 also shows a lot of commitment to the space and to engaging directly with his fans. He’s nurtured a captive community so that when the time comes for a big announcement or product launch, he’s got an army of loyal fans ready and willing to respond accordingly.”

So just how can using social media add to your company´s bottom line? It can be relatively easy, says Ciocia, adding that to stay current company´s need to take advantage of new social media platforms. “From the standpoint of long term ROI, social media can play a critical role in helping a business increase awareness, improve brand perception, increase brand loyalty, obtain customer insights and optimize the customer service experience,” she explains. “Social media can also be directly linked to sales growth assuming the appropriate tracking mechanisms are tied to a campaign. Dell, for example, directly attributes over $6 million of it’s  revenue to Twitter alone. And with over 80% of Americans using social media in one form or another, the question has really become, can businesses afford NOT to participate?”

But use social media strategically, advises Ciocia. “Brands need to be most concerned with figuring out what will be most compelling to their own communities vs. trying to duplicate what may have worked for a competitor. Customers are more savvy than ever and can spot inauthenticity a mile away. And contrary to popular belief, social media doesn’t thrive on short term stunts or copycat campaigns,” she points out. “The brands who are most successful in social media have committed to a long term, sustainable and active presence based largely on the needs/wants of their customers. “