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how to use twitter as a marketing tool

By August 14, 2008December 31st, 2008How To, Networking

“I get most of this stuff, but I still don’t understand this Twitter thing.” Seriously, if I hear that one more time today. There is also the concern that not much can be accomplished in 140 characters…hah! Here’s how I recommend that you make Twitter work for you and your business:

  1. Understand that the point of Twitter is to build a network that you can easily and quickly broadcast your latest news to – whether the point of your tweets is to: drive traffic, sell a product, market a service, establish expert status, share news or gather information, you are trying to get people to follow you (ie. be repeat customers, again and again). HOWEVER, Twitter is not about the hard sell. In fact, if you only promote yourself, product or service, no one will connect with you. Networking 101: build the relationship well before you ask anyone for anything.
  2. Many people have Twitter linked into their phones so they can tweet and be tweeted wherever they are. We are no longer limited to mobile email or being connected only when we’re on our computers.
  3. Use the search function to find people connected to your keytopics or keywords…and follow them. If you sell organic baby soap, search for: moms, dads, parents, babies, body care, eco-friendly products, baby gifts and on and on. You will find lists of people under each category that have listed those keywords in their profiles that may have good information for you and you for them.
  4. Hopefully, when you follow these people, a good number of them will follow you back. But if they don’t you will have many opportunities to start conversations with them as a result of their tweets. Who knows when one of them will be looking for, say, an eco-product that you or one of your clients has – and they want to include it in a post they’re writing for Martha Stewart. The opportunities are endless. NEVER discount or disqualify anyone unless they’re spammers (selling selves, sex, pharmaceuticals, get rich quick schemes, etc.).
  5. When you follow someone, send them a message introducing yourself and noting something positive about their work, site or tweets. Stand out by reaching out.
  6. Respond to anyone who follows you by acknowledging the follow and, again, noting something positive about their work, site or tweets.
  7. Retweet when it is deserved (Def’n: Sharing a particularly good tweet of someone you are following by rebroadcasting it to all that are following you).
  8. Participate by tweeting on a regular, but not obnoxious basis.
  9. Offer good tweets that share interesting information and real value. People tend to discount you if you always tweet things like, “wow I could really go for some Grape Nuts right about now.” They are much more likely to follow tweets that offer, “just found out the extrusion process used to make breakfast cereal renders the grain proteins toxic” (true fact, by the way). See the difference?
  10. Give back by answering people’s questions. When @magpie is at her wit’s end about ants in her kitchen, tell her that a little rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle of water dispersed regularly over her counters will work every time. It doesn’t kill them, it just nullifies smells so the scout ants head somewhere else. This is true, but the point is that no one likes to ask a question and then sit around listening to the echo.
  11. Follow me on Twitter…I’d love to connect.

Update: My good friend from Flexpaths, Erin, just left me a comment in response to this blog about a great video by Lee Lefeever that explains what Twitter is ‘in plain english’. This isn’t about the marketing side, just a great answer to ‘what the heck is this Twitter thing?’ Perfect for those visual learners…

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