Twitter is one of the few social networking platforms that has exploded in popularity and captured the attention of media and major names alike. Celebrities, CNN News, even the President of the United States have Twitter accounts – and are using them to increase their exposure.
If you’re one of the millions of users who have come on board with this free service, you may be wondering how this mini-update application can boost marketing exposure for a business or special interest project. Imagine being able to immediately reach your clients with breaking news at zero cost.
5 Twitter Marketing Tips Working To Your Advantage
1. Increase the visibility of your brand
Twitter boasts millions of active users and is growing each day. Who can resist that potential exposure? Of course, this no more guarantees you millions of viewers any more than a website guarantees everyone on the Internet will visit it. But if you tweet about relative, interesting content regularly and spend time adding followers, people will take notice and follow you in return. Before long your efforts will snowball, and you will potentially find yourself with thousands – even tens or hundreds of thousands – of followers.
2. Gain valuable contacts in or outside the industry
The main reason to “follow” people on Twitter is not merely to get them to follow you back – nor even to get you noticed by others browsing people’s follower lists (though these are very helpful in aiding item #1 above). The main reason is to find people of interest, people you can network with as well as those who tweet items of newsworthy interest. These you can “retweet” in your own stream to boost your perceived usefulness to your followers.
3. Improve customer loyalty
Many business users on Twitter make the mistake of focusing on #1 and #2 without thought to the rest of this list. As a result, typical tweets are little more than an endless stream of spam that turns off followers. Spammers get unfollowed in a hurry. A wise marketer uses Twitter not only to gain exposure for their product or purpose, but to improve their value in the eyes of target consumers.
Improve customer loyalty by responding promptly and personally to “@” replies and direct messages and offering relevant, timely content of interest in your stream on a regular basis, not a string of What I’m Selling Today updates. Include just a small percentage worth of “sales pitch” promo tweets. When you appear approachable, helpful, and interested in your customers, you will draw attention and gain reputation as a valuable asset in the Twitter community. Customers will be more likely to buy from and/or recommend a business perceived this way.
4. Keep up with relevant trends and participate
Twitter is an excellent way to keep a finger on the pulse of your industry and target customers. Follow back everyone who follows you, and take time to read your stream each day. As your followers grow, you won’t be able to read every tweet. That’s fine. Set time to read what you can, and comment, reply, and retweet relevant topics. Use the information tweeted to educate yourself on the mindset and interests of your audience and competitors. This can help you map a tightly focused campaign, as well as to keep abreast of newsworthy developments in your field.
5. Run focus groups and gain feedback.
Get Twitter users to help you determine the effectiveness of a campaign, article, product, or service by tweeting for their opinion, directing them to off site polls, blogs, focus groups, etc. Even better, use related #hashtags (search tags used in Twitter) in your post, and encourage Twitter-based replies to generate buzz for your topic.
By taking time each day to grow the number of people you follow, tweet, reply, and retweet topics of interest to other Twitterers, and using the wealth of information in your stream to gain knowledge to help you in your business and ad campaigns, Twitter can easily become one of your most powerful, free tools for boosting marketing efforts…in as little as a half hour daily. At least if you refrain from checking Twitter the whole time, because then, the other side of the business won’t work: directly generating revenue.
Other ideas on boosting marketing via Twitter ? Feel free to reply in the comments.
More resources on using Twitter as a networking, PR and communications tool:
- Caroline Middlebrook: The Big Juicy Twitter Guide
- Jeremiah Owyang – What The Web Strategist Should Know About Twitter
- PR Squared: Using Twitter To Create & Inform Communities
- WebProNews: Microblogging What’s it Good For?
- Red66 – Using Twitter as a Marketing Tool
- Eleven Marketing– Add Twitter to Your Internet Marketing Toolbox