Twitter – Marketing in 280 Characters or Less
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform where you share or “tweet” short messages to your followers. The messages are limited to 280 characters or less. It can be challenging coming up with something clever to say that engages readers to act in that small amount of space but creative people are seeing great results by adding Twitter to their online social media marketing efforts.
Twitter allows you to follow anyone you want to follow, and they can choose to follow you back or not. Twitter does frown on pages that don’t follow people back. That’s not to say you must follow everyone back, but as long as they’re not spammers it is advisable to do so. Twitter allows you to build relationships with people whom you’ve never met and can create connections you never dreamed possible.
Twitter is a great place to conduct market research. After you’ve created an account you can conduct a Twitter Search to see if anyone’s talking about your business, your name, or even your product or a generic product. In marketing circles this is called: Listening. Listening is an important aspect of marketing with social media that is often over looked. Never underestimate the power of listening to your market and your competition.
On Twitter, like all other social media, it’s important to create a solid profile with your picture. People on Twitter prefer to see people, than things, so keep that in mind. Then when deciding what to post on Twitter, remember that it’s not really about you, it’s about what your market wants to hear. What is interesting to them? What can you share with your audience that they would like? You can share ideas about your topic, point out interesting things related to your audience and niche, and help those who are throwing out questions with answers if you have them.
It’s important to have a good mix of non business ideas in your Tweets too, as long as they’re related to your audience. That will take a lot of study to get it right, but you’ll know when you’ve done something wrong on Twitter. People will un-follow you. It can be confusing to figure out what to Tweet about but if you concentrate on adding value, communicating and sharing freely you can’t go wrong.
Twitter is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Ask Questions — Starting a conversation with other Twitters via a question is a great way to engage as many people as possible. People love giving their thoughts and opinions, just make sure your question is relatable to your target audience.
- Contribute Value — Share your blog posts, give good advice, post interesting pictures, and informative infographics. Any content that you share should be valuable, appropriate and targeted to your audience.
- Share Other People’s Stuff — While this may seem counterproductive if someone shares something, or you find something online that your target audience would enjoy, share it on Twitter. It helps endear you to others, and makes you seem less “all about you.”
Twitter is a very fast paced moving conversation. You’re not going to be able to answer every last Tweet or acknowledge every last @yourname, but you can use some automation techniques and even outsource some of your Twitter activity to a Virtual Assistant to help you do it right, but for the most part it’s okay if you can’t do everything as long as you are active and try to be polite and reciprocate.
It’s important before you start to understand how you’re going to use Twitter and what your Twitter strategy is and what your tactics will be to help you implement your strategy. Without knowing where you’re going you’re going to get lost. Create a strategy to reach all of your online marketing goals no matter which social media channels you use. Your Twitter strategy will be different from your Facebook strategy. While both are huge, they are very different in the way you use them and how the users feel about how others use it.
Create a cohesive brand that you use on all your social media channels. You should have the same logo, same colors, same fonts, same graphics and tag lines across all channels, where the difference will be is in what and how you choose to share information. By adding a Twitter button to your blog, and other online collateral you’ll make it easy for your audience to share your work too.
Create a professional profile and a nice Twitter background to help you stand out from the crowd. Use keywords within your profile and make it look really professional. If you aren’t sure how to go about doing this there are plenty of professionals who design and set up Twitter for businesses for less than 50 dollars.
Use a tool like TweetDeck.com to help you arrange your feeds, focus your efforts, schedule tweets while you’re on vacation, monitor and manage all your accounts, and stay up to date with the Tweets of others via alerts. Finally, ensure that every Tweet you send out has a reason behind it and is not just adding garbage to the interwebs. There is enough garbage on Twitter, and for the most part, it’s ignored. Stand out, be different, be unique and most importantly — be relevant.