Twitter for Marketing

Top Ten Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing
By Jason OConnor (c) 2009 The Net Gazette
(http://www.TheNetGazette.net)

Twitter is a micro-blogging site that asks you a basic question,
"What are you doing?" It allows anyone with an account to write
up to 140 characters in a text field as a means to update,
comment, promote or communicate to others who are "following"
you. When people follow you, they see what you've recently
contributed when they login. They see your "tweets", which are
the messages you leave.

And of course you can follow others who tweet about the things
that interest you. As an Internet marketer you may want to follow
other Internet marketers, for example.

Like anything, and this is especially true of working with social
media, the more you give, the more you get. In other words, the
more often you tweet the more activity you'll generate. Some
suggest that you tweet a few times a day, every day. Not every
tweet needs to be profound. But they should all be useful.

It's important that you don't abuse Twitter for marketing and
promoting your products, services or affiliate links. Most of
your tweets ought to be about offering your followers useful and
valuable information. Only once in a while should you try to use
Twitter to promote something. Otherwise you'll be perceived as a
spammer, and no one wants that tag.

Imagine if you had a large number of people following your
tweets? Some people have tens of thousands following them. If you
had something to promote and you had a large following, you could
quickly and efficiently alert a lot of people of your promotion.
It acts sort of like an opt-in mass emailing blast to your house
email list, but it's a heck of a lot easier and faster. This is
the power of Twitter.

One thing that I've noticed with Twitter is that it can seem
overwhelming at times. The sheer information on Twitter, the
'how-to's', tutorials and all the other ubiquitous advice on
how to use and take advantage of it can seem hard to understand
and implement. So here's an easy-to-understand list of the top
ten ways in which you can use Twitter to market yourself, your
business and your website.

The Top 10 Ways To Use Twitter for Marketing:

1. Use it to promote new pieces of content you or your company
create to drive traffic to your site. From online articles to
blog posts or from videos to webinars, each time you add
something to the Web that is of value, tweet about it and include
a link. (Most people on Twitter use www.TinyURL.com to take a
long URL and make it short.)

2. Use it for learning new marketing ideas, strategies and
techniques. If you follow the right people, and you have to be
picky about who you follow, you'll get pointed to a good amount
of useful tutorials, videos, e-zines and other things that teach
you about marketing.

3. Use it to get new customers. Use Twitter's search to find
people who may be interested in your product or service. There
are many ingenious ways to search for people on Twitter. For
example, if you sell red widgets you could go to
http://search.twitter.com and find people who have tweeted
specifically looking for red widgets. To do this, type the
following into the search box: red widgets?

 * You'll notice a lot of the results will be of others selling
red widgets. These ones will all obviously have links in them to
direct people to the site they're selling red widgets on. To
weed these people/tweets out, use the negative sign like this:
-http red widgets?

 * Since every link has 'http' in it, using the negative sign
in front of it will cause your search results to not include any
tweets with links in them.

4. Use it to build your email list. Use Twitter's search to find
people who may be interested in the monthly newsletter you send
out to your opt-in house email list. Invite these people to join.

5. Utilize Twitter plugins or add-ons such as TweetMyBlog or The
Twitter Updater, which both automatically make tweets of every
new blog post you publish. Also check out TwitThis. When visitors
to your website click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes
the URL of the Web page and creates a shorter URL using TinyURL.
Then visitors can send this shortened URL and a description of
the web page to all of their followers on Twitter. Finally, look
at TweetLater, a service that allows you to write lots of tweets
at once and then schedule them to go out over time.

6. Use it to build buzz about an upcoming product or website
launch.

7. Use it to better brand yourself or your business. Remember,
when someone wants to learn more about you or your company, they
are increasingly using sites like Twitter for research. You could
easily use Twitter to establish yourself as an authority in your
field.

8. Use it to update followers on breaking news regarding your
company. If your company is mentioned in a new article, tweet
about it and include a link to the article. Or if you're at a
conference or trade show, you could tweet what you're doing and
invite people to visit you in person.

9. Use it for business networking, master-mind groups (see
Napoleon Hill), and getting yourself seen by high-profile people
in your industry.

10. Use it as an instant messaging system to keep you and your
team on the same page during projects. This is especially useful
for those who work with teams spread out in different cities or
countries.

You should note that this top 10 list is not in order of
importance or in any particular order. I suggest that you give
Twitter a try if you haven't already. See if you can apply a few
of these techniques and tactics to help you take advantage of
Twitter as a marketing tool.

And one more important thing to remember is that there is no
silver bullet in marketing. You should always be trying and
implementing numerous tactics when marketing your business.
Don't only rely on Twitter or any other one thing. Instead, use
Twitter (or any other Web 2.0 site) as simply one more tool in
your entire social media and marketing toolbox.
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Jason OConnor is an Web consultant http://www.jasonoconnor.com/
He writes for The Net Gazette, a Web marketing newsletter
(http://www.thenetgazette.net/), and owns Oak Web Works, LLC, a
Web design and marketing company at http://www.oakwebworks.com/
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