Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Utilize Your Twitter Account

If you're not using Twitter, you should be. Consider how much trouble you have on a regular basis getting your emails through to someone's inbox. Spam filters, trigger happy deleters, and people who just don't read email can result in hundreds of lost emails.

Twitter is different. It provides direct, constant access to your prospects without filtering and with no spam risks. As a marketer, that kind of access is unprecedented and can help make up for all the lost prospects via email.

But, that doesn't mean everyone is having the best of luck. Some people - a lot that I've talked to - are having tremendous issues getting those followers to click through and convert. Others are simply having trouble getting followers.

Luckily, there are some specific strategies you can use that will significantly improve your overall Twitter performance.

* Follow the Right People - Just because you have trouble building relationships on Twitter doesn't mean everyone else does. Find someone who is a networker extraordinaire and tag on to them. Follow them, find the people they connect with and get involved.

The joy of Twitter is that you can see pretty much anything anyone is doing and you can get involved at any time. It's about reaching out to those people and landing the largest possible share of the market.

* 90% Useful Information - Everything you post should be valuable, useful information that your followers will be interested to read. Don't post what you had for lunch (unless you're a dieting guru trying to inspire your followers). Post things that they want to know.

The key here is to generate a mixture of useful information that can be leveraged at any given time to develop an ongoing relationship with your followers. Some people do this by reposting new blog entries. Others offer videos. Others just offer simple advice or answer questions.

* Have a Marketing Plan - As long as you see Twitter as a diversion, that's all it will be. You need to start thinking of Twitter as the valuable, high tech marketing tool that it is, and that requires a solid marketing plan.

Write up a list of tweets for the next 4-6 weeks, at least one for each day, and then use a tool like TweetLater to load them up in advance. It's hard to write tweets on a daily basis, but if you do it all at once, it might take an hour and you're set for weeks.

* Link to Twitter and Populate Your Bio - Generating followers for a Twitter profile is never easy. To supplement that, add links to your Twitter profile everywhere you can - on your blog, on your sites, on Facebook, in your articles, and in email newsletters.

Additionally, make sure that anyone who clicks those links finds a well written, concise bio that they can learn more about you from. Most people won't read your tweets to find out. They need to be told what you have to offer.

* Real World Marketing - It's too easy to get caught up in the online world and forget that you can get new followers by handing out business cards, flyers and twitter cards with your username on them. This works very well for Facebook as well.

* Aim for Retweeted Content - Aim for content that gets retweeted as much as possible. The more viral your messages can go, the more people will come see the original tweeter and possibly follow you. Images, videos, and insights into news pieces are all good examples.

* Get Some Good Tools - There are many tools out there to make Twitter easier to use. Install it on your mobile phone, add it to your web browser (TwitterFox) and load it up into schedulers (TweetLater). You can even use a service like to post to all your profiles, including Facebook, at once.

Twitter is not going anywhere and as it reaches a wider audience and starts to approach critical mass with more users on it than off of it, marketers will have no choice but to build their lists. Right now, it's still at the in-between state.

But with advertising platforms, sponsored tweets, ever changing rules and a vastly increasing user base, it's growing too rapidly to ignore.

Prepare yourself for the future now, and along the way make some new friends, generate some additional sales, and master the marketing tool of the 21st century.