By Anton Pearce
Have you thought about using Twitter to market your business? Twitter is free, and available to small and large businesses. Here are some tips and tricks on using Twitter to promote your business.
Here are four tips to use your Twitter account effectively. Following other Twitter accounts that are in your target demographic will help you get an idea of what the conversation is. Then you need to post updates about your company, brand or product. As with any online medium, you want to be very careful to not spam any of your followers. Lastly, make sure that you follow successful online marketers, and look for other participants who are in your industry.
First Build an Account for Twitter Marketing
The first thing that you should do is to set up your Twitter account and populate it with several interesting Tweets, which are Twitter posts. Then begin following people who are also using Twitter, and you will find that most people will follow back. When your entire Twitter feed has blanks, though, most people will not bother to follow you. Once you start a micro blog post, you can get on with following any target demographic, and this can be done in either of two different ways.
1. Go to Twitter.com and do a search by typing in keywords that relate to the demographic that you are targeting. For example, if you are trying to sell an application for the iPhone, you would enter the keyword 'iPhone' or 'iPhone app' or anything that may find people who own an iPhone. It's easy to follow people. If your posts are interesting and relevant, you will probably pick up some followers this way.
2. Locate Twitter accounts that you want to follow by clicking the 'Find People' option. Then enter your keywords, related industries, locations or other defining detail to locate followers and begin following them.
Twitter Marketing Uses Current Information
By adding news that is interesting and relevant about your services or product, you can keep your Tweets current. You can also add information about related news for your industry to keep Tweets interesting and informative. For example, if you sell cooking gadgets, you may want to post news about food and recipes.
As you work on developing your targeted demographic, you need to keep your followers engaged, so you will want to tweet, or post, often. Make sure to retweet relevant tweets from other Twitter followers. This is another great way to pick up new followers, and when they start to follow you, you also are plugged into their followers. Retweeting is one of the fastest ways to build your following or network.
By checking with search.twitter.com frequently, you can look for brand names and see what customers are saying. You can follow these Twitter accounts and thank them. If you see customers who are angry or dissatisfied, you can follow them as well. Then you can retweet them and solicit solutions to the problem. Your customers will be thrilled with the feedback from you, and even more thrilled when you rectify the situation. Twitter makes it easy to grow a 'word of mouth' reputation virally.
Twitter Marketing and Spam Do Not Mix
Spam in any electronic media is the kiss of death. If you begin spamming your followers, they will drop you like a hot potato. Spam activity would include only posting information on your products, retweeting the same URL repeatedly, obnoxious Twitter handles, and frivolous tweets. Twitter followers are savvy consumers, and anything deceptive or patronizing is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Twitter Marketing Can Assess the Competition
If you want to build a quality following, then follow quality people on Twitter. There are many online marketers that are experts on Twitter like Dave Peck, Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki, and they should definitely be included in your list on Twitter. Also look for corporations that are active on Twitter. They are blazing a trail with their marketing, and you can get good marketing information from them.
Do not forget to look at what your competition is doing. See how they are going about increasing their own following on Twitter. If you want to be a smart marketer online, then you need to constantly be aware of what your competition is doing out in cyberspace. You have a huge marketing opening if they rarely post on Twitter, don't retweet, or attend to negative posts.
Twitter Marketing Requires Patience
When you are using Twitter as part of your Internet marketing plan, you need to give it time to work. Twitter results take a while to appear, because it is one of the more long-term strategies. You will have to build up your networks and following, and if you use the correct strategies, it will happen in a timely manner. However, do not start a Twitter campaign if you are not going to see it through to completion, because an unattended Twitter account is worse than no account at all.
Once you have built a good Twitter following, then you want to market with a gentle touch. Instead of using in-your-face marketing tactics, pose a question where your product or service is the answer. Tweet that there are updates on your company's blog instead of trying to cram the information into your tweet, and people that want to know more will click through to your blog.
Always respond when your followers tweet you. If you do not keep up with your following, it will begin to crumble. If you have too large of a following to maintain, then outsource your retweets or assign an employee to monitor and reply to your followers.
Twitter is an interactive marketing tool, and because of this it is valuable in two ways. While it is instrumental in getting your message out, it is also hugely helpful in taking the pulse of your customers. So make sure that your Twitter marketing efforts start strong and more importantly stay strong.
About the Author
For more advanced guidance, sign up for Anton Pearce's "Clients on Tap" ezine. It's absolutely free and will show how to implement systems that generate all the clients you need for your professional practice. This ezine is essential reading if you want to get your marketing online systems set up right without wasting a lot of time and money. Visit www.antonpearce.com .