By Ron Knight
Twitter is a wildly popular microblogging service. It involves writing Tweets, which are short updates of a maximum of 140 characters that tell your followers what you are up to. Although your Tweets are technically supposed to answer the question, "What are you doing?" Twitter has moved far beyond that. Tweets are used to share stories, link to photos, promote content, break news and a whole lot more. Twitter has also become an incredibly important tool for social media marketing professionals. Here are 12 ways in which Twitter can be used in your social media marketing campaign.
1. Sharing Links to Items of Interest
As soon as you read something online that you think is interesting, it is easy to share it on Twitter with all of your followers. Twitter is highly effective in this manner because it is such a quick way to be able to reach a large group of people. You can also get a lot of great ideas for blog posts from Twitter since many new ideas and stories are floating around that haven’t even made it to the blogosphere and definitely not to mainstream media.
2. Building Your Network
Using Twitter is a great way to build your network because it allows you to find and follow people with similar interests. You can use Steeple to find people who live in your geographical area. You can also use other tools that help you find new people to follow based upon who your Twitter friends follow.
3. Build Relationships within Your Current Network
People in different networks often use Twitter to connect with their contacts instantly rather than using instant messaging for that purpose. Furthermore, many people use Twitter to connect with their network during events like conferences.
4. Re-Distributing Content from Your Blog or Web Site
Twitter can be used to redistribute content from your blog or Web site. However, you should take care to do this thoughtfully since many of your Twitter followers may already read your blog. For that reason, you may want to avoid using a blog plug-in that automatically Tweets your posts. Your best bet is to Tweet your content manually and customize each Tweet so it doesn't get old.
5. Get Involved in Live Tweeting Events
Twitter launched at SXSW [South by Southwest] last year, catapulting microblogging conferences to fame. Live Tweeting events are great because they are a form of citizen journalism that allow you to connect with several new people in your niche while making active and valuable contributions to current discussions in your community.
6. Pitching Stories to Journalists on Twitter
You can send a direct message to a journalist who is following you on Twitter to pitch a story idea.
7. Communicating with Your Team
You can use Twitter as a company intranet that connects all of your employees. Twitter can be particularly useful in this regard if you have a virtual business with employees in different geographical locations. You can set your updates to private for security reasons. Anytime you are working on group projects, you can stay in touch with your team members using Twitter.
8. Brand Monitoring
Stay up to date with any mentions of your business on Twitter. If there is anything negative, you will be able to counter it quickly. You can also use Twitter as a way to receive feedback from your customers and improve your business. Just ask your followers to give their opinion on something. For example, if you designed a new Web site, ask your followers what they think about it and get their constructive criticisms so you can make your site design even better.
9. Acquire More Votes on Social Media Web sites
If you have submitted a story to Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon or any other social voting Web site, tweet a link to that submission to try to score more votes from your followers. If your followers like what they see, they are sure to vote for your content.
10. Hiring People
Looking for a programmer, designer or writer? Whatever type of professional you seek, try finding them on Twitter. Simply send your followers a tweet telling them you are looking for someone for a job. They can either recommend someone to you or offer themselves for the job. Using Twitter in this way is ideal for finding qualified freelancers. It is much more convenient than putting out a classified ad.
11. Build Your Personal Brand
When you use Twitter to talk about things as mundane as what you ate for breakfast or how you are going to sleep early tonight, you make your followers feel like you are casual and approachable. Even those running a company that has a cold, corporate brand image could create more appeal and build a unique personal brand using Twitter.
12. Streamline Electronic Communications
When you use Twitter, you’re likely to find yourself using IM, email, and other electronic communication methods less. Twitter not only provides public chatting through Tweets, it also allows you to send direct messages. Twitter will help you streamline your electronic communications, allowing you to scale back online.
About the Author
Ron Knight is a US based Internet Solutions consultant with many years of experience helping people and businesses out in establishing a stronger presence on the Web. Many Internet Marketing Service companies have benefited immensely from his advice.