15 Tips for Marketing using Twitter

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I was struggling with how to approach Twitter. I had read a ton about it. I had used it for months, slowly becoming addicted. But there didn’t seem to be any great way to market via Twitter. No best practices. So I decided to research it, and think about it, and come up with some:

  1. Go where the customers already spend time. Find the communities they belong to. It’s a natural human tendency to want to connect with others about the things you’re passionate about. You’ll probably be surprised how many of them are already on these platforms. You, as a marketer, will feel the urge to build something on your own site where the customer ought to come. Resist that urg.e With the infinite choice the internet affords your customer about where to spend their time, and with the finite rescources you have to solve their problems, you’ll need to overcome NIH (Not Invented Here) Syndrome, overcome that urge to change their habits, and go talk to them where they want to be talked to, where they’re already spending their time. Namely, sites like Twitter.
  2. First Listen. Then Talk. In the beginning, you should be following lots and lots of other people. Not only will you learn about how to interact in this environment, but you’ll also pick up on what other people are talking about, and learn a thing or two.
  3. Provide Value – you can’t just spew marketingspeak & propaganda – you have to engage, and you have to add value. Consider providing tech support. Considering scanning using http://search.twitter.com and responding with helpful information.
  4. Naming your Twitter Account. To humanize most-effectively,  most bloggers recommend using your real name.  Another idea is to use a mascott, so perhaps Tony the Tiger has a Twitter account about Frosted Flakes. Finally, if you don’t want to use a real person or a mascott, and it makes sense to twitter as the brand itself, consider disclosing who is twittering behind the curtain in your bio to provide some transparency. Make sure you disclose where you work if you’re going to be tweeting to promote your brand.
  5. Show some Personality  – people like the voyeurism of social media. They like having windows into people’s lives. We are driven by a need to connect with others. Be willing to show some personality. Be open to sharing personal information. Be open to talking about things unrelated to the brand. How else do you gain real credibility.
  6. Brand Your Page – if you’re going to be promoting a brand, how can you tie your brand into the twitter profile. If you’re twittering as a person, how can you make this space uniquely you?
  7. See what others are saying about you – http://search.twitter.com allows you to scan the twittersphere for what people are saying.
  8. Grow your following by staying regular – you should be updating 3-5 times per week absolute minimum. Bloggers like Robert Scoble twitter 10-15 tweets per day.
  9. Staying regular is easier when you leverage twitter plugins & tools that make tweeting more convenient.  There are tools that allow you to tweet via email, phone, IM, desktop apps, Windows Vista gadgets, mobile apps, or SMS. Also tools to publish to multiple twitter-like networks at once, sync your twitter to your Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, or Windows Live Space, and tools to add multimedia like long links (use TinyURL) or pictures (TwitPic).
  10. A Two-Way Dialogue – Chevy Tahoe opened themselves up to criticism with a video contest,  and got dozens of anti-GM videos , but their openness and willingness to keep even the bad stuff up there,  to let the conversation happen freely – gave them more credibility.  Furthermore, People follow people who look interesting. Start an interesting twitter convo with someone more famous then you – I guarantee if your funny, insightful, or even downright rude, you’ll pick up a dozen followers based on your conversation.
  11. Humanize the Product – when you put a face to a product, when you acknowledge your shortcomings and address how you intend to fix them, you isntantly gain credibility and let people know that you’re listening, which, ultimately, is all they want.
  12. Give Away Free Stuff to grow your following
  13. All Roads Lead to Rome – put the brand center, and create many legs to your campaign – and make one of them social media. Twitter is part of a tapestry – not a stand-alone campaign. “Think of your client, your product, or whatever it is you are marketing as the city of Rome. You must make it as easy as possible for people to find you and travel to your city. The map must be clear and the roads easy to travel.”
  14. Finally, always leave them wanting more. =)
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