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Marketing Focus – Twitter

Marketing Focus – Twitter

Back in 2009, a client asked me to research and write an article about how businesses can effectively use Twitter to promote themselves and I must say I was very skeptical. All I’d seen of Twitter up to then was people telling you every detail of their boring lives from being tired, to going to the shops, so frankly I didn’t think the article would be easy to write.

As part of my research I set myself up with a Twitter account and started to have a look around for business related information. To my surprise there was loads of excellent “Tweets” from businesses which linked to an informative article, made people aware of an event or promoted a special offer. I realized that actually Twitter holds great business potential and works in tandem with the other key social media tool, the blog, to expand your content and drive people to your website.

I am now a definite convert and use software to feed all the blogs I write for my clients and myself through my Twitter account. I promote events through it to my followers and share news about my local area and my company. I follow people who write about marketing or local news and events and find this is a great source of interesting information which I want to read.

Key Twitter Info

  • Twitter asks one question, “What are you doing?” and answers must be under 140 characters in length.
  • You can update your Twitter account online, using your phone or Instant Messenger
  • It’s free to sign up on www.twitter.com
  • Although still a baby compared to Facebook, Twitter’s popularity is growing fast with over 100 million users worldwide, so that’s a big potential audience for your message!
  • It’s all about attracting “followers” to read your Tweets. To start with, search for people in your area or who fit your customer profile to follow and if you’re writing interesting stuff they are likely to follow you back. Actor Ashton Kutcher was the first to reach 1 million followers – but there’s no need to set your sights quite that high!

Using Twitter for your Business

The challenge is to tread the fine line between building an online following for your business, and boring people with irrelevant news which simply promotes your company. The key thing to remember is to keep it interesting and not use Twitter as traditional advertising. If you can become part of the community and engage people with relevant news, information and links, you will be in a good position to cost-effectively promote your business and win new clients.

In order to be successful on Twitter you must become a font of knowledge about your field of expertise rather than simply talking about your company.  If you can be helpful and offer tips, ideas and information you will become a credible source and more likely to attract followers who could become potential clients.

Twitter is an instant form of communication and if you don’t “Tweet” enough, your message won’t get heard. Some people follow thousands of Tweeters so you need to make sure you are being noticed. You need to do at least one per day, but the more the better, so if your company has more than one employee try to get a few people to do it daily, this increases the chances of regularly tweets and ensures there will be varied styles and content to keep people interested.

As well as building an online community, one of the key functions of Twitter is driving traffic to blogs and websites. Make sure you remember to link to relevant pages and make use of services such as TinyURL and Bit-ly to shorten the URLs.

Try to interact with your followers – ask questions, start debates, offer special deals for your Twitter followers only to make them value the communication. Developing online relationships rather than simply pushing your message out there will increase your chance of generating business from this medium.

There are also social events or Tweet-ups on the first Wednesday of every month in Marbella and around so you can meet with your local Twitter fans and this is a great way to take your relationship to the next level and build strong business contacts.

If you’d like to discuss how you could use Twitter or for help with managing your Twitter account please contact us by emailing info@shawmarketingservices.com.

Follow Shaw Marketing on Twitter

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