Why Twitter Is an Effective Marketing Tool

Many marketers fail to see what the big deal is regarding Twitter. They read Tweets about what someone ate for breakfast or what color shirt they are wearing. They might sign up only to stare at a bare, lonely screen with zero followers. Initially, it might be difficult to see the potential. But once you get started, Twitter tends to “snowball” into a HUGE deal for marketers – one that is essential for the growth of their business and their exposure on the internet.

How Can You Use Twitter? Here are just a few of the ways Twitter can help to benefit your online business: Establishing repertoire with your customers / readers. Twitter allows for a bit more personal, less formal, more fun mode of communication. It allows them to catch a glimpse of you just as a regular person sending SMS texts from Wal-Mart, rather than as a serious, detached blogger or business owner. Why is this useful? It allows people to connect and relate to you on a personal level – it makes you look just like a “regular Joe”, especially if you include random/fun tweets among the more serious, business-driven tweets. Keeping your customers / readers updated. With a blog, you might only update once or twice per week.

With Twitter, you might send a handful of tweets per day, keeping your followers “in the loop” and reminding them of your existence. Of course, it is not recommended to send a million tweets per day. This will only serve to annoy people and they will likely unfollow you. Building a loyal, steady customer-base: “BUILD A LIST!” As a marketer, I am sure you have heard this refrain many times over. Building a list is one of the most vital steps you can take in the advancement of your online business.

Twitter is pretty much the same as building a list – although it might be even more effective in the long run. When it comes to an email list, a large portion of your subscribers will not even glance at the emails you send. Their eyes will glaze over, and they may even send it to the trash. With Twitter, your followers will see all your Tweets. They will digest its information in about half a second and if you include a link, they probably will not get offended. Chances are, if you included an eye-catching description, they would probably click it!

Additionally, it will not seem like you are marketing to them, because you are just another Twitter user tweeting about random stuff! Building up excitement for a product launch: Just like with an email list, Twitter can be used to build up excitement about an upcoming product launch. It can start with occasional Tweets about your “new project”, and by keeping your followers up to date and offering freebies and cool stuff that they will appreciate, you will build trust and anticipation. When your product launches, a well-timed Tweet may likely be just as effective as a blast to your email list.

Driving traffic to your website: Wouldn’t it be great if you could instantly notify hundreds or thousands of people every time you update your blog? Twitter makes this possible. It essentially acts as an RSS feed. By building a sizable list of followers, you pretty much have access to an instant source of traffic to your website or blog. People who would otherwise not be aware of updates and new content will be notified, giving them a chance to check it out. If your blog is high-quality, people will keep an eye out for more of your Tweets. Building relationships with business contacts.

Twitter makes it easy to keep in touch with business partners and contacts. Traditional instant messaging is on its way out, and you will find that most savvy internet marketers use Twitter as their primary social networking tool. So, take advantage of this fact! Hook up with your contacts so you can work on building a closer relationship. Crowdsourcing is a unique form of outsourcing. It works by calling on your friends, fans, followers, email subscribers, etc. to contribute ideas and solutions. Basically, it is a form of “group intelligence”.

By listening to the crowd, marketers and business owners can figure out the exact thoughts, needs, and wants of their customer base. In this way, innovative new ideas and strategies are born that are guaranteed to fall in line with the desires of the consumer. By directly asking your followers what type of new software they’d like to see developed, or what their biggest setbacks are, or what they liked/disliked most about your last eBook, you can gain an incredible amount of insight about your business! Twitter provides a perfect platform for crowdsourcing.

Going viral: Social networking sites give us a great opportunity to ‘go viral’. This means that you Tweet about something that really catches people’s attention. Your followers are impressed, so they retweet it. In turn, each of their followers re-Tweet it, and so on and so on, and soon your little Tweet spreads like wildfire, snowballing into a huge storm of clicks and traffic. Of course, TRYING to make something go viral probably will not work. It tends to just happen on its own. Tweeting “Hey guys buy my new eBook click here” will never go viral, obviously.

But if you find something interesting, little- known, valuable, funny, etc., you might have a chance. Often, Tweets go viral without anyone really expecting or planning on it. This is just one of the many amazing benefits of social networking. As with most modern inventions, there is a certain “language” you will have to learn when it comes to using Twitter.

When I first signed up, I was incredibly confused about what all this stuff means. But I quickly got the hang of it and so will you! Retweet (RT): This means that the Tweet was originally posted by someone else and you are reposting it because you want to spread the word, you think it is funny, etc. Hashtag (#): Typing # followed by a keyword will categorize your Tweet so that others can easily find it by performing a search. Once you start using Twitter, you will realize that MANY people use the hashtag in their Tweets.

This can indicate a meme or trend that is quickly being spread through the Twit-o-sphere. @ symbol: Placing the @ symbol directly before a username shows that you are directly addressing that person (but the Tweet is still public). Clicking the arrow button when you hover over a user’s tweet will let you do this automatically. Direct Message (DM): Typing d followed by a username will allow you to send them a Direct Message rather than having your Tweet appear publicly. Overheard (OH): OH, at the beginning of the Tweet means that you overheard something funny/interesting that is not your own original idea. Nudge: Typing Nudge followed by a username will send the user a reminder to update and start tweeting again. FAV: Typing FAV followed by a username will favorite that user’s last Tweet. GET: GET followed by a username will retrieve the user’s last few updates.

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