Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. It lets you update your status and lets the whole world know what you are up to. There are millions of Twitter-addicts all over the world, and the number of active users has increased by 900% in the past year. Companies can also use it to promote themselves.
On Twitter you will have people “following” you, and you will be “following” others. “Following” is being updated every time a new post is added to one of your contacts’ profiles. Being followed is the same; every time you have something to add, all your “followers” will be updated. The more people that follow you, the more exposure your business will get. But it’s not about adding as many people as you can to your friends list. You need to be smart about building your follower base.
The problem is that many companies that try to market using Twitter don’t understand how this community works, and consequently their Twitter Marketing efforts don’t pay off.
To help you avert this fate, the following steps will guide you in understanding what to do and what not to do to give your company huge exposure using Twitter.
Step 1: Import Your Contacts
Twitter allows you to to import contacts from Gmail, Hotmail and your own address book. Do it.
Step 2: Make Sure that Your Profile is Complete
Fill in all the fields (both required and optional) and include your website URL. You can also personalize your Twitter page to match your company’s branding.
Step 3: Understand the Dynamics of Twitter
Twitter is a social tool, not a classifieds site. These are some tips that will help you to get followers:
- Don’t spam others about your specials
- Follow other users
- Be active in the community (tweet and post comments about others’ tweets often)
- Only post useful and relevant information
- Don’t tweet every 5 minutes. It becomes annoying.
- Engage in conversations. Retweet (reply to others’ tweets) often
- Don’t promote your company directly. Do it the smart way. For example, if you sell widgets, write a buyer’s guide about the kind of widgets that you sell and tweet about that blog post. That is useful information. Avoid tweets like “Great Widgets On Sale – Starting at $9.99!”
Step 4: Build Your Followers Base
There are many things that you can do to build your followers base:
- Put a link to “Follow Me on Twitter” everywhere (your email signature, forums, website, and business cards)
- Every time you post on your blog, invite people to follow you on Twitter
- Search for Twitter users whose followers base you would love to have for yourself. See who is following them and follow those users. They will follow you back.
- See who is following your friends and follow them.
- There are Twitter directories that are great to find members who are likely to follow you. Examples include Just Tweet It and Twellow.
- Use Twitter’s search feature to find profiles that interest you. Use Twitter’s RSS feed to be notified every time a tweet containing a certain keyword is made.
Step 5: Balance Your Followers/Following Ratio
Try to have a balance between people you follow and people that follow you. If a lot of people follow you and you don’t follow them, they will stop following you. If you are following plenty of people but just a few are following you, you’ll be seen as a spammer trying to grow your follower base as quickly as possible.
These are some ideas to keep both numbers balanced:
- Grow slow. Instead of adding 200 new friends all of a sudden, add maybe 50 and wait for them to follow you back. Then follow another 50.
- Use tools like Friend or Follow. This tool lets you check who is following you whom you are not following. It also allows you to see who you are following who are not following you. This is the best way to balance your ratio in just a few minutes.
- Avoid following others so they follow you, only to stop following them once they are on board following you. If you do this, you will be seen as a spammer.
Step 6: Make it Worthwhile to Follow You
Tweet interesting stuff. Every time you are about to post something, ask yourself “Is this something I would be interested in?” If the answer is no, chances are that your followers will feel the same way.
Step 7: Learn from the Best
Find users with several hundred followers and learn from them. See what they are doing right and get ideas from them.
Done right, Twitter Marketing can lead to positive exposure for your business. Companies have been known to make tens of thousands of dollars from customers that found them through a Twitter account. Depending on your business, Twitter could be one of the most successful weapons in your Internet Marketing arsenal.
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