Twitter can be a marketer’s best friend. In 140 characters or less and across multiple tweets marketers have the opportunity to build relationships with customers, potential customers and new business partners. These relationships have the potential to be more genuine and worthwhile … and therefore more profitable.
Twitter is a marketing tool worth focusing on because it’s a place to:
1. Learn (about customers, and their needs and wants)
It doesn’t take a lot of time (although more is always better) to notice what your customers and potential customers need or want or what they are talking about.
When you’re on Twitter with the intention of marketing a good rule of thumb in the early days is to spend 80 percent of your time simply watching and listening.
These three free tools can help:
Twitter Search - Advanced: Here you can run highly refined searches on your brand, your products, your customers and then further refine that search by time and geography.
Topsy - Advanced Search: Here you select “Tweets only” under “Search a Specific Type.” You can get all results or trending topics. Perhaps the most useful features are being able to search within a specific internet domain or by a specific Twitter user (useful for competitive intelligence).
Twilert: Here you set up alerts that come via email whenever your brand, product, service or key people get mentioned on Twitter. Your Twilerts can be aggregated and sent via email at a time of your choosing. You can even turn individual Twilerts on and off as your needs change (helpful if you have a lot of them).
2. Add value (share great content)
In social media and especially Twitter: It is always better to give than to receive.
Therefore find a way to gather and share great content on Twitter. Be sure that the content you share is relevant to you and your business niche.
Places to find great content worth sharing include:
Google News: This was always a great place to search on your industry relevant keywords, but the recent changes to Google News that make it kick back results that are increasingly relevant based on your search history raise it to a whole new level.
Yahoo News: It’s an OK news feed that’s searchable. Perhaps more interesting and timely might be the new Yahoo News blog The Upshot where news is determined by the popularity of search queries. In other words you get a sense of what a lot of other people are interested in.
Another great source of good tweetable material is blogs. Two great places to find blogs in the areas you’re interested in are:
Blog Search Engine: This site uses Google custom search to index the blogosphere and has a helpful Categories list on the lower left side.
Technorati: The granddaddy of blog aggregators still finds and indexes hundreds of blogs per day. Here you’re bound to almost be overwhelmed by the number of good blogs on a given topic.
3. Show your personality
What you tweet, how you phrase your tweets and how you interact on Twitter tells the world a lot about your personality. As a marketer this transparency is invaluable and can show people who you are. This likely will lead to more people wanting to follow you on Twitter. Of course, if you’re a jerk in real life, showing off your personality may not be such a good idea!
4. Provide customer service
If you take a little time to respond to questions and concerns about your brand, goods and services you’ll quickly find the power of Twitter: one to one conversation. In these conversations you can solve customer problems, thank your fans and reach out to future customers to meet their needs.
So, how do you track who is talking about you and your company? See Twilert above or try these two free services:
Tweetbeep: This service is like Google alerts for Twitter and can send you an email summary of mentions of your brand, products and people.
Monitter: This service allows you to monitor, track and search tweets in real-time. You can enter up to three keywords and watch as the tweets roll in.
5. Promote sales
Last, but not least, marketers can use Twitter to alert customers and potential customers to special deals, new products and changes to products, and other customer-centric information.
A big caution here is to be sure that the information you’re sharing on Twitter will be seen as valuable by your followers. That means offering real value and making genuinely newsworthy announcements and not, to quote the saying, just “putting lipstick on the pig.”
So, are you convinced Twitter can be a great marketing tool? What other ways can it be used for building viable relationships between marketers and consumers?
Possibly related posts:
Twetiquette: 10 Basics for Twitter Politeness
10 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter
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