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How to Increase Traffic and Make Money With Twitter

Updated on November 8, 2013

The Most Famous Bird in the World

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is a phenomenon. It's a social network and microblogging site that enables users to send "tweets" consisting of 140 characters. The site launched in July of 2006 and has taken the Internet by storm. As of 2012, Twitter has over 500 million active users who send over 340 million tweets a day. 500 million users in six years is amazing when you consider that the population of the United States in 2012 stood at 313 million, far less than Twitter users. It has become part of our culture in a few short years.

Posting (microblogging) on Twitter has become part of the daily routine of vast numbers of people every day. Some people use it to convey opinions on any topic imaginable, while others enlighten us with information about what they had for breakfast. Some, using their smartphones, report their location throughout the day. "I'm at Starbucks at Fifth and Market Street," is a typical such tweet, posing the question for people who follow them, "Why should I care?"

Your Audience on Twitter

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Using Twitter For Business

Savvy businesspeople have caught on to the idea that using twitter for business makes sense. With half a billion active users, it was inevitable that people would want to monetize their experience. But it's amazing how many people join twitter without any idea how to properly use it. This article describes the right and wrong ways to make use of the Twitter phenomenon, and make a buck doing it. No business plan is complete without addressing the marketing issues of social media including Twitter.

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Twitter Basics for Business

  • Don't write a dumb profile. Before someone follows you the first thing they look at is your profile. You can be humorous, if you're good at that, but for business you want to have a profile that tells the world what you want people to know about you.
  • Provide value with your tweets. The value can be a joke, a political comment or some useful advice. Would you want to follow someone who just tweets meaningless information? Think of Twitter as a community of people. Become known in the community as a serious contributor and your following will grow.
  • Tweets with value get retweeted. A retweet is a simple function where you click on a retweet button if you wish to share someone else's tweet with your followers. This is how a message can go viral within a couple of minutes. You post a tweet and 10 of your followers retweet it to their average following of, say, 2,000, and your tweet appears on the screen of 20,000 people in no time.
  • Don't use twitter to constantly blast ads about your products or services. Again, value is the key. Once you're recognized as a serious member of the community, an occasional plug for your business is perfectly okay. I had one follower who constantly tweeted "Call me for all your mortgage needs." I unfollowed him because that's all he ever tweeted.
  • How to get more followers on Twitter. When you join twitter your audience is not 500 million people, at least not right away. You need to have followers who will see your tweets. If you tweet interesting and useful messages, you will gradually gain a following—gradually. So the big question every new Twitter user asks is how to get more followers on Twitter. The answer, as any experienced Twitter user knows, is to follow other people who have interests in common with you. How do you do that? You can perform a search in twitter, using a hashtag (#). Let's say that you're looking for a following among musicians. You would search for #musician and #music. Then you follow each one listed that has a profile that shows you that they are worth following. Twitter Adder and Twiends are sites worth checking out.
  • A large percentage of people you follow will follow you back. That last sentence is the key to getting followers. When I do this I get a constant stream of new followers, but most importantly, the followers are people that I have handpicked based on their profile and the kinds of tweets they send. This takes me no more than 20 minutes a day. There are services out there who will sell you tons of people who have committed to follow back everyone who follows them. I used such a service once, but immediately discontinued it because of the poor quality of the followers. Why follow someone with whom you have nothing in common? But there are serious sites out there that can help you get followers in an intelligent way.
  • Don't limit those you follow to those who follow you. I follow some organizations, journalists and writers who I don't expect to follow me. But I get tremendous value from their tweets and often retweet them. I follow former Senator and presidential hopeful Fred Thompson. I don't think I ever saw a tweet of his that I didn't retweet. They are thoughtful, newsworthy and funny.
  • Use automation for efficiency. You can blow a day on twitter and wonder where the time went. When someone follows you the polite thing to do is to thank them (and follow back if you wish). When I first joined Twitter this would take a ridiculous amount of time. I now use a service called socialoomph, which sends me a report of new followers. I go to the "vet new followers" console and click on those I want to follow. When I do, an automatic phrase goes out that says:" Thank you for following me. I am now following you. I look forward to your tweets." It's the polite thing to do and It's a huge time saver. In business, saving time is critical.
  • Okay, so how to make money with Twitter? You use Twitter to drive traffic to your site(s). I write blog posts, and I am also an active writer on HubPages. Many of my posts and HubPages articles are derived from books that I have written. So I often tweet a teaser such as "Do Americans want to become Europeans? " followed by a link back to my blog, where they have the opportunity to buy the book from which the article was derived. Some of my tweets are simple, but not shouting sales pitches for one of my books. For example :"Kirkus reviews Russ Moran's new book," followed by a link to my website. Naturally it was a good review, and many of my twitter pals retweet the message. These tweets also bring revenue through Google Adsense. I also send tweets referring to an article I wrote on HubPages., such as "How to Dock a Single Engine Boat Like a Pro - Three Simple Tips." Any tweeting boater who ever had a docking problem clicks on the link which brings him to my HubPages article and I make money from Adsense or Amazon or Ebay ads on my Hub. Here is the most important thing for you to know: The majority of traffic to my blog and to HubPages comes from Twitter, more than Google, Bing, Yahoo and visits from my fellow HubPages contributors. And I have only 8,900 Twitter followers, a respectable number but not gigantic.

Twitter is the microblogging site to beat all others. Join Twitter and it can create huge value for your business. It's all about building trust and getting followers. How to get more followers on Twitter is the question of the day for business people who tweet. Follow the tips in this article, especially the automation paragraphs, and you can make your Twitter experience a profitable one. You will be amazed that you once asked, "What is Twitter?"

Copyright ©2012 by Russell F. Moran

The writer of this article is the author of The APT Principle: The Business Plan that You Carry in Your Head, from which parts of this article are based.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I obviously have some work to do on Twitter! Thanks for the suggestions.

    • rfmoran profile image
      Author

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks for stopping by Bill

    • rfmoran profile image
      Author

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Will do!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have been meaning to get to this hub and, whew, I finally made it! Thank-you for linking to my hub at the end - very kind of you. I like that you explain that we don't always expect people to follow us back. I also follow huge personalities and retweet them yet don't hold my breath thinking they will do the same :) Content is king as the saying goes and Twitter is a venue for sharing great content - well, if we want it to be RT'd that is! I vote up, interesting, useful, and am sharing too.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing this, ChristyWrites. I can add a link to my recent hub on automating the process, too. Great topic, and voted well.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Fascinating! I knew nothing about Twitter. Now I do. Thanks for this information.

    • nothuk profile image

      nothuk 4 years ago from Varna, Bulgaria

      Thank you for the great tips on using Tweeter effectively.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      This is an excellent introduction to Twitter and how to make it part of a great business plan. Thank you. Voted up and useful and shared - on Twitter.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Would you consider writing an article about Pinterest, similar to this one? I am applying the techniques you describe and they already seem to be helping.

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan

      Twitter never provided me with a lot of direct page views. Maybe Im doing something wrong.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Do your twitter PVs show up as twitter on your "traffic sources" page? I have a lot more facebook views since I instituted some of your suggestions a few days ago.

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan

      DrMark1961, Twitter is listed as T.co on the traffic sources page.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      michiganman567 I have had over 10,000 PVs and not one has shown up as t.co, despite messages to my email such as "your message has been shared on twitter", etc. Are twitter followers also logged in as coming in through my profile page, as that is the address I leave there when I publish a new page? Either I am doing something very wrong, like you mentioned in your comment, or I do not need to bother with this site (to increase HP viewers).

      (I do appreciate the international and US news sites so maybe I should just delete the others on the site? I see a lot of "I am going to Starbucks" tweets that are just a waste of my time.)

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Thanks for a most helpful and enlightening Hub, Russ. I've read plenty of articles to the effect that Twitter was a good promotional medium, but none (until now) which actually went into the mechanics of using it effectively. I'll be putting these tips into practice immediately.

    • rfmoran profile image
      Author

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Go for it Michael. Done properly twitter works. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.

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