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Twitter Marketing 101

Updated on September 11, 2013

The Soft Sell Engages Well.

If you have been on a computer in the last 5 years you cannot help hearing about Twitter. If you don’t already know, Twitter is a social media product that users have free access and there are only a few rules. They are 140 characters in your post, 140 characters in your profile and 140 characters in any emails sent from your twitter account. For your information the last sentence was 132 characters including spacing. So why twitter? Twitter was a way to communicate an idea quickly (it’s instant) and to the point. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, there were people tweeting what was happening from nearby locations. A sentence or two at a time and the world knew of the tragedy. The same can be said of civil conflict, war and terrorism. If you’re tuned into twitter and follow the right people you can get information, albeit basic information on the spot.

The other major use of twitter is to market your product service or idea to a number of people. The product may or may not be commercial. You could see a tweet from the World Wildlife Foundation or your local restaurant with an offer. The key to marketing on twitter is to make your tweets not so commercial. Would you want to listen to a constant drone of marketing messages all day? I didn’t think so. If you are on twitter what you want to see is news, interesting topics, photographs, how to items or events. You accept a certain level of commercialism because it is acceptable in our society.

Keep them at your website

Google algorithms rank websites by a number of factors but an important one is the time you spend on a webpage and the depth of pages you review. This is to try to get the word out about honestly interesting pages and not the black hat SEO efforts that some marketers use to get them to the top. So let’s analyse what would keep you coming back to a website and staying for a few minutes. In a nutshell the web user asks themselves “What’s in it for me?” and you as the marketer have to provide the useful content. Without useful content why stay to listen to a commercial unless you were researching the product.

Some examples of useful content are almost any non-commercial marketing use of the internet. This includes specialized search engines (to search your site or Google has local search engines you can put on your site) training videos, trivia questions, recipes, interesting stories, accomplishments of your workers (like if one of them won a music competition or competed in the Olympics or was featured for some altruistic work) Certification training for installers of your product, innovative ways to use your product, and in general any value added data you can present. If I had a marketing company i would set up articles like this one would add value to my site. So twitter followers will find you more interesting if you don’t try to sell them but add value to their life.

Other ways to become more valuable is to recognise your twitter followers for some of their posts. If someone tweets about a recent accomplishment you should re-tweet were possible in order to provide some recognition and celebrate their success.

Twitter - How Much is Too Much?

So this brings us to the question of ratio and frequency. (And if you go back to my tweets I’m not perfect) Tweeting should be done every day and every hour during business hours. You can also tweet after hours but there is a law of diminishing returns to deal with. There are programs like Social Oomph that can schedule tweets for you as well. If you’re serious about a twitter marketing campaign, with a reasonable budget I would get a scheduling program. An ideal situation would be to encourage the twitter user to go to your blog for the useful information and you can provide logo, links, contests and stories from there. You could run a contest for readers to send in a picture of a pet dressed up pet at Halloween or a new way to use your product, or the best apple pie recipe. The idea is to keep your reader engaged and forget about your product to a degree. Here’s an example of how a pet groomer could work her business into the name of her pet pictures posted. “ Patty” tweets for people to add their cute pets to her pet picture wall on her site. She calls it “Patty the Pet Groomer’s Wall of Pretty Pooches.” People go to her site, post a picture of their pet, look at the useful advice she offers on how to train your puppy, how to house break them, and how to clip the puppy’s claws. She explains why it’s important to rid your pet of fleas, not just for the animals comfort but for their health too. She then offers a 20% discount on a reflective collar for a month when you get your pet groomed. That is an effective use of twitter. That will get her higher rankings on Google as well. If Patty simply said I have a 20% off special this week she would not get people coming to the site and becoming engaged. Sometimes it’s the simple friendly approach that works way better than the direct approach.

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