Twitter Marketing Strategy - Leveraging Your Profile for Profit
Turning Your Twitter Profile Into Profit
Whether you are a high-school student, college student, stay-at-home parent, working professional, or a business owner, most of you have joined the Twitter culture. We tweet about our families, things that we saw which impressed us or blew our minds, mundane things, or information that our customers are interested in - for those business owner tweeters. All in all, usually, over time, you can see that each and every Twitter account stays within a "subject range". Hence, either there is one type of information that it being tweeted about, or a general group of topics. These are known as "interests" for individual everyday users, and "subject matter" for those business users.
So, why is is important to you? Well, for one, 100% of Twitter marketing agencies are interested in selling something to Twitter users. They use those "interests" and "subject matter" to decide whose accounts would be best for their advertisements to be posted on. Now, they can't just decide to post these ads onto your account, so you have to go to them - usually through an advertising network. Most of us know of affiliate networks - there are lenses in Squidoo dedicated totally towards educating you upon affiliate marketing - however, Twitter ad agencies are a different animal altogether.
First of all, you already have your advertising medium - your Twitter account. You don't have to go out and buy a domain name, forward your domain, or build a website. However, don't think that there isn't any work involved. There are some key factors that are going to ensure that you find success with Twitter marketing.
1) Decide Upon Your Topics
You have to tweet about certain subject matters within your profile, and try to stick to them as much as possible. Of course you'll talk about some personal things, suggestions, or insights that you may have. However, you want the bulk of your tweets to be related to whatever topics that interest you the most. Choose topics which highly interest you, and that you are passionate about. This will ensure that you have plenty to talk about regarding the topic(s), and that you regularly do activities relating to them and can share your experiences on a regular basis.
EXAMPLE: Let's say that you're a college student. You love paintball, extreme sports, football, baseball, mountain biking and hiking. These are the activities that take up pretty much ALL of your time when you're not studying or in class. So, you tweet about them whenever you're participating in these activities, or when you see some new product relating to them, or when you find a cool website relating to them, or you find a crazy YouTube video relating to one of them... Advertisers who sell products relating to these topics will want their ad displayed on your profile, as long as your followers are also interested in the same activities - and they tweet about them or, even better, re-tweet your tweets when you tweet about them.
2) Tweet About Your Topics
So, you essentially keep doing what you're doing, except you make a point of tweeting a little more often whenever you have anything interesting regarding your key topics. It's a change in your thought process, and your actions, since you will be posting tweets more often. However, with the ease of tweeting today, by sending an SMS to your Twitter account, or accessing your account via the Twitter applications available on almost every cellular phone, there is very little effort needed on your part - only dedication.
So, if you have a website that sells coupons to people, let's use Groupon.com as an example, you'd be tweeting every time you posted the coupon(s) available for the day, and possibly any other money saving opportunities that you may find during your daily grind or surfing the internet. (Even if the opportunity is outside of your business) Remember, you want to succeed with your business, but people want to be helped as often as possible. Giving them free advice, and many opportunities to save money, especially in today's economy, will make them more attracted to listening to what you have to say - each and every day. Of course, you will also want to promote money-saving offers from partners that you may do business with as well - it allows for you create link exchange and cross-promotion opportunities with other websites and businesses.
All in all, it takes a little more discipline to stop and Tweet about what you're doing, seeing, or what you've found occasionally. However, this seems to almost be a regular activity for most Twitter users that you see tweeting on their cell phones. If it's that easy to just do, without any thinking or planning, then think of how easy it could be for you to do over time - with a plan in place.
3) Find Your Followers
Tweeting about your topics does help you to find like minded followers. People do search Twitter for information, just as they do anywhere else. However, waiting for them to come to you can often be a slow process, and will make for a very long wait to achieve any measurable success. Instead, there are some amazing tools that will allow you to find like-minded people on Twitter, so that you can follow them. Yes, I did say YOU follow THEM! Twitter is one of the social media mediums where the culture usually pays attention to who follows them, and 80 - 90% of the time, they will follow you back. Worst case scenario, will be that they check out your Twitter profile to see what you're tweeting about - which will make them more likely to follow you once they see the topic(s) of your tweets. Neither one of them are free, but they are EXTREMELY inexpensive in comparison to the amount of benefit that you get from them!
NOTE - DO NOT AUTOMATE DIRECT MESSAGES (DM'S) - Twitter users find this highly annoying, and HATE cleaning up their message box. If you send someone a DM, be sure that it is because they asked you for information that you don't wish to include in a tweet. Private messages to a follow of yours, or to a peer that you are trying to communicate to. The ONLY exception to not automating DM's are the one-time "Thank you for following me" messages.
Twitter Marketing Educational Resources on Amazon
4) Manage Your Twitter Account
As your Twitter account grows, so will your followers - as will the amount of questions that they ask you. Also, they amount of re-tweets that people will make of your tweets will grow. You want to have visibility of both of these types of mentions, or direct messages, so that you can respond in kind. You want to either answer their questions, or thank them for re-tweeting for you. The more positive experience that your followers have with you, the better it will be for you as well. So, a Twitter account management tool is definitely required. There are two of them that I will highly recommend to you and guess what? They're both free!
HootSuite - HootSuite is my account management tool of choice. I didn't say "Twitter Management Tool" because it will manage almost ALL of your social network accounts. (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) So, you will be able to monitor activity in all of your accounts, as well as disseminate information to each of them using the tool. Also, it has an amazing schedule feature that will allow you to schedule messages to be sent out later in the day, at any time, in 5 minute intervals. This is greatly handy to anyone who has classes, or a day job, and want to send out helpful information to their followers. Suggestion: Do some research the night before about topic related information, articles, videos, or websites, and schedule tweets to go out the next day while you're in class or at work. This allows you to continuously send out helpful information to your followers, without a major break in the day - especially since a lot of people monitor their accounts during the day.
5) Join Twitter Advertising Networks
Now that you've done the work necessary to build your Twitter profile, and its followers, to be highly focused to the topics that you chose, it's time to reap the benefits of your labors. You will want to join a couple of Twitter advertising networks that will allow you to post ads to your profile, and will pay you for the resulting traffic that they receive from your followers that see them. There will be two types of advertisements available to you, pay per tweet and pay per click. If an advertiser pays you per tweet, is is usually for a higher dollar amount that you can set within the site, and the site often recommends how much you should charge based upon your Twitter user following and activity. The advertiser is gambling that they will get enough clicks that it will drive their price per click extremely low. Pay per click will start off somewhere around $.02 per click and go up from there. This method allows a company to set a specific amount to pay per click, but doesn't have the potential to go lower than $.01, as pay per tweet does.
MyLikes - MyLikes is more of a referral system where its users make recommendations about products or services that they themselves have tried, or feel are doing some kind of public service. It allows you to post a single recommendation to your Twitter profile, plus it allows you to post the same ad 5 days in a row at a specific scheduled time if you want.
REMEMBER: Only accept offers that are in line with the core topic(s) that you tweet about. Even if a price seems attractive, the potential lack of clicks from your followers could hurt your overall average.
6) Choose Appropriate Advertisements
This is a highly important aspect of the process. You've done such a great job up until now ensuring that the content of your tweets are focused around your topics of interest, so you don't want to mess that up now. That's right, you are even going to be selective as to which ads post to your account! So, you're thinking - "Doesn't that mean that I'll make less money?" The answer is yes, at first. By being highly selective, and ensuring that the advertisements posted to your account only pertain to your topics of interests, you are going to ensure that the amount of people clicking on your ads is very high. If you start posting everything under the sun, then topic related ads will get lots of clicks, while other non-related ads won't. This will drive your average much lower than if you had remained selective, and you don't want that. Over time, as your followers grow, if your clicks per ad remain high, so does the value of your profile in the eyes of advertisers, which means your rates will escalate faster, which means that you will get paid more money per advertisement!
Trust me, quality, not quantity, is your goal. If you read through a lot of my postings in various blogs and websites, you'll see that I am a broken record - "quality, not quantity" - and I will continue to say it. The problem with internet marketing, is that you get people that jump into it, who are looking for a quick buck, and could care less about quality. They cram as much garbage traffic in that they can, and take as much money as they can. In the end, advertisers realize that they are losing money from the venture, and force the advertising networks to drive their prices WAY down, which in turn ensures that the rest of us make less money from our hard work. Where, if everyone in the network focuses on the quality of their audience, and ensuring that the ads they show to them are related to them, EVERYONE would be happy and those of us doing the work would CONTINUE to make money.
7) Be True To Your Profile
If you are working within your personal Twitter profile, then be yourself. Post items which make you happy, pertain to your daily activities, or deal with your personal experiences and perspectives. Of course, you want to be short, clear, and concise on Twitter. However, if you want to expand your sharing, it may be necessary for you to publish your own personal blog and use Twitter as an anouncement forum for your new blog posts. All in all, you don't want to be someone you're not. There is nothing worse than someone that you know calling you on a false statement about yourself or happenings in your life. Don't create drama where there is none, and don't overdramatize the drama that is there.
When it comes to businesses, or individuals who are presenting themselves in a professional manner, then the game changes as bit - but not much. You want to ONLY publish items which relate to your business or yourself professionally. Celebrities get away with publishing personal items about themselves, but they are the only ones who do. If it doesn't pertain to the business or your professional perspectives, experiences, or insights, then keep it away! Don't put family or personal items on your profile, unless they are directly involved with something from your business or services. Again, longer descriptions or situations should probably be posted within your company/professional website or blog, possibly even within your social media profile, as Twitter is limited to the amount of content you're allowed to share.
Staying true to you and your followers is the best and only way to keep them, and to engage future ones. A happy and loyal Twitter follower is more likely to share or recommend your posts if you are true and valuable to them in some way, shape, or form. You either are entertaining them, are relatable to them or their beliefs, or are offering information that they feel benefits them and would benefit others. If you do this - consistently - then your following will grow. By being true to yourself, you are in turn being true to them. This is the most appreciated asset on Twitter - someone who consistently shares items that you can either relate to or find value in.
In the end, I have given you a clear and precise road map to finding success. Making money with your Twitter profile is not only easy, but takes only a small amount of extra effort on your part. You can continue to do the things that you love, just talk about them more on Twitter. The tools that I have shown you will make the work more manageable for you as your audience grows to be in the thousands, then tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands. This will minimize the amount of actual time spent daily that you have to work on engaging your audience as well. Then, as your audience grows, so will the amount of money that you make from your advertisements. Anyone can do it, whether you're a student, a working professional, or a business owner, your Twitter profile can be turned into a money making tool. Remember, starting off small, the amount of money made will also be small. However, as you work to build your profile over time, you will see your earnings grow along with it.
No wishes of luck needed, just get started. Then, as a favor to me, return to this lens and post feedback here as to how much success you found following my guidelines!