Maybe you have heard of it, the phenomenon known as Twitter? If you are one of the thousands of business owners who have leveraged this tool, good for you! This article may be a recap or simply an affirmation of all your great work thus far using this tool. However, if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of business owners who laugh at and even mock Twitter, summing it up as a huge waste of time, you need to keep reading. You will be very surprised at how 146 characters can be amazing beneficial and such a powerful marketing strategy.
Twitter is best used to build your brand and not try to sell your products or services. Yes, you heard that correctly. Often, businesses will create a Twitter account, ask their customers, friends and family to add them (hopefully they do) and then they start sending out “tweets” that are simply sales ads and commercials. This is the fastest way to ensure Twitter is the most ineffective tool in your marketing tool box. Why? Twitter is better used to build your brand, gain trust and show your company cares enough to offer value, free of charge.
Twitter is a great marketing tool for SEO too!
When done well, Twitter can build a loyal following of tens of thousands of targeted folks you want keeping your brand name fresh in their minds. And here is the key. You simply achieve this by not offering your services or products in Tweets or only occasionally (think 1-2 times per month – tops). The real value is that they continue to know you exist and are constantly reminded that you are the authority or expert in your field or service and when they are ready, they will seek you out, not your competition.
Ah, now you’re thinking! That’s the spirit, you need to get the fan base (yup, we call them fans) and you can achieve this easily by offering a perceived value to them. Of course, some markets are much easier to achieve this goal in than others. For example, it is much easier for me to market a health spa than say a dry cleaner, right? I mean everyone wants to get more health tips and learn about relaxation, healthy eating, therapeutic mind exercises. The articles, tips and free information you could offer seem endless. But what about that dry clearner, who really wants to know about the dry cleaning business?
Well, that is where a little research, creative thinking and just a bit of fun come in. Wouldn’t you love to know how to get a wine stain out of that favorite shirt or blouse you wore to that party on Saturday? And what about cleaning stains from your carpet? If I could share with you an amazing tip that helped you quickly get wrinkles out in a hotel room, would that add value to your life? You can see how some creative thinking can be just as powerful to a dry cleaner as a health spa. In fact, the more “niche” your business is, the less competition you will have in the social media and traditional marketing venues. How many doggy pooper scooper companies do you see on Twitter? We love these clients, it is not only fun but hugely successful to build a brand when no one else is doing it. Of course, once you lead the way, they all follow – but you are already the authority.
Of course, you do have to create content that has value. What is valuable to one person is not to another, so variety is also key. Creating the same article said a different way is not the goal. Keep your content fresh, informative, brief and most of all, something that someone wants to share with someone else. Imagine, you Tweet about how to get dog hair off of your favorite blanket in seconds with a simple, easy to get tool. Next thing you know, your friends re-Tweets the post and now all of your friend’s followers see it. Then one of them re-Tweets it and … well you get the picture. That is what we call viral.
If you see Twitter as the delivery mechanism and not the value itself, you have hit the nail on the head. Let me explain. 146 characters goes pretty fast. You won’t get to fit in a lot and if you do, you lose the real benefit of the tool. Driving traffic to your website or business. Let me show you how I would promote this article on Twitter, which I will do right after I finish writing it – is that how you got here? On Twitter, my Tweet would look something like this:
[box] #Twitter – The most powerful 146 characters in your #marketing strategy | #PortsideMkt | http://j.mp/wmNyVV[/box]
There is a lot there, so let me break it down and then tell you why it is so powerful.
This is called a hash tag and is basically a bookmark. When you use this before a word, it marks it for searches. So when folks search for Twitter, your Tweet is actually in the search results, somewhere. The more popular the word, the less likely you get see. So you see we add this in a caouple of places but pay special attention to how I used it in front of my companies Twitter account name. This ensures that I am getting “mentions” by others when they re-tweet the post. This is hugely important and you should do this on anything you wish to gain ranking with.
[box] The most powerful 146 characters in your #marketing strategy[/box]
This is where we have the call to action. The idea is, I have something of value that I will give to you if you click the link. So go ahead, click it. This is the part that is so important – if you say it is the best thing since chocolate cake, well, it better be! Or you will lose followers just as fast as you get them. If I wrote articles about how to get Twitter followers and gain a fan base but left the best parts out only to say “Go ahead, hire me and I will do it.” I offered you no value. I would be trying to “trick you” into hiring our company. There simply is a better way.
How? I give away all of our secrets absolutely free of charge. We hold nothing back. Ours is a good example. If you are a small business, you may simply run off and go do what you learn today for yourself, without hiring our company. Great! We are happy we offered you such a wonderful resource that adds value for your time. We are confident, that many of our followers, as their company grows, will seek out our services when they are ready. Why? Because we are the authority on internet marketing and in this case, understand everything there is to know about Twitter and how to effectively use it to increase profits. Also, many businesses simply do not have the time it takes to create the most effective strategy for social marketing.
This article will take me over two hours to write, format, get ready for promotion and then schedule systematic Tweets, Facebook posts and more to help people find it. Most businesses cannot afford that time, they need to focus on their business.They too now know we are honest, up front and are there to help them, not just try to get their hard earned money. I digress. Let’s get back to the last part of that Tweet.
What the heck is that link? That is a shortened version of the link to this article, which can be created using several sources, including Bitly, Google, and Tiny. Also, many social media tools have these link “shortners” built in.
So, it is easy to see how Twitter can become one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal if used correctly. By always providing a high value for your target market and delivering to them the best free content, service, tips or information (free products are great too), you can quickly see how fellow Tweetsters will want to follow those that offer the best stuff. And when they do need your services, they will seek you out. In a nutshell, it is about building your brand.