This article will briefly describe what Twitter is, and how to use it. The remainder of the article is geared towards the Twitter user who is looking to network or promote their business. Twitter can be an incredibly powerful free internet marketing tool if you use it properly.
WHAT IS TWITTER
Twitter is a “micro blogging” site. Essentially you use it as you would a blog, however, Twitter limits you to 140 characters whenever you write something. When you post something on Twitter, it’s called a “tweet”. In Twitter you will have people “following” you (people who will have your tweets appear on their Twitter home page), and you will “follow” people (you will see their tweets appear on your Twitter homepage). You can follow anyone you like. This could be friends or family, or it could be a celebrity or idol of yours. I’ve found that there are actually a lot of celebrities, authors, musicians etc on Twitter, and it can be kind of cool to see what they Tweet about.
You can tweet about whatever you like. If you’re only connecting with friends and family, you can simply update people about what you’re doing at the moment, or you can post links to cool videos or any other interesting information you want to share with people. I would highly recommend not over-tweeting, i.e. updating people every ten minutes on what you’re doing. This can be very annoying to people who are following you, because then their entire home page is taken up by your Tweets, and it’s hard to follow what other people are doing. If you’re using Twitter to network and grow your business, the following sections are dedicated to you.
HOW TO USE TWITTER
If you haven’t already, sign up for an account at twitter.com. Once you’re in, go to your “settings” tab and enter your information. I would definitely recommend adding a personal photo of yourself to help people identify you. You can also spice up your home page by changing the background. Twitter has some decent backgrounds that are easy to use, but you can also use custom images as your background. If you want to do so, click “change background image”, then “browse”, and you can choose any image off your computer. Google “twitter backgrounds” and you’ll get tons of results for cool backgrounds you can use for Twitter.
OPTIMIZING TWITTER FOR YOUR BUSINESS
The following sections are dedicated to those looking to network and promote their businesses.
OPTIMIZING YOUR PROFILE
You want to make your profile memorable and eye-catching to people, otherwise they’re just going to pass you by and forget you. If you’re marketing your business, it’s 100% necessary you get a profile picture up there. The default Twitter profile picture is completely boring and forgettable, and it just doesn’t bring anything to the table. Ideally, have a nice picture of yourself for people to see. I would also suggest getting a custom background image as I did before. Simply Google “twitter backgrounds” and you’ll get a ton of different sites with some great background images. It not only makes your profile look interesting and unique, but it makes it look like you’re a serious Twitter user. Additionally, it acts as a point to strike up conversation with strangers (i.e. prospects for your business). I get comments about my background frequently from people who are following me.
Add a link to your Web page of course in the “web” section of your profile. Also, I would recommend not adding a generic bio like “I’m an internet marketer etc…”. First, it makes it look like the only reason you’re on Twitter is to sell people. Second, putting up other information acts as a conversation starter with strangers. As soon as I changed my bio from something generic I had people commenting on my interests and asking questions about them.
OPTIMIZING YOUR TWEETS
As stated above, you don’t want to be tweeting every ten minutes about something. Even if it’s useful stuff it can get irritation for people following you. I can’t give any exact number on this, but try to make a few interesting tweets a day. Don’t just say stuff like “I’m going to take a walk” or something, try to put useful or interesting information out there. One, it will get people interested in you, and two, it won’t look like all you’re trying to do is sell people. You’re limited to 140 characters per post, so it really is not difficult to make an interesting tweet. Link to a cool YouTube video or to an interesting news story. If you’re in marketing, link to some great marketing advice. Do not constantly self-promote, it will just turn people off. Maybe make one tweet a day sending people to your site, but reserve the rest for other subjects.
If you want to be getting leads, you’re going to have to have people following you, and you’re going to want lots of people following you. An easy way to do this is to use something called “Tweet Later”. Go to http://www.tweetlater.com and register your Twitter account. Next go to Accounts, then Edit Account, then Edit. Scroll down and select “Auto Follow”. With this option selected, you are going to follow anyone who decides to follow you. Most people on Twitter actually use this function, and this is how you’re going to get followers. I personally follow about 200 new people a day on Twitter. If most of those people are using auto follow, that’s around 200 new followers a day that I will get. If you have the time and patience, you can double that. The numbers add up, and you can quickly have a few thousand followers. That’s a few thousand people who will potentially be reading what you have to say. Just be careful not to go overboard (no more than following say 400 new people a day), because the Twitter people don’t want people abusing the system.
It can be useful to target other marketers. Some may be frustrated in their businesses and may want to join you. To find like-minded people, simply follow a big name marketer or business person. For example, Mike Dillard, Jay Kubassek, Donald Trump, Aaron Parkinson, and so on. Click on these people’s followers, and then follow the next few pages of their followers. These will generally be people interested in internet marketing. It actually doesn’t take too long to add a couple hundred people, it only takes one click to follow someone.
In the Tweet Later Edit Account section, you’re also going to want to select “Auto Welcome”. This will send whatever message you specify to your new followers. I would highly recommend NOT doing any advertising here, it will simply turn most people off, and it’s incredibly transparent. My personal message is “Hey how’s it going? Thanks for following! Where are you located?”. You’re not going to get anywhere close to having everyone actually answer you, but I do get a lot of interested people telling me they’re great and where they’re from. This is a great way to start a conversation. Any of these people may turn into leads. If they don’t, then no big deal. I’ve personally found it interesting to simply meet and talk to new people from all over the world.
Finally, you will also want to unfollow anyone who isn’t following you. Try to do this every 24 hours. You need to do this because once you are following 2000 people, the amount of people following you needs to be within 10% of the number of people you follow, i.e. if you’re following 2000, you need to have 1800 followers. These are Twitter’s rules, and if your numbers aren’t right, you won’t be able to follow any more people. To unfollow people, click on “Following” to see everyone that you’re following. If someone is following you back, you’ll be able to send them a direct message, i.e. there will be a “direct message” button right under their name. If there isn’t, they’re not following you back. To unfollow them just click the “remove” button on the right.
That’s essentially the basics. Try it out and see what works for you. Just remember not to push your business all over people. For more free internet marketing information, check out my blog at mossopblog.com.