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Marketing with Twitter

7th Jun 2010
MD WSI
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Twitter is a great social networking success story and this is so very intriguing because of the inherent limitations of the platform - tweets can only be 140 characters!  So how come a platform with these limitations has become such a runaway success story?  In many ways these apparent limitations are both the greatest asset and the greatest challenge for people trying to use Twitter for any number of purposes - espcially marketing!

On the plus side, the short messages have created an entire culture of Twitter-fluent writers. The brevity of the message makes you think hard and you have to use every trick that you know to get the most information into the fewest number of characters. On the other hand it creates a severe headache for the marketing community because it doesn't leave much room to develop an argument or present a concept of a product or service.  Therefore, the majority of Tweets are very short social comments or updates, and most of the marketing involves calling attention to particular links that you include in your Tweet.

We are where we are with Twitter and we have to work with these limitations. There are always ways round such apparent obstacles and Twitter is a tool that every business or organization needs to add to its marketing mix in order to see continued success on the web for their business.  Because the of the limitations of short messages on Twitter, it is important to ensure that the peripheral data that builds up around the message projects the marketing message you want to achieve.  This may be building your brand, attracting leads/sales or communicating with existing customers. 

SEO is still important

Twitter profiles are now ranked by search engines - especially Google. Therefore SEO techiques are as important as ever. There are lots of opportunities to use practical SEO technques on Twitter:

  • Put the title of the brand you're marketing in the bio
  • Include the most relevant keywords in your profile - the first 20-30 characters are the best place, as later words are of decreased importance in a Google ranking search
  • Add relevant keyword to your tweets
  • Tweet consistently and make your tweets relevant

 Identify Your Audience

All brands succeed or fail depending on the engagment of the audience.  In Twitterland this is known as tweeple. There are a number of tools to help you identify the tweeple that you want to convert into an audience of followers. Twitterholic can help you identify the main players based on their Twitter traffic and their location. If you know your field or brand well, you can use this to locate groups with similar interests and entice them to your feed. Tweepz is a similar tool, focusing on location, and Twitter itself has a'near this location' feature that can be used to identify tweeple nearby your center of business.

Let's Give Them Something to Tweet About

Twitter is an effective way to quickly distribute information but its real power is in its ability to create conversations about something interesting. The biggest mistake would be to gather up a large user list of tweeple and start spamming them with links promoting your latest product or service. This will only get you flagged for abuse or ignored entirely, and therefore is rather counterproductive to good marketing goals.

The trick is to do your best to make it your tweets relevant. As always, strong content and clear presentation will win out over gimmicks and sales speak.

Good luck and happy Tweeting!

Anthony @ www.wsionlinebiz.co.uk

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