Simple Ways To Promote Your Business Online (Part 1): Using Twitter
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform which lets you update your status and tell the whole world what you are up to. There are millions of Twitter addicts all over the world and the number of active users has increased by 900% in the past year which is a sweet advantage companies can use in promoting themselves. Below are simple guidelines to help you boost sales tremendously and expand customer base through Twitter.
- Build an account and immediately start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitors' names, words that relate to your space and so on (listening always comes first). Also import your contacts from gmail, hotmail and your own address book (relating with people you already know makes things way easier).
- Make sure that your Profile is complete. Fill in all the fields (both required and optional) and include your website URL. You can also personalize your Twitter page to match your company's branding, without forgetting to add a picture. People want to see what your brand looks like.
- Talk to people about your Followers' interests too. Don't just go talking about yourself all day. I know this doesn't sell more products, but it shows your followers you are human too and that matters a lot.
- Understand Twitter's dynamics - follow other users (people love and cherish a brand that follows back. Be active in the community (tweet and post comments about others' tweets often. Only post useful and relevant information. Don't tweet every 5 minutes. It becomes annoying. Engage in conversations. Retweet (reply to others' tweets) often. Don't promote your company directly, do it the smart way. For example, if you sell gadgets, write a buyer's guide about the kind of gadgets that you sell and tweet about that blog post. That is useful information. Avoid tweets like "Great Gadgets On Sale; Starting at N1,000."
- Build your Followers' base - there are many things that you can do to build your followers' base. Place a link "Follow Me on Twitter" everywhere (your email signature, forums, website and business cards). Everytime you post on your blog, invite people to follow you on Twitter. Search for Twitter users whose followers' base you would love to have for yourself. See who is following them and follow those users. They will follow you back. See who is following your friends and follow them. There are Twitter directories that are great to find members who are likely to follow you. Examples include 'Just Tweet It' and 'Twellow'. Use Twitter's search feature to find profiles that interest you. Use Twitter's RSS feed to be notified every time a tweet containing a certain keyword is made.
- Balance your Followers/Following ratio: Try to have a balance between people you follow and people that follow you. If a lot of people follow you and you don't follow them back, they will stop following you. If you are following a lot of people but just a few are following you, you will be seen as a spammer trying to grow your follower-base as quickly as possible.
- Make Following you worthwhile: Tweet interesting stuff. Every time you are about to post something, ask yourself - Is this something I would be interested in? If the answer is no, chances are that your followers will feel the same way.
- Learn from the best: Find users with several hundred followers and learn from them. See what they are doing right and get ideas from them.
- Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.
- Third party clients like Tweetdeck and Twhirl make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.
- When promoting a blog post, asked questions or explaining what's coming next, Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions instead of just dumping a list.
- When promoting your brand, promote that of others too. It doesn't directly impact your business, but it makes people feel they can get big time useful information from you thereby giving you the upper hand.
- Share links to neat things in your community.
Those are some handy titbits.Twitter Marketing can lead to positive exposure for your business. Companies have been known to make quite a fortune from customers that found them through a Twitter account. Depending on your business, Twitter could be one of the most successful weapons in your internet marketing arsenal.