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October 7, 2009

Twitter Marketing Tactics

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A little Twitter with your marketing? Gettin’ tweety with it!

Okay, I’m not sure I’ll be leaving New York with my sanity intact, but I know you like it that way. Drum roll please:

Speakers:
Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Service
Tamar Weinberg, Author, Owner, Techipedia.com
Chris Winfield, President, 10e20, LLC (also doing double duty as moderator)

Twitter Marketing

Chris Winfield wants this session to be as interactive as possible — because that’s kinda what Twitter is about. It’s not about structure. It’s not about rules. And when he does a presentation about Twitter, he likes to have Twitter do it for him. With Twitter you can tap into so many people and get so much information. And that’s takeaway number one.

You could read lots of books on marketing with Twitter, but the problem is, a tactic on Twitter could work for one company and not for another.

So first he asked on Twitter, “How do you define marketing on Twitter?” Here are some responses:

  • It’s about relationship marketing. Long term (months/years) steady return on your efforts. Some spikes not many.
  • Marketing on Twitter is reaching out and building relationships and engaging in knowledge sharing.
  • Anything that gets users from Twitter to convert without annoying people in the process.
  • Don’t do marketing on Twitter. Have a conversation and earn the market’s trust. (Anti-marketing marketing)
  • Building a community which you can then interact with; closely monitor effectiveness.
  • It’s about giving your brand a personality. Your brand gets personalized and comes alive.

“There’s lots of spam on Twitter. But what’s the worst form of it? Why?”

  • Trending topic spam, especially at the local level. It screws up the real-time search feature.
  • Want to join my mafia? It comes from random people so it’s hard to block.
  • Spam that steals login credentials and mass-spams your followers.
  • Porn accounts following you can damage credibility. Be diligent in blocking.
  • False tagging and irrelevant links hidden in short URLs.
  • DM spam and auto DM after following someone. It’s usually a horrible pitch of some service.

“How are you leveraging Twitter to help get you more links and traffic to your sites/blogs?”

  • Spreading the message via useful and interesting stuff and communicating with others.
  • Twitter as an RSS feed for interacting with followers and using keyword searches to find related writers to connect with.
  • Mixing conversations with links. If you just use an account to push content, people will stop listening.
  • Build and engage an audience, then when you have content to promote, they will be willing to.

“Are hashtags important? How do you use them?”

  • During events like SMX, they’re helpful for searching and for connecting at the event.
  • Seems less useful due to hashtag spam.
  • They just show you’re a fluent tweeter.
  • Hashtags help in structuring tweet content and making it easier to find. They’re also great for establishing authority.
  • For geo-based events and connections.

“Is Twitter’s real time search really a threat to Google?”

  • Yup! I rarely Google search for products, tech help or recommendations. I just tweet and get answers.
  • People don’t search Twitter unless they’re looking for someone that something said on Twitter.
  • A threat indeed. They got the users — they need to nail the indexing and integration.
  • Greasemonkey script overlays twitter results with Google.
  • No, try explaining complex concepts in 140 characters.
  • The real-time convo is a threat — using people to get an instant answer.
  • Nope! Overhyped.
  • Probably not because Google has so many more resources.
  • Yes. Google can’t yet provide info on live/current events. Twitter often becomes the first-try search engine.
  • Yes because it takes the convo offline fast, leading to less content creation like blogs.

“How would you convince a company (in 140 characters or less) that Twitter isn’t a waste of time?”

  • It’s a tool to stay in touch with clients and colleagues as well as to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Find examples of where small issues were diffused.
  • Twitter can easily connect you to influencers in any discipline. Unlike Facebook, people see what you tweet @ them.
  • Results — analytics and customer engagement.
  • I convinced my boss with over 21k followers.
  • See the Georgia Aquarium, able to raise $43,000.
  • It’s the quickest way to spread info to people who have never heard of your company. And its free.
  • Low cost, big potential to grow your brand.
  • Show them by querying their brand or company name in Twitter search.

Tamar Weinberg takes the podium next. “Participation in marketing” means marketing yourself by being involved in communities. She’ll be sharing some case studies with us.

Tyson Foods had two initiatives. One was a give away through a comment contest on the blog. For every comment made, they donated food. They also started a blog highlighting those running food pantries. Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse has a blog, a YouTube and Vimeo channel, they’re on LinkedIn, everywhere. Their blog includes lots of instructional videos about preparing food.

Twitter gives you immediate feedback, the ability to easily connect with people, and faster customer service. API applications got Twitter off the ground, enabling developers to make powerful applications that also help marketers.

Generating Sales

Dell made $3 million in 2 years over its Twitter stream. Can small companies do the same? Check out Mimobot’s word of the day contest and Namecheap’s contest.

What about in saturated markets? An Apple app offered a freebie that complemented the product. Twitter gave them access to an older, tech-savvy demographic. One week is all it took to become one of the top 30 paid apps.

Customer Service

JetBlue’s Morgan Johnston helps Tamar all the time and also helps others. ComcastCares is the major case study. It extends to client acquisition, too!

Brand Awareness

Look to Zappos to see an organization that gives users firsthand knowledge of the culture. She doesn’t think Amazon would have acquired the company, at least not for as much as they did, if there wasn’t public awareness around the brand.

Oh Nuts is a small tri-state area candy store. They use Twitter for contests and giveaways. They monitor keywords for the biggest selling products and seek out tweets and respond. They get lots of traffic to their site from Twitter and a higher feeling of connectedness.

What Works Best?

Contests: bring visibility, especially via the use of hashtags.

Customer service: don’t forget people are talking about you, even if you’re not involved in the conversation.

Next, Chris promises us that Michael Gray will have an entertaining presentation. No doubt. This is going to be about commercial accounts, not personal accounts.

What are your goals?

  • Commercial accounts have different goals than personal accounts.
  • Connect with your customers, advocates, industry leaders, new customers and detractors.
  • Make sales and generate leads.
  • Promote content.
  • Solve customer problems.

How big can you grow your account? You probably won’t get several hundreds of thousands of followers. But you can grow, even with a smaller brand.

Tips to grow your account

  • Tweet links to non self serving interesting content.
  • Retweet the most self serving links of power users in your vertical.
  • Help solve people’s problems.
  • Engage with users, especially people who @ you.
  • Don’t be a robot. Tweet the occasional boring, off-the-cuff, slice-of-life information.
  • Dig through other people’s follower list.
  • Use directories like twellow, wefollow, mrtweet to find leaders in your vertical.
  • Build a master list of A-, B- and C-level people. Then mine their followers.
  • Use auto-follow scripts with CAUTION. Twitter doesn’t like it so if you want to experiment, don’t do it on your most important accounts.

Automate without being a robot

  • Look for ways to automate your Twitter activity.
  • Have blog post auto-tweet when they publish.
  • Schedule tweets in the future with tools.
  • Use virtual assistants and “grunt labor.”
  • Repeat tweets for multiple time zones.

When it comes to Twitter for traffic, for a lot of the site’s he’s seen, Twitter is among the top five referrers.

Tools of the tweeter:

HootSuite and EasyTweet let you manage multiple accounts and schedule things.
URL shortening should have 301 builder and tracking.
TwitterHawk is a paid service that lets you respond to different keyword mentions.

Retweet tips:

  • Make tweets direct and click enticing.
  • Keep tweets as short as possible, leaving 15 to 25 characters free for retweeting.
  • Jump-start the retweet process with your friends.
  • Ask for the retweet — thank people who do retweet.
  • If more than 30 minutes has gone by without a retweet, in most cases it’s over.
  • Be aware of multiple time zones — tweet multiple times throughout the day.
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2 responses to “Twitter Marketing Tactics”

  1. @steveplunkett writes:

    Thanks for posting this.

    =)

  2. lokimanu writes:

    Twitter is very useful and creative social networking i like most and i can saying about your article that it is very informative about the twitter tactic marketing…Muscle Might



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