Guest Post by Patsy
Twitter enjoyed tremendous growth in 2009. Sysomos recently reported that almost 73% of all current Twitter account holders joined the micro blogging site in 2009 alone, taking it to over 11 million user accounts. It is no surprise then that the once thought of new fad site, has caught the attention of marketing professionals and PR departments around the world.
It has become a very powerful and effective marketing tool for many businesses, both large and small. If you are currently tweeting your messages out to the masses, you may or may not have noticed a change to your bottom line. This could be a simple matter of ineffective or improper use.
Twitter was created as a social tool, but has rapidly morphed, similar to Facebook, into a powerful marketing tool. Understanding how to tap into the 11 million plus users is an essential piece of the marketing puzzle. Do it effectively and you could propel your business in the coming years, but use it ineffectively and you become just another name in the stream.
Here are some quick tips to help you use your Twitter account effectively:
Too often businesses are unsure of the best way to create a Twitter account. Do you use the business as the personality behind the tweets or an individual? If you are a one man shop, say an Internet Entrepreneur or Marketer, then you may choose to utilize your own persona, rather than your company, but if you are a large corporation it is probably beneficial to use the company name to assist in Branding. Whichever you choose, make sure the structure best suits your company’s personality.
Faces In A Crowd
With so many users plugged into Twitter, you may think you have a virtual sea of potential customers just dying to hear your message. This is no more true than if you were to grab a bullhorn and shout about it at halftime during the next Superbowl. Fact is, not everyone listening is going to be interested in your message so you need to know your audience and write for them. Know which customers you are trying to attract and focus in on the problems they may be experiencing which you can solve. Don’t over generalize so as not to isolate potential customers. Tweets should keep your customer base in mind at all times.
DMs or BMs?
Many Tweeps (Twitter speak for Twitter peeps) would set up third-party applications to deliver automated Direct Messages (also known as DMs) to their new followers. Whenever a new Twitter user started following their tweets, the follower would receive an automated message, sort of introduction, but always hooked into a pitch of some kind. When these automated DMs first started they were effective because few knew about them and they actually gave the perception of a personalized contact. Over time, however, they polluted (and still pollute) the Twittersphere and users learned quickly that it was just another salesman knocking on the door. Their effectiveness quickly wore off and the once perceived personal attention was soon replaced with an impersonal, scripted invasion of their inbox. Use DM’s as you would an email. Don’t spam every one of your new followers. Instead use them for legitimate contact with another user.
Twitter has greatly improved the searchability of the twitter stream. What once was offered only by third-party programs for a fee has now been added to Twitter, free of charge, to all of its users. These search capabilities have proven very powerful, especially for large companies looking to get a pulse from their customers. If Coke wants to see what people are talking about, they could simply search for users who mentioned Coke in their tweet. By reviewing the tweets they could easily identify common questions their customers may be having or the influence of a new product line which has hit the market. This research can provide a wealth of information to Coke and help them make improvement or get those questions answered.
Twitter is definitely NOT a passing fad. It is a necessary marketing tool that every business should be tapping into, however, it cannot be overstated if you are going to use it, use it effectively. These are just a few tips. Using your common sense and knowing your customers can assist greatly in making your tweets effective.
Patsy is working for Go-gulf.com, a Dubai web design company that provides web design solution in Kuwait, Sharjah and Middle East.