The Power of Twitter
Social media platforms, like Twitter, have changed the way people communicate and interact. This micro-blogging platform that has had a never-before-seen growth, at an over 1,000 percent increase in its user base year-on-year, is the equivalent of a virtual social club where people can meet, get to know each other, socialize, make new friends and maintain existing friendships.
Twitter, though, is unlike any other social media platform you know or have been using for the simple reason that it is extremely restrictive. You are constrained to 140 characters of text and you cannot upload media content or post long articles. However, this is what makes Twitter an effective, real time communication system.
One thing that Twitter is not is an online mall where people come to buy or sell things. While this may make you stand up, take notice and scream at the top of your lungs that you don’t need Twitter if you can’t promote your offers, you would be sorely mistaken. You see, that is where the true power of Twitter is, in the fact that it isn’t a marketplace.
Twitter should not be considered a cheap form of advertising because treating it like a traditional advertising medium will get you nowhere.
On the other hand, this micro-blogging platform ranks among the most effective and powerful marketing tools that you can use. This is due to the fact that Twitter is the perfect place to build relationships with your target market and this is critical to your online marketing success because consumers have changed a lot over the past decade.
Integrating Twitter into Your Strategy
Many Internet marketers overlook Twitter as they see it as a waste of time. However, you ignore this platform at your own peril because not only can it generate a substantial profit for you in the long run, it will also help you understand your market more effectively than anything else. The more you understand your target market, the more you know about these people and what makes them tick, the more effectively you will be able to sell to them and the more money you will make.
The first thing you need to understand is that Twitter and, in fact, most social media sites have become important sources of information for people who are looking to make a purchase. A lot of people go on Twitter to ask the opinion of their friends and followers regarding various services and products. As you saw above, over 40 percent of social media users take these recommendations into consideration when choosing which product to purchase. It is basically electronic word-of-mouth advertising, which is by far the most effective form of advertising.
Now, just as with any marketing strategy you need to have a plan. Without a plan your chances of failure increase for the simple reason that you won’t know where you are going.
Building a Following
Building a following is not a quick process, especially if you want your followers to be dedicated and loyal. The more your following is made up of raving fans, the easier it will be for you to sell to them. Not only that, but raving fans turn into lifetime customers and your main goal is to work smarter not necessarily harder. Working smarter means making more money from a single customer rather than finding more customers. This is because it takes much less time and it is less expensive to maintain an existing customer than it is to find new customers.
Twitter gives you the added advantage of traffic that converts well. Studies have shown that social media traffic has a higher conversion rate than organic traffic or paid traffic because these are prospects with whom you have established a relationship.
We have already covered how you can find prospects, but now we need to look at how to turn those prospects into followers. One way to do this is to begin by following these people first. You can start with any existing customers you may have in your personal contact lists and this can be done quickly because you can import your contact lists from Gmail, Yahoo! and AOL. Twitter will compare the email addresses from your lists with its database of users and return a list of all your existing contacts who are using the service and allow you to decide who to follow.
Then you can begin to follow people you have discovered in Twellow or similar services such as Twubble.com or 99Tribes.com that are in your
niche. Twubble analyzes your existing list and makes suggestions based on similar profiles while 99 Tribes allows you to search based on interests. The advantage of the latter is that it allows you to really narrow your focus quickly by employing a wide range of filters making your work much easier and faster.
Another approach to building a list of followers is by following people who are on the list of followers of your competition. You should focus on people who are industry leaders in your niche, so, for example, to continue with our Internet marketing niche, if you provide PPC services or information products, then consider following someone like Perry Marshall’s followers.
One advantage of following people like this is that many have auto-follow activated which means that once you follow them, they will automatically follow you back. However, to make sure they stay on your list you need to make sure you are providing valuable and compelling information.
The Power of Lists
Twitter lists are categories of Twitter users that people create to make it easier to follow their tweets. For example, some users build lists of their favorite tweeters on social media marketing strategies or lists of their personal friends.
This means that you have a list of people in your niche that has already been researched by someone else, which will cut down on the work you
need to do considerably. Additionally, you can follow a whole list of people with a single click.
Credibility and Relationships
Now that you have found people to follow, you need to make sure they follow you back. You do this by providing valuable content and information as well as being helpful. For example, if you come across someone asking for help in your niche, you can provide them with a solution. This will begin to build your image as an expert in your field and an increasing number of people will turn to you for help.
The more people regard you as an expert and someone who provides value, the higher the chance of their defenses crumbling. The latter means that they will be much more open to your commercial messages and the likelihood of them buying your product is much higher.
The Value of Content
No matter what anyone tells you, if you want to build a business that is sustainable for the long term, which we think you do, then you need to understand that providing quality content matters. You might be able to make a few dollars here and there with badly written content that provides no value, but it won’t last long and Twitter is definitely one place where sub-par content will result in complete failure.
Your main goal should be to keep visitors on your site because the more time they spend on your site, reading your content, the better chance you have of converting them into customers