Once you’ve been on Twitter for a while and you’ve come across a few other Twitterers, you’ll notice that they tend to fall into two broad groups. The first group likes to tell everyone what they’ve had for dinner, what they’re watching on television and so on.
The second group likes to use the site as a business tool means use twitter for marketing their business online.
Needless to say, it’s the activities of this second group that we’re interested in. If you use the site properly you can build up another stream of traffic to your website or blog or use Twitter for marketing your business online, not to mention developing a brand for yourself as well.
And it doesn’t matter whether you are a new business or you’ve been around for a while either. The great benefit of Twitter is that it attracts all kinds of people from all walks of life, who all have different reasons and motivations for using the website. You’ll soon find you start to link up with and follow people who are interested in the same subjects you are, and then they’ll start following you too.
- Using Twitter as a business tool:
Remember what we said in the last section about asking questions to generate some ideas for your blog? It works just as well for any other business too. By asking questions in this context you can get a much better idea of who your customers are and what appeals to them. For example, you might be thinking about stocking a certain product but you’re unsure as to how well it might be received. Why not post an update asking for some feedback on it and see what you get in return?
You can always post a teaser and then link to your blog where you can give some more information.
- Branding your business on Twitter:
Branding can be a subtle process that occurs over time. As a Twitterer you can ensure you become known for tweeting on a specific subject which is related to your business. In this way you will automatically start to get involved with other people on the site who think the same way you do.
Let’s say you own a website which sells quality accessories for various makes of car. If you start tweeting about subjects such as the importance of personalizing your car, why quality accessories last longer, why cheap isn’t actually cheap at all and so on, you will gradually start to develop your brand as something that is of good quality and is reliable. That is the impression people will get and so they’ll automatically have that image in mind when they cross over to your website for a quick look.
You can also brand yourself by personalizing your profile page on Twitter. You can’t do anything too profound to it but what you can do is enough to really make you stand out.
First off there is your profile picture. If you are on Twitter for the express purpose of promoting your business, the best picture to use is one of your logo. It should be a clear one though as the actual picture will be quite small on your screen. Photos don’t work as well.
The best thing you can do is to change the background. You can upload a background image as a JPEG, GIF or PNG file, and it will appear behind your profile column and your latest list of tweets. Get your thinking cap on and make it a good one! A bricklayer could use a photo of a wall, a writer could use a picture of a typewriter, a website selling jigsaws could use a load of random jigsaw pieces as a background. you get the picture (no pun intended). Just don’t forget—your background can be your brand too.
- Using Twitter As A Linking Tool:
It should be pretty obvious that if you want to offer real value and worthwhile content to your readers and followers on Twitter, you shouldn’t be linking to your website or blog on every single update you write. Not only would it stand a chance of annoying the powers that be at Twitter, it would probably annoy your followers too, since that kind of action tends to come across as overly promotional and very pushy.
By all means let people know when you’ve posted a new entry to your blog, but don’t make that the subject of every single tweet you write. You should always aim to write a few tweets that don’t link anywhere—instead they simply reveal some useful piece of information that can really help out someone who is interested in information about your type of business.
It might seem like a crazy suggestion but you can also link up to a website that isn’t connected with you at all. There might on occasion be a breaking news story that is related to your area of interest that would be worth sharing with your followers. In that case tell them about it.
Linking to another site doesn’t harm you or your business in any way. In fact it can have the opposite effect—people will come to look on you as an expert who knows where to go for the best information and shares it with their followers when they find it.
Now I would certainly follow someone like that, wouldn’t you?
Think about the whole situation; don’t just concentrate on traffic and sales all the time. Profile and reputation is just as important—if not more so in the long run, since you will gain more followers when they read the tweets you have posted in the past. Your current followers will also stay interested and be eagerly awaiting your next tweet.
- Generating Traffic:
Now we know we can shrink long URLs by feeding them through Tiny URL before posting them to Twitter, so an update can include a link to another website or blog, providing a direct link to it in the process.
There are two basic rules to remember when it comes to generating traffic via your Twitter account:
- Put the website address of the site you want to drive traffic to in your profile column—everyone will be able to see this whenever they visit your page
- Concentrate on building up a large number of followers. The more people who know about you and what you’re about, the more people you will get clicking through to your website
Read our previous post “6 Best Twitter tools to enhance your online business” which will also show you how to use some of the huge number of Twitter tools available to make the process of generating traffic that bit easier.
The best results for traffic building on Twitter will be seen over the long term. It’s vital to understand that you can’t just sign up, start tweeting and expect traffic for your website to go through the roof as a result. It needs a little effort from you first.
But like a lot of other things, once you have laid the groundwork you can simply post an update every day to let your followers know what’s going on in your world. A well written tweet will always attract their attention if you continue to be a regular face on the site.
We’ve already covered some techniques for attracting a large number of followers, but if you want to keep them interested in your business it’s important to remember that you need to keep them interested in reading your tweets too. A lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that so long as they post an update every day or so, that will be enough to keep people following them.
STOP PRESS! It’s not enough to simply be active on Twitter. People won’t follow you just for the hell of it. If you come across someone else on Twitter who doesn’t have anything interesting to say, do you decide to follow them anyway? Of course not.
The same goes for you. Think about what you want to achieve on the website and stick with it. If you want to attract the kind of people who could well become customers, you need to make sure every single tweet you post will be of interest to them in some way. Even if they don’t always click through to read your blog post or read that new article you’ve got on your website, the overall effect will be cumulative.
Over time they will come to trust you and look forward to your tweets—your little nuggets of inspiration. A lot of people don’t get Twitter—they can’t see how such a short post can make any difference to anyone at all.
But we know better, right?
Build your followers over time and you’ll find your traffic builds over time too. So long as you concentrate on making sure all your tweets are of excellent quality and relevant to your area of business, you will find that the traffic tends to take care of itself.
- Play The Long Game:
If you spend any length of time searching for other users on Twitter, you’ll see a whole host of people who joined, posted one tweet about eight or nine months ago, and haven’t been seen since.
These are mostly part of that huge group of people who haven’t yet figured out how to use the site to its best advantage. You are not in that group, since you’ve come this far already.
Once you’ve joined, make sure you sort your profile out straightaway, post your first tweet, and then start browsing around for like minded people. Once you start following some other people and getting a few followers yourself, you’ve started playing the long game.
This is the one that gets the best results. If you put a little effort in every day, you’ll no doubt have hundreds of followers in a few months time. So don’t give up. Explore, learn and enjoy.
And just wait for the results.
If you have any question or ideas related to Twitter for marketing business online then you can share with us by leaving a comment in the comment box below.