Monday, December 07, 2009

137 Twitter Marketing Tips for Small Business

In case you missed it (as I did), Anita Campbell a few months ago published 137 Twitter Tips: How Small Businesses Get the Most from Twitter, based on input from the readers of Small Business Trends.

This report provides a treasure trove of guidance for marketers who seek to increase their brand awareness, credibility and business results using Twitter. The tips are categorized into six sections. Among the recommendations provided, by section:

Getting Started
  • Matt McGee provides tools (such as Nearby Tweets and Tweepz) and methods for finding local Tweeters to follow, and getting them to follow back.

  • Joseph Manna notes the importance of commitment, and recommends spending at least a half hour per day discovering and Tweeting.

  • John Joyce and Becky McCray offer guidance on useful tools (e.g., Twitter search and Twellow) for finding local or industry-relevant people to follow.

  • Staci J. Shelton advises following people who retweet your content in order to build relationships with people who value what you share.
Smart Marketing
  • Travis Campbell recommends finding a valuable blog post referenced on Twitter, leaving a comment on the blog, then retweeting it. "This further endears you to the author, while making a more meaningful connection with your followers."

  • Joel Libava suggests tweeting one of your recent press releases or blog posts daily, mixed in with other links to useful and relevant articles and blog postings.

  • Rick L'Amie helpfully advises creating a strategy before jumping into Twitter. What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to reach? Lack of a strategy is one factor leading to high abandonment on Twitter; you'll never achieve your goals if you haven't defined what they are.

  • Another contributor notes the value of participating in #followfriday, but explaining why each person you recommend is worth following rather than just listing other Tweeters.
Observing Etiquette
  • I couldn't agree more with this one from Robert Brady: "Automated DMs aren't worth sending. If you won't invest a few seconds to compose a 140-character message, I don't want to invest 5 seconds reading it."

  • Tim Milburn has a clever formula for crafting a worthwhile T.W.E.E.T: "Timely, Worth reading, Educational, Entertaining, and Tweople-connecting."

  • Jonathan Bacon of The Betty Factor advises trying to create real conversations, and remembering that everything you do on Twitter represents your brand.
Spreading Your Message
  • Vicky of Remarkable Parents writes that when asking for a retweet, leave at least 15 characters free so others can RT your message without having to shorten it.

  • Anita Cohen-Williams and others note that best way to get retweeted is to post content that has value, such as useful blog post.

  • Maria Marsala suggests putting "Pls RT" at the end of tweets, asking others explicitly for what you want. Interestingly, Anita Cohen-Williams advises specifically against doing this—if your tweets are interesting, others will retweet on their own. Who's right? Every group of Twitter followers is different, so TEST this with your followers to see what works best for you.
Time Management
  • Twitter can be a big time sink. To avoid spending too much time with it, Lisa Picarille recommends checking Twitter first thing in the morning, then spending about 10 minutes on it at two hour intervals to keep up with the most important tweets.

  • Echoing Lisa's advice, Sharon Trombly suggests tweeting periodically throughout the day, such as with your morning coffee, at lunch, at the end of the work day, and in the evening.
Advanced Strategies
  • TJ McCue recommends using TwitterBar, a tool that allows you to tweet directly from the address bar in your browser.

  • Michael Hartzell suggests creating a unique landing page to link to from your Twitter profile with a greeting and introduction that is a "secret page" only for your Twitter followers.

  • Gil Yehuda advises setting up several free listening services to determine who is talking about you and where so you can participate in the conversations. Among the tools he cites are Tweetbeep, Twilert, Techrigy SM2, and BackTweets, which is great for finding links to your blog or website that don't include your name.

  • Desiree Scales and several other contributors recommend using HootSuite, which allows you to manage multiple Twitter profiles through a single interface and provides metrics showing the results of activities in Twitter.
There's lots more. This guide is not only an invaluable resource to those just getting started with Twitter, but will inspire new ideas for experienced Tweeters as well.



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