The world is all abuzz about Twitter. Everybody from the mainstream media to celebrities to your Great Aunt Millie has at least heard of Twitter. Twitter has been used for everything from a critical communications link to the outside world during the Iranian Elections to Ashton Kutcher sharing a picture of Demi Moore in her underwear. The opportunities presented by this captive audience and its almost fanatical fan base should have you drooling!
Guess what? You are not the only one with that idea and thousands of would be Twitter marketers are trying to grab their share of the gold rush before the claim pinches out. Most will fail. The ‘average’ Twitter user is becoming jaded when it comes to Internet Marketing and thus even choosier on who they follow. Let’s ensure your next Twitter campaign is a successful campaign. In this article I will provide you with the secret to successful Twitter marketing in 2009.
Twitter’s enormous popularity, like all social media, is built on implicit trust. As an example of that implicit trust mechanism, Twitter only allows you to DM (Twitter shorthand for direct message) those that follow you. The (truly) brilliant minds at Twitter assumed that if a person trusts you enough to follow you, that they trust you enough to accept a direct message.
The trust mechanism built into Twitter ensures that the only successful method of marketing on Twitter requires followers. Surely you’ve heard from the Twitter gurus who recommend that you go out and buy an expensive tool, usually from their affiliate link, and mass follow complete strangers, hoping they follow you back and Twitter doesn’t ban your account? So how does my method differ? Notice that I said marketing on Twitter requires followers. Those followers don’t necessarily need to be YOUR FOLLOWERS. Don’t get me wrong, having your own legion of loyal followers is definitely an asset, but many Twitter marketers do not have that luxury when they are first beginning to utilize the Twitter system for marketing.
The true secret to utilizing Twitter as a marketing tool is to embrace the viral nature of the Twitter itself. You might only have 100 followers, but if each of those followers has 100 followers, now you have the basis of a campaign. One problem remains however, those followers still don’t have any reason to trust you. You need to find a way of reaching the followers of your followers (or website and / or blog visitors). You need a bridge to get over the trust chasm that divides you from the hordes of faithful minions that follow your followers.
The best Twitter strategy to build that bridge and complete the chain of trust is to get your website visitors to retweet (RT in Twitter shorthand) your message to their followers. For example, provide a form on your website or blog that encourages your visitors to tweet your message. This is where your creativity needs to come into play. Craft a compelling Tweet with a subtle, but effective, call to action and then promise your visitor (and deliver) a free report or discount coupon after they complete the act of retweeting your message. For example, a very popular method currently is to conduct Twitter contests. In exchange for an entry into your contest, your website visitor agrees to retweet your message. One company just completed a contest in which they gave away one Macbook a day for ten days. During the span of the contest, this company’s retweets trended higher than Michael Jackson’s death!
Even the most experienced Internet Marketers forget this one simple concept – viral marketing is successful marketing! Your website or blog visitors trust you. The Twitter followers of your visitor trust them. By encouraging your visitors to retweet your message to their followers, there is now an implied trust in you and your message; the trust chasm has been bridged!
Marketing with Twitter virally also had an added benefit. If the follower of your visitor agrees with your message, they will happily follow you! Thus not only are you fully exploiting the very viral nature of Twitter, but you are also building up your ever important followers list, readily available for future efforts!
Do Not Self Promote on Twitter! Promoting your own message is the easiest way to lose followers and potentially get clobbered by the dreaded Twitter ban hammer. Don’t let others lead you to believe that Twitter itself is dead. Twitter profits are still there for the taking, however now is the time to get creative and rethink your Twitter marketing strategy to fully exploit the very viral nature of the Twitter that makes the service so popular to begin with!