| Many years ago, a man is following a path through a deep, dark forest. Suddenly, he loses his way and becomes lost. He is able to find many paths that lead him nowhere and eventually gives up ever finding his way back to the right path. At the pinnacle of his despair, he is rescued by a great man and brought to a terrible place that reads ""Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
All who reside in this place have lost all faith and have no possibility for a better life. Do you remember this famous allegory? It's one that I taught many times as a high school English Teacher. It's the epic poem, "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri. In the poem, Virgil guides Dante through the nine circles of Hell. The circle of Hell are concentric and each level houses greater sinners and, of course, greater punishments.
But, even if you've never read Dante, you may be familiar with the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.
So, what does Dante have to do with marketing? What an excellent question.
Many well-meaning small business owners are committing one (or more) of the seven deadly sins, every single day, on one of today's most popular marketing platforms: Twitter.
So, let's run through the seven deadly sins one more time to ensure that you're not in danger of falling deep into Twitter hell.
Lust: Many small business owners join Twitter in hopes that it will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. In my opinion, one of the main reasons that Twitter has such a high drop-out rate is that small business owners are lured in by the promise of easy money, and when it doesn't happen immediately, they give up. Twitter is a relationship tool. It's not a "get-rich-quick" platform. Ironically, as you develop more exposure and start acquiring loyal followers and fans, you'll begin generating more prospects, leads and sales. But, like any marketing tool, it takes patience and persistence to reap the rewards.
Gluttony: Twitter is an amazing marketing tool. But, it should be one of many marketing tools in your toolkit. If you're spending more than thirty minutes a day Tweeting, your small business is suffering. Twitter addiction is not going to grow your small business. As Aristotle once taught, "everything in moderation" and that includes Twitter as well.
Greed: One of the main advantages of social media is the chance to share what you learn with others. If you refuse to link to content that will help your followers, you're going to lose followers quickly. Social media only works if you spread your knowledge around.
Sloth: Social media is a NOW environment, not an "I'll get to it later" industry. When prospects Tweet you questions, make comments and interact, you need to respond - immediately. If it takes you too long to react, the opportunity will vanish.
Wrath: Twitter has its share of offensive, boorish and bad-mannered folks. You should never allow these types of people to provoke you. Remember, you can never take back what you post on Twitter; it's there forever and ever. Instead of responding in a wrath of fury to a thoughtless individual, simply block them without saying a thing. They won't be able to Tweet with you ever again.
Envy: Don't get obsessed with how many followers someone has or become jealous of their Twitter success. Chances are that they've been Tweeting with consistency for quite some time. The good news is that Twitter is a medium that be accessed and learned by any small business owner. Study, interact and network with others; but, don't get wrapped up in their success.
Pride: Twitter is not the place to demand attention and shout out to the world how wonderful and amazing you are. Twitter is social, collaborative and interactive. You are part of the Twitter community to make connections and help others. If you stubbornly try to sell your products and services directly from the Twitter platform, you will fail.
So, if you're committing any of these Twitter sins, there's still time to slow down and find your way back to the true Twitter path. Dante would be proud.
Jessica Swanson may be contacted at http://www.shoestringmarketingkit.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Swanson, “The Shoestring Marketer,” has helped entrepreneurs, all over the world, explode their businesses using cutting-edge, proven and completely free marketing strategies. To download your FREE Marketing Kit, which has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you, learn the exact techniques for marketing their businesses for NO-COST, visit: Shoestring Marketing Kit