Top 7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using Twitter
by Bea Fields
Business owners from around the world are now using Twitter in an attempt to reach young consumers. But many are falling short. The reason? Twitter was designed as a social networking tool...not a push marketing tool. If you are someone who is interested in learning how to use Twitter as a way to build both your business and your credibility, this article will provide you with seven strategies you can use, starting today, to leverage Twitter into a great relationship building tool.
- Be interesting. The best way to get followers through Twitter is not to talk about your business only. It is to be interesting and allow others to see what's going on inside your life. Because of tools like You Tube and Facebook, consumers are now becoming voyeurs. If you have something interesting to share about your life, you will be much more attractive than if you are dry and boring.
- Use Twitter to build relationships . . . not to push your products and services. Tools like Twitter and Facebook were originally designed for the purpose of social interaction. The business world has now inundated the sites with advertising, push marketing and spam. We run the risk of running off our new consumers as a result. Marketing has not changed in one respect: People do business with people they know, like and trust . . . not with people who constantly use push marketing to get their messages across. By using the tool as it was originally designed, you are honoring and respecting our younger consumers (Generation Y) who had the technological savvy and vision needed to bring this great microblogging tool to the world.
- Connect your blog to Twitter. If you have a Wordpress blog, you can use the Twitpress plug-in to get people from Twitter to jump over to your blog. Use your blog to post interesting opinions, articles, podcasts and breaking news. If you live on the edge of information and news, you will always be in the cycle of adding value back to your Twitter network, which is great for building credibility. If you use a blogging tool other than Wordpress, simply take your blog post permalink (the link of the post in your browser), turn it into a tinyurl and post it directly on twitter.
- Build a Twitter network based on common interests. The tool Twellow is a great tool designed to help you search for people by profession, industry or company. By building your Twitter network based on affinity, you will always have something interesting to talk about and read about.
- Always have something complimentary to invite your Twitter network to attend. One of the best ways to share your expertise is to offer a series of complimentary telecalls, webinars or a radio show (I use Blog Talk Radio for this purpose.) Once people get to know you on Twitter, I recommend putting a small invitation out no more than one time per week which says "I want to invite all of you to attend a special call I am hosting on January 1 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.)
- Tap into your Twitter network for R and D purposes. Do you have a question on your mind or a big project in the mix? If so, I have found the Twitter network to be quite helpful in building out the research and development. Simply post a question on Twitter, and ask for folks to respond. If you are like me, you will be quite pleased with the responses from the Twitterverse.
- Move your Twitter dialogue to the telephone. I have met some amazing people on Twitter, but what really seals the deal is to move the conversations from Twitter to the telephone. Once you have spotted someone interesting, you can contact them privately through Twitter and request a phone meeting to discuss a JV partnership or to discuss in more depth what you do and how you might be able to serve each other. Remember: This is a partnership opportunity . . . not an opportunity for you to pitch yourself only. The law of Givers Gain should be your mission.
The following tools are great applications which can help you effectively build out your Twitter network:
Twist- Want to see the big trends on Twitter? Get it with Twist! By following the latest trends on your blog, you will stay two steps ahead of your competition.
Twerpscan - Are there people on Twitter who are following everyone under the sun? If so, they may just be what I called "masses building" to look like they have a large network OR they are getting ready to start spamming you. Twerpscan can show you who has thousands of people in their network. If they do, you may never hear from them, OR you may hear from them when you don't want to. Twerpscan can help you figure out who is "masses building!"
Summize - Tool which shows trending topics plus different language searches. Great for looking for hot topics to blog about.
Twitt(url)y - Provides aTechmeme style representation of up and coming URLs that are mentioned in individual Tweets. You will be able to view the hottest URLs, which can make for great content and traffic to your blog.
Ping.fm- In my opinion, Ping.fm is better than Twitpress, because it connects ALL of your social networks and also connects your blog posts to all of your social networks. If you need the secret passcode, send me an e-mail to email@example.com, and I will get you set up.
Twhirl- Twhirl is a desktop client that is just like Twitter. It allows you to post, send e-mails to your contacts and to perform searches in Twitter.
TweetWheel - Want to know which of your followers know each other? Tweet Wheel helps you find those connections. If you have a large database of Twitter contacts, the service does take a bit of time, so be patient!
Twinfluence- Want to know how influential you are and where you stand on Twitter? Check it out today using Twinfluence. The tool is also great to see who has the most influence so that you can tweet about them or blog about them.
Twitturls- This nifty tool grabs the urls on Twitter and ranks them by popularity . . . again . . . a great way to get more traffic to your blog by talking about the most popular urls on Twitter.
Twitscoop- What's hot on Twitter? Twitscoop will tell you the subjects that are super hot in the most current tweets.
Tweetbeep- It's like Google Alerts for Twitter. By letting Tweetbeep know which topics are of interest to you, you can be notified when someone Tweets about your topic.
Twitkit- It is an add-on for Firefox to allow you to follow your friends and a few other cool add-ons.
TwitWall- Lets you embed your favorite videos and widgets, upload your photos, mp3 music or podcasts to Twitter
Twemes- A global tagging service for Twitter. If you are attending a conference, you can all share a global tag so that you can check on the latest info!
Twellow- Want to connect with Whole Foods, NASA, CNN or Amazon teams and employees on Twitter? If so, using Twellow may be perfect for you. The tool allows you to search online by industry, organization or individual name so that you expand your network dramatically.
Twittertise: Use this tool to plan and then monitor your advertising campaign on Twitter.
This article was authored by Bea Fields. Fields is an Executive Coach, Speaker and Author and the President of Bea Fields Companies, Inc. and the Founder of Five Star Leader Coaching and Training. She specializes in Leadership and Team Coaching for high growth companies, non-profit organizations and medium-sized businesses. Fields is the co-author of Millennial Leaders: Success Stories From Today's Most Brilliant Generation Y Leaders and EDGE: A Leadership Story.
Bea Fields may be contacted at http://edge-book.com or firstname.lastname@example.org