Capitalizing on Twitter and the Microblogging Revolution
Day 1 of PubCon 2009 had a whole track of sessions dedicated to Twitter, showing just how hot Twitter is right now. The second session of the day was Capitalizing on Twitter and the Microblogging Revolution. The session covered everything from case studies to tools to help monetize your Twitter efforts.
Jon Henshaw, Product Manager, Raven Internet Marketing Tools
David Snyder, Co-Founder, Search & Social, LLC
Brian Carter, Director of Search Marketing, SEO and Social Media, Fuel Interactive
Brent Payne, SEO Director, Tribune Interactive
Here’s what we learned:
The first speaker was Jon Henshaw of Raven Tools. Jon noted that you should start your Twitter strategy by decided who you are on Twitter, whether it’s your brand, yourself as an expert, or an avatar. What works best is to be a real person, but brands work too. Make sure that you take the time to add a good, keyword rich bio.
Getting started on Twitter:
- Follow target groups (industry related)
- Maintain your ratio of followers to following (should be close to 1:1)
- Contribute to the community and stay on topic
- Retweet to give others an ego boost. Retweeting also encourages other users to get involved in your network.
Find topics to retweet to search by searching in Twitter (search.twitter.com).
Monitter is a great tool to find tweets coming from a specific geographical area. It provides a live feed of tweets containing your search term.
If you are using Twitter for corporate use, rather than for personal branding, here are a few tips:
- Use your brand name in your username
- Control access. Employees who have access should be trained.
- Use for sales and support to retain customers and gain new ones
- Distribute coupons/promos
- Event promotion
Twitter is also a great tool for crowdsourcing. Tweet a question, or solicit solutions to a problem, and your Twitter followers could provide you with great ideas.
Dave Snyder of Search and Social was the next presenter. Dave focused on how to use Twitter for promotions.
Dave said it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone has a huge brand like Dell or Comcast, and most people shouldn’t expect to have tens of thousands of followers. The number of followers doesn’t matter as much as how much influence you and your followers have. Focus on networking within your niche/ industry.
A few tips on successful Twitter promotions:
- First, set up goals (do you want signups, to increase your followers, generate X amount of revenue?)
- What is the incentive? (ex: 30 day free trial, free add-on, etc.)
- Use tools to create and track the promotion (Wildfireapp.com is useful for creating coupons & promotions)
- Use tools to promote – socialoomph and EasyTweets let you schedule future tweets to make sure the timing is right.
- Promote across multiple Social Media Channels, like Facebook, and Facebook ads.
- Track results from referring source and promo codes. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to track referrals if someone clicks on a link in a third-party application like TweetDeck.
Third up was Brian Carter from Fuel Interactive, with a presentation entitled: “I Tweet a Lot and I Like Money Too”.
Brian talked a lot about the different types of capital, specifically social capital. Gain social capital on Twitter by regularly tweeting and replying to maintain influence.
It’s fairly easy to determine if someone is a spammer vs a recommender – a recommender is primarily a conversationalist.
You can tell who the spammers are because they won’t have many retweets.
The fourth presenter was Brent Payne, the SEO director for Tribune Interactive. Brent talked about using Twitter specifically for media companies. There are a few different Twitter account types to consider:
- Newsfeed (example: @CNNbrk)
- Brand Persona (ex: @ColonelTribune) The brand person includes a custom avatar/cartoon character with a detailed “personality”.
To grow your follower list, promote your profiles. Don’t take the slow and steady approach, as with organic promotion. Here are a few ideas for building your following:
- Promote your profiles on all networks you have available (email marketing, your own website, blog, etc.)
- Also use Twitter directories, like Twellow and WeFollow.
- Poach your competitor’s followers by following their followers
As with all social media platforms, it’s important to determine your goals and define your strategy before getting started on Twitter. Figure out what kind of profile & personality you want to represent your brand on Twitter and then make sure that you have the trained resources allocated to follow through with your plan. Make sure that you are consistent & active & are poised to make use of this great tool.