Twitter marketing seems to be an easy and straightforward way to reach out to your target audience. You have 140 (now 280) characters to talk to your followers and build a connection. But there is so much more to Twitter marketing.
It is no secret that we here at The Social Ms are huge fans of Twitter. The reasons are manifold. For one, you can grow your accounts with brains but without a huge budget and second: Once you figured out how Twitter works, you keep discovering ways to utilize Twitter in more ways and to optimize your activities.
This time, I do not want to talk about tools to get more out of your Twitter activities. I simply want to give you some ideas on how to use Twitter. I hope there are some ideas new to you, which you will find interesting.
1. Twitter Lists: Interest Streams
When my Twitter account started to grow, I realized I could not follow all updates of the people I followed any more. I kept missing the updates I was interested in. The way out of this dilemma is to create Twitter lists of people whose updates you really do not want to miss.
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If you are lazy (nothing wrong with that 😉 ) you can even use other people’s list, subscribe to them and save yourself the time to create your own lists. For instance, Robert Scoble has multiple lists on all things tech, startups and entrepreneurship, various marketing influencers created list of marketing influencers and so on.
To follow these lists, I used Tweetdeck. You can set up a stream for every list you want to monitor.
2. Twitter Lists: Analyse accounts
Have you ever come across Twitter accounts with tons of followers, and have you wondered if these followers are genuine? I often check whether these accounts are on any lists. Thousands of followers but not on any lists usually indicate there is something shady about these followers.
3. Twitter Lists: Target
Are you looking for people to connect to on Twitter? Some great additions to your following? Take a look at the lists you would love to be listed on. They are usually a great starting point to find new and interesting people to follow on Twitter.
Let’s assume I am looking for more Social Media people to connect to. I would look at lists like the „Social Media Thinkers“ by Jeff Bullas: I can take a look at the members on the list – and I can also see who subscribed to this list.
This is a great way to find more people who are interested in Social Media – It is up to me (or you for that matter) what I do with them: Follow them, talk to them, retweet them, etc.
4. Twitter Favorites
Do you sometimes see tweets in your feed, which you find interesting, but have no time to explore further right now? How are you ever going to find these tweets later? Favorite them. You can then go to your own profile on Twitter later and go to the tab „favorites“. All the tweets you favorited are here, ready for you to do whatever you wanted to do later.
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5. Targeting Conversations (combine this with Location Targeting)
To find tweets about the topics that could be of interest to you and your Twitter marketing: Search for Tweets containing a search term. Again I recommend using Tweetdeck for this: You can set up a column to follow the search results. As an example, you can set up a search query like
for tweets about „traffic“ in a 10-mile radius around Toronto (the geocode is of Toronto). You can now answer interesting tweets that come up in the feed for your search term.
It takes some practice to see what kind of tweets and answers work for you. Also, play around with the search terms until you find something that really gives back tweets of interest to you. You do not necessarily need the location – if you are not searching local, leave the location out of the search term.
I love to ask questions once in a while on Twitter. It is not that I get thousands of answers, but I get a few. I use this opportunity for various questions like: „What would you love to read on our Social Media Marketing blog?“, „How long in advance do you plan with your editorial calendar?“, „How should we respond to trolls on Twitter?“ I don’t expect to get the ONE answer, but I usually get a broad variety of opinions to consider and compare to my own.
I use this to find new ideas for blog posts, to get other people’s opinion on something I am currently thinking about – or simply for fun.
7. Traffic Generation
I realize that many people totally underestimate Twitter as a source for traffic. There is a lot of talk about SEO, Facebook and more visual networks like Pinterest and Instagram for traffic. At the same time, people complain about Google and SEO being unpredictable, Facebook reducing reach and Pinterest traffic not being very valuable.
We think that Twitter is one of the best reliable traffic sources if done right – and if you have a lot of great content on your site. This means Twitter marketing is a perfect source for traffic for new bloggers: You have content, and on Twitter you can build yourself an audience.
Traffic generation is kind of our specialty: Without traffic, your online marketing is bound to be doomed. It all starts with getting an audience – you can optimize from there. More on Traffic Generation with Twitter in Jonathan’s Article: “Twitter and Content for Reliable Social Media Traffic” – or in our ebook “The Social Traffic Code.”
I hope you can use some of our ideas on how to better use Twitter. There are many more ways to optimize your Twitter marketing, and you need to be creative to figure out what works best for you. I am looking forward to hearing some of your creative ways to use Twitter for your business in the comments!
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