Your first step to use Twitter effectively to promote your business is to register and create an appropriate profile. That will include potentially creating a custom Twitter background and learning about all of the tools, applications and gadgets you can use to optimize Twitter as a marketing tool.
Creating Your Twitter Background
Because your Twitter Profile is something that will help brand and differentiate you, it’s important to spend some time making it represent you and your company. Twitter offers templates you can customize, you can utilize secondary software to create your Twitter background, and you can outsource the task to a graphic designer. Many graphic designers who specialize in web content are now offering custom Twitter backgrounds.
Custom Twitter backgrounds give you the power to present a strong first impression. It sets you apart from your competition, gives people a good idea of who you are and what you’re about and if you provide links to your website(s) it’ll send you traffic.
Once your profile has been created, it’s time to find your audience. Rest assured once you begin posting relevant, valuable and beneficial information and are interacting with Twitter users, you will get more followers. However, in the beginning, you may want to connect with key influencers. How do you find these key influencers? Search!
Finding Friends and Followers – Twitter Search
Once your profile has been created, it’s time to find friends and followers, people to connect with. Twitter search is a great way to get started, however you can also download your email contacts and search for friends that way.
The Twitter search tools provide essentially two ways to find information and potential followers.
Basic Search – Is a keyword driven tool. Enter your keywords, click the search icon and your results show up on the left hand side. Take a look at the various people posting frequently on this topic to determine if they’re a key influencer. For example, if you own a crafting website, you may want to follow Martha Stewart on Twitter because her followers are most certainly interested in crafting too.
Advanced Twitter Search – Click the Advanced Twitter search button at the bottom of the page where you can search by multiple words, person, or hashtag #. (The # is a tool to create groups, which people can search by. Using the crafting example from earlier, you could post something about crafting and then end it with the #crafting hashtag.)
Interacting on Twitter and Promoting Your Business
Your next step is to begin interacting with your fellow Twitterers. Twitter asks one question, “What are you doing?” The trick is to make it relevant to your business and interesting and you have 140 characters to get it done.
Your tweets or posts are designed to accomplish two things, promote your business and connect with users. Sometimes you can accomplish both however other times you’ll want to focus on just connecting or just promoting. Yesterday, we mentioned several ways you can promote your business using social networking. We mentioned posting attention grabbing headlines and linking to your site, we also mentioned announcing promotions. You can even give away free content on Twitter. Here are a few tools to help you use Twitter to promote your business.
• Twitter Groups gives you the ability to join and create groups to motivate a following. It’s a great tool for creating sub-niches within your audience.
• Social Too is a site that automates following those who follow you. It also filters spammers and has a survey function. Additionally, you can automate a custom message to thank all those who follow you along with a link to your website or a giveaway.
• Magpie is an advertising tool, which helps identify key influencers for your product or service, and then use them to spread the word about what it is you have to offer. You create your own ad campaign with your choice of message and keywords.
• Twitter mobile. There are also a large number of widgets and plug-ins, which make Twitter accessible from just about anywhere including your Blackberry, iPhone, Gmail, post them on your blog for cross promotion and so on. You can find a number of these applications by clicking on the apps button at the bottom of each page.
Twitter can also be linked to Facebook so all of your Tweets show up as Facebook posts, thus helping you optimize your efforts.