opinion

Tweeting With Vigor

Sarah Jayne Anderson

Being there may be half the battle in many aspects of life but when it comes to marketing your brand on Twitter, it is really just the first step. In many ways, it was the talent in the industry that showed the online marketers what could be accomplished. While some were skeptical of the marketing value of the service when it was in its infancy, performers were taking advantage of the lack of content restrictions to bring not only their bodies but their personalities to the public. Several years on and there is scarcely a performer, production company or affiliate program without a Twitter account.

Twitter has become such an important marketing space that, of course, it is important for a company to have an account but don’t just leave it at getting your company name. Prominent individuals at a company should have accounts even if they have yet to decide how to use them in order to prevent imposters from using their names. Similarly, if you have sites, get corresponding Twitter names or be prepared to deal with squatters or battles with your own affiliates because if your site is at all high profile, somebody will start a Twitter account. It should be you.

When People see that an account is alive and has a personality they will start to get involved and spread the word.

If you really want to get the most out of Twitter, it isn’t just enough to just have an account. Personality is the name of the game in social media. Performers such as Sara Jay and Lisa Ann are examples of individuals who have made their Twitter marketing work through their understanding that social media users expect interaction. Twitter accounts that exist mainly to post announcements or blatant advertisements go stale quickly whereas getting involved and personal with follower interactions allows an account to flourish.

Several programs exist that can make it easier to breathe life into a Twitter account. TweetDeck has been my program of choice when working from a desktop and the Twittelator Pro makes Tweeting on the go as simple as possible. Both tools allow you to keep an eye on key terms and how and when they are being used within the Twitter community. If you are manning a Twitter account for a high profile product, for example, open a column in TweetDeck which allows you to track whenever somebody on Twitter mentions the product name. This is important for seeing not only what is being said to you but also about you.

Being able to essentially eavesdrop on conversations about your product can be invaluable in marketing research terms. It allows you to see what people really think and how your marketing efforts have reached and been interpreted by them. Don’t leave it at just a bit of spying, use it as a springboard for true interaction with the public. It doesn’t take all that much effort.

If you see you or your product mentioned, don’t be afraid to reply or reTweet. When people see that an account is alive and has a personality they will start to get involved and spread the word. The exception to that is in the case of negative remarks. Use common sense and don’t enter into arguments in the public eye of Twitter. It will never end well and remember that once something is tweeted it is out in the public sphere forever.

Don’t be frightened of getting involved with trending topics either. Watch global and local trends and if there is something you can join in on without being overly spammy then by all means do so. Of course, keep in mind the age group leading the trend and keep things appropriate.

The more that your make your Twitter following feel like you really understand the way the community works the more loyal and involved they will become.

Sound like a human in your Tweets. Certainly, it can be tempting to talk about nothing but your product in your Tweets but it also makes you sound like a spam bot. Mixed in with blatant marketing Tweets, posting casual thoughts gives credence to the idea that a real person is at the helm of the account.

Resist the temptation of putting much of the account on auto pilot to make it look extra busy though. Using programs such as Hootsuite to post date your tweets may have their time and place but for normal day tweeting it could backfire. Social media users are some of the more savvy surfers out there and they will spot the Hootsuite tag in your posts and know what it means. Keep those tools to recurring events such as payout notices rely on real time posting for the rest and all should be balanced well.

Twitter may be a bit of a learning curve for those of us that came from the build-itand-forget-it days of the industry but if you take on the challenge to smile and face your public, it could soon be one of the most valuable marketing tools you have for your business.

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