Twitter can be as powerful a tool for marketers as any advertising campaign in years past. Time and perseverance will to get you on the right track and here are a few tips for the Twitter-interested.
1. Install TweetDeck. This free application will make all the difference in organizing and gaining insights into your market and what competitors are doing. The broad layout allows you to easily schedule tweets, see what your friends are saying and easily see comments made about you and your brand. The real genius, however, lies in searching for specific terms that are published in the twitter universe.
2. In TweetDeck, create searches pertaining to industry keywords and your competitors. If you think there won’t be anyone out there pontificating, complaining or questioning certain facets of what you do, you’re wrong. Twitter has 190 million users and certain keywords and issues that your industry faces are certain to be bandied about.
3. Hashtags are your best friend. Written with a “#” followed by a term, think of them as an anchor. No matter what is in the tweet, when a hashtag is present it will be forever linked to those who also use the hashtag, and certain industries will rally around specific terms. In the data services industry, for instance, a good one to start with is #dataquality. You can search for hashtags here: http://hashtags.org/.
4. Be social and keep your content fresh. As you build your community of followers, be generous and polite. Thank people for re-tweeting you and do the same, as building a rapport with your followers and friends is paramount. The more and more you help them, they more they will re-tweet your content, which will be seen by all their followers and on the cycle goes. However, beware of what you tweet. Overusing ideas or content will have a negative effect and eventually your tweets will just be seen as spam.
5. Finally, leverage the information you find on your competition into intelligence and hopefully, leads. Search for your competition by name, find out what people are saying about them and potentially their weaknesses. If you’re lucky you may stumble across someone directly critiquing their products and viola, you have a captive audience for your message.
Of course, this is still a relatively new medium and time is the teller of all evil (or revenue). But there are gains to me made if you leverage these tools correctly. Happy tweeting!