17 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros

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Published October 26, 2011

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social media how toAre you looking for fresh ideas to improve your Twitter
marketing?
We sought out hot Twitter tips from the pros. Keep reading for
inspiration.
Now’s not the time to let your Twitter marketing go
stale
.
Twitter has already grown more in the last 9 months than in the last 5 years and
this trend is expected to continue.
How does Twitter fit into your social media marketing? Here are 17
Twitter marketing tips shared by Social Media Examiner’s writers
.

Improve Your Tweets

Mari Smith
Mari Smith @marismith

#1: Share valuable content in your own voice

Do your best to craft your content tweets, @replies and promotional
tweets all with a seamless style that matches your personality and/or
brand
.
Ideally, you want people to read your tweets and feel naturally compelled to
click on your links and retweet you.
You just want to add value and have no agenda or attachment
to “making the sale,” yet you’re strategic and mindful about how you tweet. Then
you’ll see a marked improvement in your retweet and click-through rates.

content tweet
A content tweet from Mari with a link to an informative
blog post, and an upbeat comment in square brackets.

Mari Smith, co-author
of
Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day.

Debbie Hemley
Debbie Hemley @dhemley

#2: Use keywords in your tweets

Keywords have been and continue to be a relevant and driving force for web
content (whether we’re talking about a website, blog post, Facebook update or a
tweet). Keywords are the backbone of content.
So I’d have to say hands-down, my best Twitter
marketing tip
for business is to make a list of keywords that best
describe your business and industry. Use these words as you compose your
140-character posts
.
Think quality over quantity. Make every character and tweet count!
Debbie Hemley,
social media consultant and blogger.

shane snow
Shane Snow @shanesnow

#3: Share links to useful content

Sharing links to useful content is, statistically speaking, more effective at
growing and retaining followers than “engaging” with them in conversation.
That’s not to say that conversations aren’t useful in helping people to like
you, but if you want to grow your fan base, you need to share more links
than you do @replies
.
Shane Snow, co-founder
of Contently.com.

nichole kelly
Nichole Kelly @Nichole_Kelly

#4: Use search features to discover what your clients want

Use the search feature in a Twitter tool like HootSuite to watch for conversations about a problem
your business can solve
. It will give you insight into what is on your
prospects’ minds and provide an open door for you to help them.
Try providing a link to a great article or video that answers their question.
This one action could lead to an ongoing dialogue that in turn may lead to
a customer relationship later.
Nichole Kelly, publisher of FullFrontalROI.com.

Improve Your Networking

kristi hines
Kristi Hines @kikolani

#5: Connect with the right people and tweet with them

There are two crucial things businesses should focus on when implementing
their Twitter strategy.
The first is not finding just anyone to follow in hopes that they follow you
back, but finding relevant people to follow who are more likely to follow you
back. You can bloat your account to 100,000+ followers, but if they are not
interested in your content, it gets you nowhere.
You need to be using tools such as Follower Wonk, Twellow and Wefollow to find people who are in your region (if
you’re a local business) and interested in your industry
. Then start
following them.
The second is after you find your targeted audience, don’t just tweet
at them—tweet with them. Follow their conversations;
add in your two cents from time to time
. Follow anyone who talks about
your brand and thank them for their compliments or help them with their
concerns. Follow anyone who talks about your industry and show why you are an
authority.
Doing these things will help you run a successful Twitter campaign that will
give your brand exposure as a leader in your industry!
Kristi Hines, Internet
marketing specialist with Vertical Measures and author of Kikolani.

Carla Dewing
Carla Dewing @CarlaDewing

#6: Use a classic icebreaker

Most followers become nameless, faceless numbers on a follower list. Remember
when networking used to be about meeting people face to face? Icebreakers were
important then, and they’re just as important now in the virtual world.
Icebreakers help you share a common connection with a stranger—and
make you memorable enough to begin and sustain a long-term
relationship
.
When you find relevant tweets from among your followers, retweet their blog
link—and follow the author’s feed. Then send them an @message, detailing
something insightful about their blog post
. At the end of the tweet,
link to a similar post you’ve written.
This should result in more blog comments, retweets and followers, all from 10
minutes of effort. Twitter is all about icebreakers, and collecting followers
who instantly recognize you in a sea of faces. Invest time in your introductions
and they’ll make all the difference to your feed.
Carla Dewing,
content marketing expert and part-owner of Contrast Media.

Charlene Kingston
Charlene Kingston @SocialMediaDIY

#7: Cultivate relationships

Pay attention when someone tweets about your blog posts or retweets something
you’ve shared. When you are building a business, never take it for granted when
people help you spread the word. Start by thanking them for the tweet. And
take it a step further: add them to a private list for tweeters and
retweeters
.
At least once every day for five minutes, review the tweets in that
list. Look for great content
that you might have missed, information
from smart people you need to follow and conversation trends you might have
missed. Jump into conversations, retweet items your community
would appreciate and thank people for sharing great things.
But most of all, get to know more about these people who
volunteered to become part of your team by sharing your content. It’s all about
relationships, and Twitter helps you build relationships with these important
members of your community.
Charlene
Kingston
, founder of Social Media DIY Workshop.

Jim Lodico
Jim Lodico @jlcommunication

#8: Engage your audience

Find ways to reach out and engage your audience. Too many
businesses want to just set their Twitter feed on autopilot or constantly push
promotional content.
Although there is a place for the promotional tweet, your feed will receive
much more attention if you make it a resource for your followers. Sharing
articles of interest, leading discussions on topics important to your industry,
answering questions and sometimes just being there can do this.
It’s about creating relationships and building trust in those relationships.
Although they may not be clients now, when the time comes, you’ve already
cleared the first hurdle for your followers.
Jim Lodico,
copywriter and marketing consultant.

sara hawkins
Sara Hawkins @saving4someday

#9: Be helpful

Plenty of people are filling up Twitter streams with the tech-equivalent of
screaming infomercials to buy things. Effective marketing on Twitter takes time.
But it also takes more than just selling or pushing your message.
Engaging and interacting with your consumers in a consistent and helpful way
will keep your product or service at top of mind. Not everyone needs
your offering right now. You want to provide information and solutions that keep
them reading
, so when they need what you have, they know you’re there
for them.
Sara
Hawkins
, lawyer and blogger.

Stephanie Gehman
Stephanie Gehman @airport_girl

#10: Transparency lends credibility

If you mess up, admit it. If you don’t know the answer to a
question, admit it. If you’re inexperienced, admit it. If you’re willing to
admit that your business is not perfect and is a work-in-progress or open to
suggestion, your audience is more likely to take you seriously. You
build your company’s credibility and trustworthiness.
The quickest way to lose credibility? If, as a business, you attempt to
cover-up, lie or over-promise and under-deliver.
Be honest, be real and be transparent.
Stephanie Gehman,
marketing manager for Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania.

Bring Twitter Followers Back to Your Website

tim ware
Tim Ware @HyperArts

#11: Use hashtags to create and curate conversations around your brand

You can reward your followers when they participate by
retweeting them or displaying their tweets on your site or blog.
Bergdorf Goodman is a high-end clothing and shoe retailer that is using the
Instagram photo app as well as a Twitter hashtag (#BGShoes) to encourage
fans to tweet pictures
of their shoes (purchased at BG of course)
around the city of New York.

bergdorf goodman
Bergdorf Goodman is capturing all of the photos and
tweets on this interactive map, which gives users an incentive to
participate.

Here’s another example, the San Francisco Food Bank (@SFFoodBank) gave
followers a challenge: Try to spend less than $5/day on food. And tweet about it
along the way, using the #hungerchallenge hashtag.
Participants are listed on the Hunger Challenge website (and
you can pity them in real time as they tweet about their barely full bellies,
all captured in the hashtag stream:

http://twitter.com/#!/search/hungerchallenge).

carina ost
Food blogger @CarinaOst is one of the participants able
to help increase awareness of hunger in SF and promote the Food Bank.

hunger challenge
These tweets were not just blank advertisements; they
were an entertaining journal of the struggle of trying to eat on a budget each
day!

Tim Ware, owner of
HyperArts Web Design.

christine gallagher
Christine Gallagher @ChristineG

#12: Share links back to your website for list-building

In most cases, people aren’t going to buy from you right off of a site like
Twitter. You need to shift your thinking from “How can I get
this person to buy from me or hire me now?” to ”How can I bring this person into
my community and strengthen the relationship with him/her on an ongoing
basis?”
One of the best ways to do this is to encourage visits to your blog
or website by providing something of value for free in exchange for email
addresses
. (Make sure what you’re giving them is extra-juicy and
useful!) That way, you have permission to keep in touch and build an ongoing
relationship with prospects.
This shouldn’t be thought of as list-building just for the sake of boosting
your subscriber numbers; rather, it’s a natural continuation of the solid
foundation you’ve begun building with a potential client or customer within the
Twitterverse.
Christine
Gallagher
, relationship marketing speaker, trainer and coach.

Janet Aronica
Janet Aronica @janetaronica

#13: Tweet links to your blog more often

When you’re thinking about using social media for lead
generation
, you want to use Twitter as not only a conversation channel, but
also as a way to drive traffic to your content.
I found a significant increase in traffic from Twitter and engagement with
our account when I posted several tweets of a blog post rather than one
the morning. It gives your followers a chance to catch that link
if
they missed it the first time and also targets people in different time
zones.
Don’t be spammy and go overboard, but sharing your content several times (if
it’s valuable) will give you the extra edge.
Janet Aronica,
Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot.

Fit Twitter Into Your Social Media Marketing

stephanie sammons
Stephanie Sammons @StephSammons

#14: Connect your LinkedIn account with your Twitter account

Syncing your LinkedIn account with your Twitter account can make your Twitter
activities much more relevant to business. Not only can you share content across
both networks simultaneously, but also you can keep track of your
professional connections from LinkedIn and follow their tweets
!
Here are three tips:

  • Make sure to add your Twitter account to your LinkedIn
    profile
    . Visitors to your profile will be able to follow you on Twitter
    right there from your profile page! Have more than one Twitter account (perhaps
    personal and business)? Add them both to your LinkedIn profile and designate
    your primary account.
  • Install the LinkedIn “Tweets” application on your LinkedIn
    profile
    and immediately go through and follow each of your LinkedIn
    connections who have Twitter profiles. In most cases, your professional
    connections are going to follow you back!
  • Create a Twitter list of your LinkedIn connections
    automatically
    with the click of a button using the Twitter application
    in LinkedIn. This makes it easy to follow the stream of updates on Twitter
    coming from your professional connections.

Twitter is a firehose of information, data and resources. I’m a big fan of
making sense out of that data and making it more relevant to your professional
network! Integrating your Twitter account with LinkedIn is a great way to do
this. To learn more, catch this article from Social Media Examiner: How to Use LinkedIn With Twitter for Better Networking!
Stephanie
Sammons
, founder and CEO of Wired Advisor.

Make Twitter Tools Work for You

Ben Pickering
Ben Pickering @bpicks

#15: Take advantage of tools to help curate and share relevant content

Sending out 140-character messages every so often may not seem like a task
that requires marketing automation software but, to the contrary, these tools
can greatly improve the effectiveness of your Twitter
marketing
.
There are a slew of services available, some free and some paid, to help
manage your Twitter account. At Strutta, we use the HootSuite dashboard to
track Twitter activity, which can be easily categorized into
multiple streams that we follow.
We also use Summify to help
filter through the noise and surface news that is most relevant
to our industry. This enables us to find content that is both useful to consume
and valuable to share with our followers via retweeting.
Sharing relevant content from other trusted sources helps establish your
credibility, especially when mixed with your own original content.

schedule messages
When it comes to sharing, having a platform like
HootSuite where you can schedule tweets is extremely helpful.

Given the short shelf-life of a tweet, you can easily schedule
content to be pushed out at pre-set intervals to maximize
visibility
.
Ben Pickering, CEO of
Strutta.

Andrea Vahl
Andrea Vahl @AndreaVahl

#16: Add columns of searches in HootSuite

I have a separate tab in HootSuite set up only for searches
that I want to monitor throughout the day. I have several columns of searches on
this tab so I can see in one glance what people are talking about with respect
to those searches at any given moment.
I use a combination of searching on hashtags and searching on just
keywords.

searches in hootsuite
In this screenshot, I show one search I have with the
hashtag #Facebook.

Then I also have a search where I put the words “how do I” which will
give me an exact match on that phrase, and the word “Facebook” which will show
both of those key phrases anywhere within the tweet
.
I’m looking for people asking questions about Facebook that I can help with.
I can then answer the person’s question and perhaps follow them. When you help
people who have questions about your niche on Twitter, you stand out as a leader
and authority in your field.
Make sure you are authentically helping people out and not
giving a sales pitch.

So if you want to watch for people asking questions about
your niche—which is yoga, for example—you would put the keywords “how do I” and
“yoga.” Or you may find that a better search question could be “where do I.”
Test out different keyword phrases to see what works best for your business.
Andrea Vahl,
co-author of
Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and Facebook
community manager for Social Media Examiner.

Still Need Help?

jamie turner
Jamie Turner @60Second Tweets

#17: Get a Twitter tutorial from your teenager

I was at a conference last week where a professor who specializes in new and
emerging media made this confession—he frequently asks his students to teach him
how to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media tools.
He went on to explain that at one point, during one of his tutorials, a
student turned to him and said, “Aren’t I paying YOU to teach me this
stuff?”
The truth is, if you’re like most businesspeople, it’s very hard to keep up
with all of the changes taking place. One way to get more efficient about using
Twitter and other tools is to sit down with someone younger than you and
ask him or her for a front-lines tutorial
.
Oh sure, we all understand the CONCEPT of Twitter, but when it comes to the
practical application or the unwritten rules, it’s hard to keep up. The
solution, I’ve found, is to not be shy about asking someone younger for a brief,
in-the-trenches tutorial. In the long run, it’ll save you hours and hours of
anguish.
Jamie Turner, co-author of How to Make Money with Social
Media.
What do you think? What’s your favorite Twitter marketing
tip?
What works best for your business? Please share your comments in
the box below.

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About the Author, Cindy King
Cindy King is the Managing Editor of Social Media Examiner. She’s tuned into
business development through social media and cross-cultural marketing. Connect
with Cindy on Twitter: @CindyKing. Other posts by »

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