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    marketing para dumis marketing para dumis Document Transcript

    • Twitter Marketing ForDummies®Visit www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/twittermarketing to viewthis books cheat sheet.Table of ContentsIntroduction About This Book Foolish Assumptions Conventions Used in This Book How This Book Is Organized Part I: The Future of Twitter in Business Part II: Building and Implementing Your Twitter Marketing Roadmap Part III: Devising Online Strategies for Twitter Marketing Domination Part IV: Implementing Twitter Strategies for Offline Marketing Domination Part V: The Part of Tens Appendixes Icons Used in This Book Where to Go from HerePart I: The Future of Twitter in Business 2
    • Chapter 1: I Tweet, You Tweet, We All Tweet:Twitter and Your Business Understanding How Twitter Works Micro-blogging (tweeting) Following others and being followed Sharing with your followers and retweeting Using Twitter in Your Business Sharing news and stories Empowering your fans Customer service Finding a fit for your business Marketing on TwitterChapter 2: Getting Started with Twitter Signing Up with Twitter Creating a Twitter account Using the Find Sources that Interest You features What’s with the Verified Accounts? Writing your 160-character bio and more Adding a picture 3
    • Completing your additional profile settings Understanding Twitter Basics Compiling and following Twitter lists Using Listorious to maximize list building Twitter Software You Can UsePart II: Building and Implementing Your Twitter MarketingRoad Map Chapter 3: Combining New and Old Media Marketing Applying Old-School Marketing and Principles Working with New Media Tools and Techniques Understanding the potential of social media Keeping your message real Tweeting to Find Warm Sales Leads Searching for potential customers Turning prospects into warm leads 4
    • Sending commercial messages on Twitter Promoted Tweets What are promoted tweets? Positives and negatives of promoted tweets Deciding What to Tweet About The five types of tweets Tweeting about what you knowChapter 4: Planning Your Twitter MarketingStrategy Setting a Destination for Your Marketing Strategy Choosing a target audience Identifying your unique selling position Figuring out what your customers value Implementing Your Plan Crafting your message Defining the tactics Finalizing your marketing plan 5
    • Chapter 5: Being Productive with Your TwitterMarketing Plan Creating a Time-Management Strategy for Twitter Avoiding Twitter overload Setting aside blocks of time Using Third-Party Tools to Be More Productive with Twitter HootSuite TweetDeck CoTweet Ping.fm Making the Most of Your Time on Twitter Don’t agonize over what to say Don’t read every tweet from the people you follow Don’t try to add value to all your tweets Do spread out your marketing tweets Do stick to a schedule with your tweetsChapter 6: Measuring the Success of YourMarketing Plan 6
    • Measuring Your Advertising and Marketing Efforts Using an analytics package Twitalyzer HootSuite analytics Using URL shorteners Following the right people Using social media–monitoring services Tracking and Increasing Your Influence on Twitter Getting in on Twitter trends Tracking retweets with Retweetist Engaging Others on Twitter Balancing the follow-to-followers ratio Reducing your number of Twitter followersPart III: Devising Online Strategies for Twitter MarketingDomination Chapter 7: Building Your Personal Twitter Tribe Building Your Twitter Network Determining the best way to build your network 7
    • Finding friends and professional contacts Searching for followers based on interests and keywords Identifying industry leaders and evangelists Hunting down your competition Finding the locals Following #FollowFriday Determining who’s worth following Quantity over Quality Understanding the value of quantity in the Twitterverse Following the rules for building a quantity-based network Understanding the negative side of list building Building the following that your business needs Qualifying out of the quantified The Pros and Cons of Auto-DMsChapter 8: Leveraging Your Twitter Tribe The Power of the Retweet Discovering the art of retweeting Connecting with your evangelists 8
    • Tracking Your Followers by Using TwitterCounter Signing up for TwitterCounter Searching for followers using TwitterCounter Viewing your follower growth on TwitterCounter Tracking When You Lose Followers with Qwitter Signing up for Qwitter Understanding why Qwitter is a powerful content tool Showing Your Followers That You Value Them Sharing before asking to share Asking how you can help your followersChapter 9: Reaching Your Customers Finding Your Customers on Twitter Searching by subject matter on Twitter Finding followers by syncing your contact list 9
    • Empowering Current Customers to Spread the Message Spreading a message to friends of friends of friends Understanding viral marketing on Twitter Creating your own viral marketing campaign Driving Traffic to Your Web Site or Blog Publishing blog feeds by hand Automating your blog feed Automating your blog through HootSuite Retweeting to add value Encouraging your followers to retweet Understanding What Etiquette Has to Do with Twitter MarketingChapter 10: Creating Quality Content on Twitter Generating Quality Content Tweeting about what matters to you Tweeting about what matters to your brand Conversing with your followers 10
    • Developing Your Story on Twitter Developing your brand story Developing content Keeping Up with Trends on Twitter Understanding Twitter trends Monitoring Twitter trends The Art of the Hashtag Understanding tags Understanding hashtags Making the best use of hashtags Tracking the hashtagPart IV: Implementing Twitter Strategies for OfflineMarketing Domination Chapter 11: Promoting to Attract Sales Leads Avoiding Interruption Marketing Tactics on Twitter Making the Most of Twitter Keywords Developing your business keywords Finding people who are talking about your keywords Promoting Your Niche by Using Tweets 11
    • Writing about sales and deals Writing about your services proactively Promoting Your Content through Discussion When and where to promote: Promoting the right way The value of thought leadership in B2B salesChapter 12: Improving Your Customer Service May I Help? Twitter Customer Service from Comcast Empowering Your Customer Service Discovering why you should use Twitter for customer service Determining who should use Twitter for customer service Responding to public complaints on Twitter Practicing the Art of Listening Understanding why it’s important to listen on Twitter Using an RSS feed to track your brand Investigating popular RSS readers 12
    • Using Twitter for Customer Service for a Small Business Offering Actionable Advice on Twitter Handling customer issues, concerns, cares, or problems Remembering to say yesChapter 13: Relating to the Public Managing Your Reputation Following some general guidelines Monitoring what other folks are saying Using Reputation Management Services on Twitter Free reputation management services Paid reputation management services Promoting Live Events on Twitter Promoting your event Live tweeting your event Monitoring live tweets at an event Setting the Proper Tone in Your Twitter Communications 13
    • Maintaining a professional tone Keeping it real: Transparency and authenticity Doing Media Relations with Twitter Pitching a story to journalists Finding someone to write about your product Using virtual press centers Using Twitter for crisis communicationsChapter 14: Building Thought Leadership onTwitter The Big Deal about Thought Leadership Being a thought leader can help your career Being a thought leader can help increase your sales The Importance of Your Twitter Bio Writing the right bio Avoiding the wrong bio Becoming a B2B Thought Leader Sharing your content Sharing others’ valuable content Collaboration is key 14
    • Part V: The Part of Tens Chapter 15: Ten Do’s on Twitter Do Be Honest Do Have a Sense of Humor Do Interact with Your Followers Do Use TwitPic Do Tweet on a Regular Basis Do Use a Profile Picture Do Fun Stuff Every Day Do Stick to a Schedule Do Say Thank You Do Add Your Twitter Name to Your Business Card Chapter 16: Ten Don’ts on Twitter Don’t Auto-DM Don’t Say It on Twitter When It’s Better Said in Person Don’t Gather Too Many Followers Too Fast Don’t Forget Your Marketing Strategy Don’t Follow for the Sake of Following Don’t Use the Web Platform Don’t Create Too Many Accounts Don’t Give a Hard Sell Don’t Ignore Others Don’t Have an Uneven Following/ Follower Ratio Chapter 17: Ten Thought Leaders on Twitter 15
    • Jay Baer Chris Brogan Jason Falls Pete Cashmore Jeremiah Owyang Katie Paine Brian Solis Scott Stratten Gary Vaynerchuk Carrie Wilkerson Chapter 18: Ten Tools for Twitter Productivity bit.ly HootSuite Nearby Tweets SocialToo TweetDeck TweetMetrics twhirl Twilert Twitter Grader TwitterrificPart VI: Appendixes Appendix A: Great Twitter Marketing Ideas in 140 Characters or Less Appendix B: The Best Twitter Applications and Support Sites Cheat Sheet 16
    • Twitter® Marketing For Dummies®, 2nd Editionby Kyle LacyTwitter® Marketing For Dummies®, 2nd EditionPublished byWiley Publishing, Inc.111 River St.Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774www.wiley.comCopyright © 2011 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis,IndianaPublished simultaneously in CanadaNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning orotherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 ofthe 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the priorwritten permission of the Publisher, or authorization throughpayment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the CopyrightClearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923,(978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to thePublisher for permission should be addressed to the 17
    • Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 RiverStreet, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201)748-6008, or online at http://www.wiley.com/go/permissions.Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, ForDummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the Restof Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun andEasy Way, Dummies.com, Making Everything Easier, andrelated trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks ofJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the UnitedStates and other countries, and may not be used withoutwritten permission. All other trademarks are the property oftheir respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is notassociated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: The publisher andthe author make no representations or warranties with respectto the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this workand specifically disclaim all warranties, including withoutlimitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. Nowarranty may be created or extended by sales or promotionalmaterials. The advice and strategies contained herein may notbe suitable for every situation. This work is sold with theunderstanding that the publisher is not engaged in renderinglegal, accounting, or other professional services. Ifprofessional assistance is required, the services of acompetent professional person should be sought. Neither thepublisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arisingherefrom. The fact that an organization or Website is referredto in this work as a citation and/or a potential source offurther information does not mean that the author or thepublisher endorses the information the organization orWebsite may provide or recommendations it may make. 18
    • Further, readers should be aware that Internet Websites listedin this work may have changed or disappeared between whenthis work was written and when it is read.For general information on our other products and services,please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S.at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax317-572-4002.For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronicformats. Some content that appears in print may not beavailable in electronic books.Library of Congress Control Number: 2011922793ISBN: 978-0-470-93057-1Manufactured in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1About the AuthorKyle Lacy loves everything about social media and theInternet. He believes in the massive potential to communicateand change the world in which we live by using online tools.Kyle started his obsession with social media and marketing at 19
    • Anderson University, where he helped run a start-up recordlabel called Orangehaus Records. With Kyle’s leadership, themarketing team dove into the world of MySpace andFacebook to gain recognition for their artist, Jon McLaughlin,who was eventually signed to Island Records in New YorkCity.After graduating college in December 2006, Kyle and hisgood friend, Brandon Coon, decided to start a graphic designand marketing company called Brandswag in July 2007.Brandswag started out designing identities for smallbusinesses and eventually turned to consulting on socialmedia. In August 2010, Brandswag merged with anothercompany and became MindFrame. Six people currently workat MindFrame, and the company is mainly working onhelping companies and nonprofits understand the world ofintegrated marketing. They strive to understand the ideas andmodels that drive measured marketing and campaigns.Kyle loves the idea of educating business owners and C-levelemployees on the power of social media (mainly Twitter). Hewrites a regular blog at www.kylelacy.com and is a regularcontributor to the Personal Branding Blog,http://personalbrandingblog.com. His blog has been featuredon the Wall Street Journal’s Web site and in numerousarticles in Indianapolis and abroad. In 2010, Kyle wasrecognized as one of the top Forty-under-40 businessprofessionals in Indianapolis and young alumni of the year forAnderson University. Twitter Marketing For Dummies wasalso named one of the top Twitter marketing books for 2010.Dedication 20
    • To my parents and my family (middle-America and thenorthwest). I would not be where I am today without yourcontinuing support and encouragement.Author’s AcknowledgmentsFirst off, I would like to thank the awesome team at Wiley —Amy Fandrei and Pat O’Brien — for putting up with myhectic schedule and my early, early, early morning writinghabits. Also, thanks to Manny Hernandez (@askmanny) forhelping with the content of the book from a technical side.Manny is the man!Publisher’s AcknowledgmentsWe’re proud of this book; please send us your commentsthrough our online registration form located atwww.dummies.com/register/.Some of the people who helped bring this book to marketinclude the following:Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media DevelopmentProject Editor: Pat O’BrienAcquisitions Editor: Amy FandreiCopy Editors: John Edwards, Annie SullivanTechnical Editor: Michelle OxmanEditorial Manager: Kevin Kirschner 21
    • Media Development Project Manager: LauraMoss-HollisterMedia Development Assistant Project Manager: JennySwisherMedia Development Associate Producers: Josh Frank,Marilyn Hummel, Douglas Kuhn, and Shawn PatrickEditorial Assistant: Amanda GrahamSr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie CaseCartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)Composition ServicesProject Coordinator: Katherine CrockerLayout and Graphics: Samantha K. Cherolis, JoyceHaughey, Corrie SocolovitchProofreaders: John Greenough, The Well-Chosen WordIndexer: Cheryl DukstaPublishing and Editorial for Technology DummiesRichard Swadley, Vice President and Executive GroupPublisherAndy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher 22
    • Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions DirectorMary C. Corder, Editorial DirectorPublishing for Consumer DummiesDiane Graves Steele, Vice President and PublisherComposition ServicesDebbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services 23
    • IntroductionGreetings, and welcome to Twitter Marketing For Dummies.You have officially entered into the joyous world ofmarketing on Twitter. If you want to think about the tool interms of celebrity, Twitter is the Oprah of social-networkingsites. Twitter is huge, both in the number of users andexcitement.This idea of communicating on the Internet is continuallyevolving, and with Twitter, you have the opportunity to reachmillions of people in a matter of seconds. The future of onlinecommunication is rendering business owners lifeless becauseof how slow they are to adopt new technology forcommunication. What if your customers stopped using thephone and moved somewhere else? Would you be ready?Would you read about Twitter if your competitors bought thisbook? Guess what — they already did.This book is full of ideas created by the masses about how tocommunicate through Twitter. Success is the only option, andTwitter can help you with your business goals and aspirations.So, is Twitter life, and the rest just details? Not exactly, butTwitter can help you create a sustainable communicationmodel to drive more leads, revenue, and customer evangeliststo your product. And the best part is, you don’t have to spendcountless hours researching how to use Twitter to marketyour products. I did it for you!About This Book 24
    • If you’ve received your citizenship papers from Twitter andare just starting to dip into the world of 140-charactercommunication, this book is for you. It gives an in-depth lookinto the world of marketing on Twitter. The majority of theconcepts discussed deal with combining Twitter with yourtraditional marketing plan, creating your following of brandevangelists, and finding the best tools for productivity onTwitter. Most of all, you discover how Twitter can transformthe way your business communicates with clients (bothcurrent and potential) and increase your sales.Twitter offers a fun way to communicate with your followers,but it also has huge business potential. This book deals withTwitter as a business tool. As a famous rapper once said, “Weare makin’ it rain benjamins.” To the layman, this expressionmeans one-hundred-dollar bills are falling from the sky(which probably makes the cash a little awkward to gather).I wrote this book to help you gain traction on Twitter and todrive revenue to your business. If you can successfully marketthrough Twitter, you can drive more leads and potentiallymore business to your door! Do you have a specific topic thatyou want to find out about, such as building your followers?Jump to the chapter that discusses assembling your Twitterposse (Chapter 7, if you want to go there now).Avoid blinding yourself with the light bulb that bursts aboveyour head when you read this book. If you tear a page out topost on your wall, or put sticky notes and highlights all overthe pages of this book, I’ve done my job. In fact, flag andhighlight as many pages as you want. Consider this book areference guide to help you define and improve your 25
    • marketing concepts, goals, and communication strategies onTwitter.Also, this book doesn’t look good gathering dust on abookshelf. Use it! (Everyone knows that the color yellowdoesn’t blend well with anything.)Foolish AssumptionsEvery author has to assume a few things about his or heraudience when writing a book. I made the followingassumptions about you: You’re an awesome individual because you picked up thisbook. You either already have a Twitter account or are planningto create one soon. You own a small business, or you work in marketing orsales for a large business. You want to combine the two preceding bullets and useTwitter to market your business and/or products. You are sending out tweets but have no idea what type ofreturn you are getting on your time investment. Further, youhave no idea whether your boss is going to fire you the nexttime she finds out you’re using Twitter.I also assume you have some basic Web-fu skills, such asknowing how to surf the Web. I assume that you may haveyour own Web site and/or blog, and that you may even have a 26
    • few social media sites that you visit and update frequently(such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and so on).Conventions Used in This BookI know that doing something the same way over and overagain can get boring, but sometimes consistency is a goodthing. For one thing, consistency makes stuff easier tounderstand. In this book, those consistent elements areconventions: I use italics to identify and define new terms. (I even usedthis convention to explain the word “conventions” in thepreceding paragraph!) Whenever you have to type something, I put the stuff youneed to type in bold so that you can easily tell what you needto enter. When I type URLs (Web addresses), code, or e-mailaddresses within a paragraph, they look like this:www.wiley.com.How This Book Is OrganizedThe idea of marketing on Twitter has a wide variety ofsubject matter and ideas, which is part of the reason why thisbook is broken down into parts, chapters, and sections. Thewhole point of organizing the book in the For Dummies wayis for quick reviewing and reading. If you want to know aboutcreating one or two accounts, you can go directly to thesection that discusses that topic in Chapter 2. If you want to 27
    • know about creating a Twitter marketing plan, head toChapter 4.The following sections describe how the book is organized.Part I: The Future of Twitter in BusinessIf you need to understand the concepts and future trends ofTwitter as a business tool, this part is for you. I discuss theideas of business development, the growing number ofTwitter users, and what Twitter means to your business. Thispart also describes ideas about how to use Twitter effectivelyfor newbies (people who are new to a given situation ortechnology). If you’re not new to Twitter, you can skipChapter 2, which discusses how to get signed up for anaccount and create a profile.Part II: Building and Implementing Your Twitter MarketingRoadmapPart II is the most important part of the book. You absolutelymust plan your Twitter marketing strategy before you divedirectly into the churning waters of Twitter marketing.Twitter can be a powerful marketing tool if you plan yourroadmap to success. Read and reread Part II to gain theknowledge that you need to successfully implement the restof the ideas in this book.Part III: Devising Online Strategies for Twitter MarketingDominationFrom building your following to implementingcommunication strategies, Part III takes a look at how you 28
    • can use Twitter to grow your business. Does it matter whetheryou have quantity over quality in your followers? Should youuse the auto-direct-messaging feature? (Please don’t.) Thispart provides many answers for you. You need to successfullydevise an online strategy before you try to implement thatstrategy (which Part IV covers). Mastering the online use ofTwitter is your key to success.Part IV: Implementing Twitter Strategies for OfflineMarketing DominationIntegration, integration, integration. Nothing can help youmarket your business more than the combination of an offlineand online strategy. Twitter can become much more powerfulwhen you use it to push offline marketing strategies as well asonline strategies. If you want to use Twitter to execute a liveevent, add spice to your brochure, or strengthen your offlinenetwork, you can. This part shows you how to integrate andstrengthen all your marketing endeavors by using Twitter,online and off.Part V: The Part of TensTradition. Plain and simple. The Part of Tens caters to acouple of traditions. First, the For Dummies books all have aPart of Tens, which in this case sums up the more importantinformation to help you on your Twitter journey. Forexample, I guide you through the top ten don’ts of Twitter,such as annoying people with a hard sell. (Don’t do it!).Second, Internet communication lends itself to placing thingsin numbered lists, so the chapters in the Part of Tens areconcise and to the point. 29
    • AppendixesHundreds of people contributed to Appendix A. Twitter usersfrom around the world gave their opinion on how to useTwitter for marketing. You can find more than 100 of theirideas near the back of this book for your perusing enjoyment.You can really make the most of driving business and ideasthrough Twitter by implementing some of these ideas.Applications and support sites are what drive productivity andtime management in the world of Twitter. Appendix B hasexhaustive lists of sites and applications that can help youmake the most of your time on Twitter. From preschedulingcontent to developing content calendars, the followingapplications revolutionize your usage time.Icons Used in This BookI use the following icons throughout the book to highlightparagraphs that you should pay particular attention to. A Tip is kind of self-explanatory, right? The Tipicon points out information that can help you use orimplement your ideas differently. You may find these simplesuggestions very useful. I look at Remember icons as massive tips toremember. These icons mark information that you really 30
    • should commit to memory when you use Twitter formarketing purposes. The Technical Stuff icon marks information of ahighly technical nature that you can normally skip over. Ihardly ever read the technical stuff! So why should you?Honestly, who reads the directions? The Warning icon is the equivalent of the warninglabel on a lawn mower that tells you not to stick your footunderneath the blades. Warnings help you along your way sothat you don’t cut off your little Twitter toes. The Case Study icon points out real-life examplesof how companies have used the Twitter marketing conceptsand techniques discussed in this book.Where to Go from HereYou’re ready, my young Jedi. Go forth into the world ofTwitter and dominate your efforts in marketing and drivingbusiness through the Internet. But where should you start?If you already know the basic Twitter ropes, you can skip PartI. But I strongly suggest that you read Part II before you start 31
    • trying to use Twitter as a marketing tool. You must have aplan in place that measures your Twitter marketing successrate and indicates how you use the tool. Part II describes howto plan and develop a strategy.If you have a specific topic in mind that you want to knowmore about, check the Index or the Table of Contents, andthen flip to that chapter, section, or page and start reading.And, of course, you can always just start your Twittermarketing adventure at Chapter 1.If you have any questions regarding marketing on Twitter,feel free to check out my blog at www.kylelacy.com or e-mailme at kyle@yourmindframe.com.Please note that some special symbols used in this eBook maynot display properly on all eReader devices. If you havetrouble determining any symbol, please call Wiley ProductTechnical Support at 800-762-2974. Outside of the UnitedStates, please call 317-572-3993. You can also contact WileyProduct Technical Support at www.wiley.com/techsupport. 32
    • Part IThe Future of Twitter in BusinessIn this part . . .You’re stepping into the world of Twitter marketing. Youknow that Twitter is one of the most popular social-media 33
    • sites on the Internet, but how can you use it to drive business?What’s the difference between micro-blogging and blogging?Who’s on Twitter, and why are they using it? I answer thesequestions in this part.In Chapter 1, you get a glimpse into the world of usingTwitter for business. If you haven’t already signed up forTwitter, Chapter 2 helps you sign up and get going. So, get acup of coffee or tea (or a 12-hour energy drink) and jump intoTwitter marketing. 34
    • Chapter 1I Tweet, You Tweet, We All Tweet: Twitter and YourBusinessIn This Chapter Discovering Twitter Marketing your business on Twitter Throwing out traditional marketing methodsImagine a world in which over 100 million potentialcustomers are talking, sharing ideas, and shaping new realmsof communication. This online platform has blasted throughtraditional marketing and communication concepts andcreated a world in which collaboration and customers areking. This world exists as Twitter (www.twitter.com).Twitter has exploded, with growth rates of 585%year-over-year and over 100 million members as of thiswriting. All those Twitter users are potentially waiting for youto communicate with them. When you start using Twitter foryour business, you’re entering a new phase of Internetmarketing in which you discuss your brand on a daily basisand send out your thoughts in bursts of 140 characters or less.You’re on the leading edge of a communication and culturaltransformation in the business landscape of the world. Isn’tthis exciting?Twitter has disrupted the traditional marketing process andplaced the customer in control of the marketing message. But 35
    • don’t fret! The future of marketing is bright — never beforehave you had such possibilities for growing your business.Twitter enables you to find potential customers quickly andeasily and communicate with them with only a fewkeystrokes.This chapter introduces you to the key concepts of marketingyour business and products by using Twitter. (For helpsigning up with Twitter, see Chapter 2.)Understanding How Twitter WorksTwitter is a social network that gives you the ability to postmessages of 140 characters or less. Twitter is a network withmembers throughout the world, and when you send out amessage, Charles in London and Mary in California can readit at the same time. Imagine the possibilities for yourbusiness!If you understand the concept of sending a text message fromphone to phone, you can pick up Twitter easily. The samerules that apply to texting also apply to the world of Twitter,with one exception: On Twitter, you’re limited to 140characters to communicate a concrete thought.Micro-blogging (tweeting)Twitter is built on the concept of micro-blogging, in whichpeople write short, frequent posts (often by using a cellphone) that don’t exceed 140 characters. Those 140-characterposts are known as tweets. Figure 1-1 shows a few tweetsfrom several Twitter users. 36
    • Figure 1-1: Twitter users tweet about what they’re doing,what they care about, and whatever they feel likecommunicating.Tweets are a form of micro-blogging that have enabled usersto share massive amounts of content in the form of short textmessages that they send to unique sets of people or entiregroups. Twitter is one of the original platforms formicro-blogging, and it has ruled this space since its creationin 2006. Micro-blogging has increased the speed ofinformation ten-fold, in contrast to writing a blog post orwriting an in-depth consumer report. Blogging is a more elaborate approach toinformation sharing and marketing on the Web. 37
    • Micro-blogging is a short-term approach that’s ideal for quickand thoughtful communication. Blogging and micro-bloggingshould work hand-in-hand to create a platform that you canuse to spread your business ideas to your customers andpotential market.Following others and being followedWhen you follow somebody on Twitter, his or her tweetsappear on your Twitter timeline (much like you can see yourfriends’ status updates on your Facebook feed), as shown inFigure 1-2. The big difference between Twitter and Facebookis that you don’t need other people’s approval before you canfollow them on Twitter, as long as they’ve set their Twitteraccounts to public status.Figure 1-2: You want to follow many people, but you alsoneed to be sure that you follow the right kind of people. 38
    • Being followed on Twitter has very little to do with beingfollowed in real life, when you feel like someone isshadowing your every move. Every time you post a tweet, itappears on the Twitter timeline of all the people who arefollowing you. If you’re posting on Twitter as a business, youneed followers on Twitter so that you can get your messageout about your company, products, and services. Twitter alsogives you the ability to have conversations with current andpotential clients using the promotional tweets system.So, you just need to follow as many people as possible andstart tweeting about your products like there is no tomorrow,right? Not so fast. You need to have a plan, a strategy to makethe most of Twitter, before you start following a bunch ofpeople (or tweeple, as they’re sometimes called in theTwitterverse). 39
    • Sharing with your followers and retweetingWhen you start following others on Twitter, you need to shareuseful information with them so that they want to follow you,too. The information that your followers are interested in mayvary depending on their focus and interests. But they’reprobably not dying to read a ton of tweets in a row in whichyou praise your products and services: If you take thatapproach, prepare to be unfollowed massively on Twitter.You need to strike a balance between your marketingmessage (naturally, you want to promote your company,products, and services — otherwise, you wouldn’t be readingthis book), useful information about your industry, and somepersonal elements to give people a feel for the human side ofyour company. Along with all these elements, you also needto share useful tweets that others post on Twitter. Sendingyour followers a tweet that you’ve received is calledretweeting, and it’s considered part of the social currency onTwitter. You can see an example of a retweet in Figure 1-3.Retweeting goes well beyond giving credit to whoever sharedsomething: It indicates that you respect or like this person’sopinion, thoughts, or whatever he or she tweets about. Also,when others retweet something you’ve posted, you can startto get your message out in the Twitter world — but you haveto start by retweeting messages posted by other people beforeyou can ask them to retweet your messages. For a morein-depth look at using retweeting in your marketing plan,check out Chapter 8. 40
    • Twitter community demographicsPeople who use Twitter for marketing purposes includemarketing experts, celebrities, public-relations professionals,writers and authors, business owners, and employees. Moreimportantly, the majority of Twitter users are yourcustomers and peers. A popular myth is that Twitter is madeup predominately of Generation Y Internet users (ages 18 to34). However, Pingdom (http://www.pingdom.com) hasplaced 64% of Twitter users at the age of 35 or older: Theestimated average age of Twitter according to the website is39.1.What does this statistic mean for your business? It gives youinsight into the kind of people who are using Twitter.Figure 1-3: Retweeting what others post on Twitter showsrespect and helps extend their messages. 41
    • Using Twitter in Your BusinessYou can use Twitter as a valuable marketing tool for yourbusiness, whether you have a small, medium-sized, or largebusiness. Also, Twitter can help complement your company’scurrent PR and customer service efforts. The followingsections describe several ways that you can use Twitter foryour business.Sharing news and storiesBecause Twitter gives you the ability to share 140-characterthoughts in a split second, you can easily share links to PRreleases and stories about your business, service, or product.But in order to make your tweets interesting and diverse sothat you can hold on to and increase your followers, consider 42
    • sharing news and stories about the industry that you serve.You can become a reference for people who are looking forinformation about the topic, and that status can ultimatelygain you more followers who may become your customers.You can also branch out into general news stories, keeping aneye on trending topics on Twitter, as described in Chapter 10.Tweeting about more than just your business and industry canhelp show the human side of your company; however,depending on what your Twitter marketing strategy is, keepyour brand in mind when you use Twitter and consider whatyour tweets say about your brand as a whole. Make sure thatyou enhance and complement your brand’s story through yourtweets. The tweets by @brandswag in Figure 1-4 help tellthe story of its brand, as summarized in the Twitter user’s bio:Ideas Infecting Business through SocialMedia, Marketing,and DesignFigure 1-4: These tweets enhance the Twitter user’s brand asa social-media branding expert. 43
    • Empowering your fansTwitter gives you the ability to take a single thought andshare it with millions of people. And your customerevangelists can spread your message, as well as their opinionsabout your company’s greatness, to as many people aspossible.Your evangelists can help you get your message out, but youmust first find out who they are and remember to give to them(by retweeting their interesting messages) before you ask fortheir support.You can spot your fans and evangelists by keeping an eye onwho retweets your posts most often. (Chapter 8 introducessome tools that can help you track that information.) Also, 44
    • monitor Twitter trends in your industry so that you can spotthe people you need to be listening to; see Chapter 10 fordetails.Through a disciplined balance between listening to others andretweeting their useful contributions, eventually you earn theright to ask for their support in return. The reward may be asbig as having your brand story go viral and getting picked upby thousands or millions of potential customers, as describedin Chapter 9.Customer serviceTwitter can help you turn your company’s customer serviceinto a competitive advantage, as Comcast and Zappos.comhave done through their highly personal and accessiblecustomer service reps on Twitter. You can see an example ofhow Comcast offers customer service through Twitter inFigure 1-5.If you involve the right people in your company on Twitter —and train them in time management and empower them to talkopenly to customers — you can save both your customers andyourself time, money, and frustration: a true win-winsituation.Finding a fit for your business Examples of businesses that use Twitter can helpyou see how Twitter might fit with your business model. The 45
    • following list describes just a few of the companies that haverevolutionized the way businesses use Twitter customerservice, business-to-consumer marketing,business-to-business marketing, and public relations: Customer service: Zappos.com (www.zappos.com), anonline shoe retailer, is almost obsessed with customersatisfaction. Unsurprisingly, it adopted Twitter as a channel tocommunicate with its customers and offer customer service. Business-to-consumer marketing: Ford Motor Companyis getting the word out about its new Fiesta model through theFiesta Movement. If you visit www.fiestamovement.com, youcan see how Twitter is a critical component of thispromotional campaign. Business-to-business marketing: Duct Tape Marketing(www.ducttapemarketing.com) started several years ago as abook and blog aimed at small businesses. Today, it usesTwitter as part of its toolkit to deliver valuable information toits audience. Public relations: Old Spice (@oldspice) embracedTwitter as part of its social-media-centric PR strategy thatwas born by allowing Twitter users to ask questions of theirOld Spice shirtless mascot guy, which in turn created hugeamounts of traffic and positive brand awareness.Figure 1-5: @ComcastCares offers Comcast users customerservice via Twitter. 46
    • Marketing on TwitterIn old-school marketing, the idea was that the more youbroadcasted a marketing message, the more your sales grew.Because of this idea, marketing departments of manycompanies ran much like machines. Yes, some creativethought was involved, but the communication model wasmore machine-like than most marketing professionals wouldcare to admit.They (the marketing machines) churned out hundreds ofthousands of ideas in order to plaster on the public’s mindsthe benefits of their products and services. More often thannot, this approach worked because there was a more limitednumber of products and a more limited number of channelsthrough which companies could market those products. So, 47
    • you could more easily reach your audience. It was the age ofbroadcast, in which you sent the message in only onedirection, and everyone on the receiving end consumed it.In this age of social media (which Twitter is a part of), themachine is slowly morphing and giving way to a moresophisticated school of thought. The customer is now craftingbrand messages. People are talking to other people. Theyshare good and bad experiences, tips and tricks, and do’s anddon’ts — and you can only do so much in terms of pushingmessages because everyone’s attention has become incrediblyfragmented. Millions of products compete for a slice ofattention on a gazillion channels and Web sites, making itnearly impossible (and unreasonable) for a company tobroadcast effectively anymore. Instead of selling a message to a group ofconsumers, on Twitter you rely on your customers to talkabout your product and help you reach others through word ofmouth. Twitter is now at the forefront of the customerexperience, where customers sell to customers. Companies nolonger craft the thoughts and ideas of brands in the boardroom. Consumers create personal representations of brands intheir living rooms, restaurants, and gathering places, and ontheir keyboards.Marketing on Twitter works in a very different way thantraditional marketing. Of course, you can help shape thedialogue: You certainly can (and should) participate in theconversations about your company, products, and services. 48
    • But you no longer have absolute control over what gets saidabout them. 49
    • Chapter 2Getting Started with TwitterIn This Chapter Signing up for Twitter and creating your profile Understanding the basics of using Twitter Looking into Twitter softwareTwitter is starting a revolution in terms of how and why yourcompany communicates with customers and potential clients.Where do you start? Where do you jump into the massiveworld of the direct message and the tweet?It all starts with your profile.Creating a Twitter profile is a little bit different than signingup for MySpace or Facebook, where you list your favoritebands, books, movies, and funny photos of you and yourfamily. Just as you have less room (140 characters) to shareyour message on Twitter, you also are constrained by howmuch information you can enter in a Twitter profile; however,that doesn’t mean your Twitter profile is not important.The information you include in your Twitter profileintroduces you to others on Twitter and may be the reasonwhy others choose to follow you (or not). Therefore, you needto give it careful thought. 50
    • The whole idea behind Twitter involves packingbig ideas into small spaces, so you need to fit the mostimportant information about your business in a small space —a photo, a 160-character bio, and a URL.In this chapter, I walk you through the process of signing upfor Twitter and creating a profile. I also break down the mostimportant parts of the profile and where you should focusyour time. And I give you some tips to help you choose thebest Twitter pictures.Signing Up with TwitterTo start your Twitter journey, you need only a computer, ane-mail address, and an Internet connection. If you don’t haveany of the three, you’re pretty much out of luck when itcomes to starting a Twitter profile. (Yes, you can use amobile phone with Twitter, but it is far more convenient toget your Twitter account started on a computer.)Creating a Twitter accountYou can use this quick, easy, slick, and state-of-the-artprocess to create your very own Twitter account! Just followthese steps:1. Go to www.twitter.com.2. Click the yellow Sign Up > button on the right. 51
    • When you click this button, a page opens that launches youon a brand new adventure of communicating with andmeeting new people, forming new relationships, and creatingopportunities for yourself and others.3. Enter the information Twitter is asking, nay, beggingyou for, as shown in Figure 2-1.Figure 2-1: Sign up for your Twitter account.To create your account, you have to enter the followingpieces of information:• Full Name: Type your first and last name. Alternatively,you can use your company’s name here, but I recommendusing a business name only if you’re creating acorporate-only account. (If you’re interested in having both a 52
    • personal account and a business account on Twitter, you canuse software that allows you to run both accountssimultaneously. I discuss that software in Chapter 5). See the“What’s in a name?” sidebar, later in this chapter, for moreabout how to choose a name for your Twitter account.• Username: Type a username for your Twitter account. Yourusername becomes part of your personal URL, for example,www.twitter.com/kyleplacy. The majority of Twitter users include their ownnames or company names as part of their usernames. Whenyou’re debating what to use for your Twitter name, rememberthat people need to remember the name in order to find you.But you may find that someone already uses your actual nameas their Twitter username. If this is the case, a red sign thatreads “Username Has Already Been Taken” appears next tothe username you entered, as shown in Figure 2-2.Figure 2-2: With so many Twitter users, it is possible thatyour preferred username is taken. 53
    • If this happens to you, you’ve either found a name stealer orhappen to have the same preference for a username assomeone else on Twitter (John Smith, you have mysympathy). To get yourself out of this situation, try a newusername including your middle initial or a number after yourname, such as @kylePlacy or @kylelacy1984, inplace of the first username you entered. Although it can be as long as 15 characters, try topick the shortest name possible. Remember, people have only140 characters in a tweet, including your name if they’rereplying or retweeting one of your messages. And if you have@JohnJacobJingle for a username, that leaves only 124characters for somebody to respond. 54
    • • Password: Type a password. Your password is your key toyour Twitter Empire (Twempire?). Use strong passwordguidelines: Make it over six characters in length and add acapital letter, numbers, and/or punctuation marks. (Anexample of a strong password is Fr@nk5inatr@.)• Email: Type your e-mail address. In order to receive alertsand information regarding your Twitter account, you have toenter a valid e-mail address you have access to. Below theEmail text box, you can check the Let others find me by myemail address. This allows other users to find you by youre-mail address. There is also an I Want the Inside Scoop –Please Send Me Email Updates! check box under the CreateMy Account button. Select this box if you would like toreceive notifications from Twitter.• Terms of Service: Read the terms of service carefully andmake sure you understand the rules and regulations Twitter isplacing in front of you.4. Click the Create My Account button.After you have clicked the Create My Account button youwill see a CAPTCHA box which asks you to type the correctwords being shown in the black italic script. Fill in the wordsand click finish.You also get a welcome e-mail message at the e-mail addressyou entered, confirming your username and Twitter profilepage, along with links to let you activate your phone to useTwitter and invite your friends.Using the Find Sources that Interest You features 55
    • When you start finding and following people, the fun reallybegins! Twitterati unite! After you create your account, youare given different options to help you in building yourTwitter contact list. However, I recommend that you letTwitter build your list with your current e-mail contacts. Ifyou need to build a list quickly, this is a great way to do it,especially if you already have an e-mail list of customers andpotential customers.Twitter gives you the ability to use your Gmail, Yahoo!,LinkedIn or AOL e-mail account to search your database ofe-mail contacts for people who already use Twitter. You havethe ability to find your friends! And Twitter doesn’t shareyour username and password with anyone other than you. It’sextremely secure.After you click the Create My Account button (and correctlyenter the CAPTCHA) on the Twitter signup page, followthese steps:1. On the Interests page that appears, click differenttopics that may interest you.Twitter opens a new page that allows you to find differentsources that interest you. If you click a certain section (likeBusiness), you are given different users to follow. You canchoose to follow the individuals displayed or move on byclicking the blue button called Next step: Friends.2. Click the Next Step: Friends button.Twitter searches your e-mail address book and LinkedInaccount to show you which contacts have Twitter accounts (if 56
    • any of them do), so you can conveniently follow them. Youcan see what the results page looks like after Twitter is donesearching your e-mail address book.Select an e-mail platform you have an account with (Twittersupports Gmail, Yahoo!, LinkedIn and AOL), and enter youre-mail address and password, as shown in Figure 2-3.Twitter will show the different users in your address bookwho are either already using Twitter or could be requested tojoin the site. If you find someone you think should be usingTwitter, click the Send Request button. As seen in Figure 2-4,click the Follow button (green plus button) to start followingcontacts who are already using Twitter.After you have followed your contacts you have threechoices. You can either click the blue Finish button at thebottom of the page, use the search box to search people byname, or go back to the interests page to search for moreusers.3. Click the Blue Finish Button If you get a direct message or a tweet fromsomeone who says he or she is from Twitter and asks for yourpassword, report that user because Twitter never asks for thatinformation. (They already have it, so they don’t need to ask.)Figure 2-3: Enter your e-mail and e-mail password to searchfor people you know on Twitter. 57
    • Figure 2-4: Twitter makes it easy for you to follow peopleyou already know. 58
    • What’s in a name?You can make your full name an important part ofmarketing on Twitter. Your name may not break a campaignor a sales lead, but you always have that possibility.Remember that in order to create a real and lastingrelationship with your customers on Twitter, you need to beopen and honest about your identity.I discuss the importance of a good Twitter username in moredepth in Chapter 4, but plain and simple: people buy frompeople. Would you rather have someone know you asHickory Bob Huskie or Joe Smith? People connect withpeople, and social media (including Twitter) provide you agreat place to make a connection that can help you sell. 59
    • People buy from people they know, like, and trust. And it’s hard to know, like, and trust people with names such as HansumDude1978. Stick with your real name. However, if you’re starting a business account, use your business name as your username. If people are searching for your business on Twitter, you want them to find you easily. Just don’t use Hickory Bob Huskie. If you run into the occasional name stealer on Twitter you can ask Twitter to take your name back. Twitter calls the culprit a name-squatter. However, you need to meet a couple of information guidelines before Twitter will take your name back from the culprit. To read more about name squatting jump on over to Twitter’s help center: http://support.twitter.com/entries/ 18370-name-squatting-policy If your company name is Hickory Bob Huskie, please go to your local bookstore and pick up Branding For Dummies, by Bill Chiaravalle and Barbara Findlay Schenck (Wiley). You may be concerned that someone can steal youre-mail address or personal identity from Twitter. If so, createa new e-mail address just for Twitter. Use Gmail, Yahoo!,LinkedIn, or AOL to create a new address. Just remember tomonitor it regularly because all the notifications about 60
    • account activity — including people who start following you— are sent to that e-mail address.What’s with the Verified Accounts?I’m sure you are following a few celebrities. You knoweveryone does it! Give in to the peer pressure! I know youwant to follow Ashton Kutcher and read his every muse andthought. If you are like most of the Twitter users, you areprobably following a celebrity or famous person and havenoticed the Verified Account logo. The verified account logois a turquoise check mark in the upper right side of theaccount screen. As seen in Figure 2-5, this logo is seen on atwitter profile of well known celebrities, artists, athletes,actors, public officials, and public agencies. This basicallymeans that the wonderful staff at Twitter contacted the personusing the account and verified the representation of thataccount. They basically checked to see the user was real.Figure 2-5: The blue Twitter check signifies that the personusing the account is actually who they say they are. 61
    • Do you need a verified account? Probably not, but if you musthave something verified because of a weird fascination withdue process, listen up. Twitter does not promise that youraccount will be verified; they simply give you a form to fillout that includes name, information, and other pieces ofcontent that will help the Twitter lords verify your validity. To increase your chances of receiving the trustedblue check mark, add a Twitter badge to your website or blog.This is not a verified way (no pun intended) to receive thecheck mark, but it could help your overall chances.Writing your 160-character bio and moreYou use the bio to let the world know who you are. If you’reusing Twitter for personal communication, talk about whoyou are, what you like, and what you do. What are yourhobbies, your interests, and your passions? If you’re usingTwitter for business, what does your business do? Use plainlanguage and keywords that people would normally searchfor. Do you sell real estate in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?Put that in. Are you a corporate travel planner forveterinarians? Put that in. Don’t use jargon that normal people don’t use, anddon’t make commercial statements such as We Help YouMake Money Overnight. It puts people off, and they’re lesslikely to follow you. 62
    • To enter a bio, click your Twitter name in the top right ofyour screen. A drop down box appears with the Settings link.This takes you to your Settings page, as shown in Figure 2-6.Figure 2-6: The Settings tab gives you plenty of edit options.Click the profile tab between Notices and Design to edit yourprofile information. In the Bio text box (under your websiteURL), you have up to 160 characters to talk about yourself.Also on this page, you have the option to enter your websiteURL. Be sure to enter the URL in the Web text box, too.Also on this page, you get the opportunity to change the timezone you are tweeting from, add a location to your profilepage, and enter in your full name (if you haven’t already).You also have the opportunity to choose to add your locationto your Tweets. When you are at a party and you want to add 63
    • your location, click the add your location section in Settings.You will not attract stalkers. Twitter gives you the ability toturn your location off and on before each tweet.Adding a pictureYou know how they say “a picture speaks a thousand words?”That holds very true in Twitter, and as a result, few things area bigger turnoff on Twitter than profile pages that haven’tpicked an original avatar to substitute for Twitter’s defaultavatar, shown in Figure 2-7.Figure 2-7: The Twitter default avatar apparently is based ona bird egg.To change your Twitter picture, follow these steps: 64
    • 1. Click your Twitter user name in the top right of thepage and click the settings sub-link.This takes you to your Twitter Account page.2. Click the Profile tab, shown in Figure 2-8.3. Click the Choose File button.A dialog box appears that lets you browse for an image onyour computer. You’re limited to JPG, GIF, and PNG imagefiles that do not exceed 700kb in size. It’s a good idea toselect a square image, but you don’t have to upload a smallthumbnail: Twitter takes care of sizing the image for you.4. Select the image you want and then click the Open (orOK) button.5. Click the Save button.After a few moments, Twitter displays your new avatar onyour profile page. It may take a few seconds to display yourTwitter profile picture. Be patient and your beautiful face (orlogo) will be displayed in due time. Your profile picture is meant to help others identifyyou easily and tell a bit more about you to those who may notknow you. A logo for your business or product may be a goodchoice for your picture, but if your company has aspokesperson or image of an individual that people can relate 65
    • to, use a photo of this person. Think how you can make thephoto as interesting as possible. For example, crop a portionof the photo or show an unusual angle to get people’sattention.Figure 2-8: The Profile tab lets you upload your own Twitterprofile picture.If you want to get catchy and flashy, you could try to addyour logo to your picture. Use a picture of yourself and addyour logo to the left or right side of your profile picture. Whatever image you choose, make sure you havepermission to use it to avoid getting in trouble. Copyright 66
    • issues and pretending you’re someone you’re not are two badmistakes for a business using Twitter. By breaking the Twitterlaw, your account could be deleted or suspended. Rememberyour followers! You don’t want to be deleted or suspended.Completing your additional profile settingsAs you may have already noticed, there are additional tabs tocomplete in order to fully realize your Twitter profilepotential. Other than your Profile tab on the settings page, youhave the Account, Password, Mobile, Notices, and Designtabs. Account: The Account tab allows you to change yourTwitter username and the e-mail associated with youraccount.You can change the time zone you are tweeting from, add alocation to your profile page, and designate what languageyou plan on writing your tweets in.There are also options to Tweet Media and Tweet Privacy.The Tweet Media option allows you to see media fromeveryone on Twitter instead of just the people you arefollowing. The Tweet Privacy check box keeps your tweetsprivate to only people you approve. Password: This tab allows you to change your currentpassword or get your old password if you have forgotten it.Just click the Forget your password? button under the CurrentPassword box. 67
    • Mobile: If you want to send and receive messages fromTwitter via your mobile phone (text messages), you can fillout your region and mobile phone number. Make sure youclick the start button to verify your number in order to startreceiving messages. Notices: The Notices tab allows you to select or unselectdifferent permissions Twitter has to contact you. You canreceive messages via e-mail when someone starts followingyou, you receive a new direct message, or when Twitter has anews or update announcement. Design: You have the ability to change the look and feelof your Twitter account when people visit you at Twitter.com.This tab allows you to select a background design theme,change to a customized background image, and change yourdesign colors. Check out Themeleon (www.colourlovers.com/themeleon/twitter) if you are having trouble deciding on atheme and color scheme for your Twitter profile. The site hasthousands of different theme images, background patterns,and layouts.Understanding Twitter BasicsI don’t go into a lot of detail about how to use Twitter in thisbook because it’s very easy to use, and Twitter For Dummies,by Laura Fitton, Michael Gruen, and Leslie Poston (Wiley),covers it in depth. But here are the Twitter basics: 68
    • Tweets: A tweet is a message. You have 140 characters,including spaces, to put down your thoughts. Type yourmessage in the What’s happening? text box on yourhomepage, and click the Tweet button to send a tweet, asshown in Figure 2-9.Figure 2-9: You can type up to 140 characters in the What’shappening? text box.Rules of grammar and punctuation fly out the window whenyou send a Tweet. Abbreviate with to w/, turn people into ppl,and even make for or four into 4. You can make yourmessages deep and philosophical, clever, funny,informational, educational, a question, an answer, or what youhad on your bagel for breakfast this morning. 69
    • @replies: When you want to reply to a particular tweet,you can click the Reply button offered by all Twitter clientsor the backward arrow next to the tweet you want to reply toon Twitter itself, as you can see in Figure 2-10.Alternatively, you can type the @ (“at”) symbol followed bythe person’s user ID, followed by your tweet, in the What’sHappening? text box, as shown in Figure 2-11. An @replynot only lets the rest of the world know who you’re talking to,but it also lets the other person know that you’re talking abouthim or her.Figure 2-10: You can reply to a tweet by clicking on thebackward arrow next to it.Figure 2-11: @replies show others who you are talking toand what conversation you were replying to. 70
    • If you’re using a Twitter client, such as TweetDeck orHootSuite, you can see all your @replies in one column,instead of having to spot them in the general timeline. Hashtags (#): You can use hashtags to create groupingsand help generate popularity around a particular keyword ortopic. You can create a hashtag about a city, local event, newsevent, brand, sports team, or anything you want by precedingit with the hash mark (#).When you include a hashtag in a tweet, it becomes clickable.In Figure 2-12, you can see an example of a tweet with ahashtag.Figure 2-12: Hashtags, such as #prsacle and #Cleveland,make it easier for others to find tweets about a particulartopic. 71
    • Direct messages: Also called DMs, direct messages letyou communicate privately with other Twitter users. To senda direct message, type the letter D followed by the usernameof the twitterer you want to reach, and then enter yourmessage in the What’s Happening? text box. You also havethe ability to send direct messages directly to the individualthrough your Messages Inbox on your profile, as shown inFigure 2-13. Don’t make the mistake of typing DM and then themessage. Beginning a message with DM still sends it out tothe general timeline, which means it is public for all to see.You do have the ability to search for all messages that started 72
    • with DM and display them for all to see — angry messages,breakups, and Twitter sex. Link shorteners: If you have 140 characters, you don’twant to use 50 of them by including a long URL. You need toshorten the URL so that you can save yourself somecharacters. Most URL shorteners shrink the links to anywherefrom 16 to 20 characters.Figure 2-13: Direct messages give you a private means tocommunicate with others on Twitter. Get a URL shortener that offers tracking so thatyou can see how many people have clicked on your shortened 73
    • links. One of my favorites is http://bit.ly URLshortener which has analytics and tracking features built intothe site. Lists: Twitter recently released a function called Listswhich gives users the ability to organize people they follow ingroups or lists. Lists help when you may not want to follow auser but still want to keep track of their happenings on thesite. They can be used as an extremely effective way toorganize and build followings around certain subject mattersand topics. If you can imagine a wall of your favorite Twitterusers all in one screen (as seen in Figure 2-14), you have thebasics of the Twitter lists. You can even group people you arenot following into a list! Thanks for that, Twitter!Figure 2-14: Twitter lists allow you to group Twitteraccounts in one stream for maximum efficiency! 74
    • Compiling and following Twitter listsThe launch of Twitter lists shows a new way to organize thepeople you’re following on Twitter and to find new people tofollow to maximize your use of the tool. Compiling andfollowing lists gives you the ability to follow multiple peopleand give you an overview of what they are sharing throughthe twitosphere. These are the best ways to use the listsfeature: Create an Experts List: You can use lists to helphighlight individuals that share thoughtful content or help youin your online endeavors. If you are already an expert, itcould help you with solidifying the fact that you are indeed atech/Twitter expert. Customer Rewards List: Create a list to help promoteyour clients! This is a huge opportunity to help your clientsconnect with like minded individuals and makes you lookgood as well! Create a list for your Location: Lists centered on aspecific location are extremely powerful because they groupdifferent people together from one area. If you know a ton ofpeople who love attending a specific restaurant create a listfor that specific restaurant. Another idea would be to createlists around your extracurricular activities, such as church orsoftball.By creating, compiling, and following lists in your area ofexpertise, you have the ability to grow your following andknowledge base. However, you will eventually become 75
    • overwhelmed with the amount of content being produced andnow is the time to use Listorious (http://listorious.com/).Using Listorious to maximize list buildingTwitter lists can become pretty overwhelming if you do nothave a system to categorize, track, add, and link to differentlists. As seen in Figure 2-15, Listorious offers a wellsegmented directory of lists as well as tagged searches basedon keywords.Figure 2-15: Listorious allows you to categorize and searchfor different lists on Twitter!Listorious offers a collection of lists across variouscategories, such as marketing, media, social media, finance,humor, and auto repair. Lists are ranked by how many people 76
    • follow them, which gives you the ability to see the popularlists on Twitter. Listorious will only work for Twitter users whohave lists that have been made public. Be sure you make yourlists public before using Listorious! Understanding the Twitter Business Center The Twitter world has been waiting with bated breath for the release of the promised Twitter Business Center. As of the writing of this book, the business center has not been released upon the world. However, it is important to understand the basics and implications of this business application. Because the business center is being tested, Mashable (www.mashable.com) received the rights to view and take screen shots of the business tool. Mashable reported that one of the biggest editions to the center will be the “ability for businesses to accept direct messages even from people they do not follow.” A small portion of business owners have been receiving invites to the tool. Upon receiving the invite, they are asked to submit information pertaining to their business. The business needs to be verified much like a verified account 77
    • (for a celebrity) on the site. After the account has been activated, four tabs appear in the business center mainframe: Overview: The overview provides basic information about each account, like name, address, etc. Business Info: You have the ability to change the information you submitted upon registration for the business center. Verification: Twitter will verify your account as a business and a verified account badge will appear on your profile. Contributors: Much like CoTweet or HootSuite, Twitter gives you the ability to add different individuals to a Twitter account. Multiple users, here we come! You might be frowning because Twitter is teasing us with new features without giving us any idea of when we can use the application. However, it is encouraging to see Twitter (at least) working towards giving businesses the upper hand when using their site.Twitter was investigating the amount of power individualniche lists would create on their platform. After seeing thesuccess from the lists application, they have started to createspecific applications for business use on Twitter, includingthe Twitter Business Center and Promoted Tweets.Twitter Software You Can Use 78
    • Twitter’s homepage has a Web-based interface that allowsyou to send tweets and DMs directly from its window.However, you can only see a few tweets at a time, andTwitter’s interface lets you create groups or see @replies,which means if you’re following a lot of people, you’re goingto miss a lot of messages. The solution? Use software thatmakes reading, replying, and (of course) tweeting easier. Allthese products are free, unless otherwise noted: TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com): TweetDeck is apopular client that allows you to create groups of people youwant to follow, save a search for a particular keyword bycreating a column for that search word or twitterer, and evenshorten URLs by using one of four different URL shorteners(or you can choose your own). It also organizes everythinginto columns so that you can see everything on one screen.TweetDeck allows you to manage multiple accounts andupdate your Facebook and LinkedIn status. TweetDeck usesAdobe AIR as its engine, which means it can run onWindows, Macintosh, and Linux. HootSuite (http://www.hootsuite.com): This web clienthas many of the same functionalities as TweetDeck but isbased solely on your web browser (meaning you do not needto download any files). HootSuite allows you to managemultiple Twitter, Facebook, and other social accounts in onearea. Columns help you organize the different accounts,replies, and direct messages. The tool also gives you a customURL shortener and the ability to track the clicks on thespecific URL. 79
    • twhirl (www.twhirl.org): This is a desktop client that letsyou manage multiple accounts by keeping multiple windowsopen at the same time. twhirl also lets you update differentsocial media notifiers, such as Ping.fm (which in turn lets youupdate your status on several other social networking sites,such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn). DestroyTwitter (http://destroytwitter.com): AnotherAdobe AIR–based application, DestroyTwitter works just likeTweetDeck, but it uses less memory. DestroyTwitter uses tabs— called canvases — for different groups, and you are giventhe option to view your account in a column view, as you canin TweetDeck. Spaz (http://getspaz.com): This client works like otherdesktop apps, but it has different themes available. Spaz alsohas a mobile version available for the Palm Pre. Twitterrific (http://iconfactory.com/software/twitterrific):This is a Twitter app for the iPhone or iPad. You can buyTwitterrific for your Mac for $14.95 or download the iPhoneand iPad version for free at the iTunes App Store.You can find a lot of other desktop and mobile clientsavailable, several of which use Adobe AIR. However, I justcan’t keep up with all of them and name them here. A quickGoogle search, or even a tweet to your followers, can helpyou find the client that’s best for you. 80
    • Part IIBuilding and Implementing Your Twitter Marketing RoadMap 81
    • In this part . . . 82
    • Perhaps you feel like you don’t have enough time in the dayto complete all the projects that you need to finish. You mayfeel like Twitter is just adding one more thing on your plate.Well, break the plate! In this part, you dive into the world ofproductivity, setting goals and finding success in the world ofTwitter marketing.Millions of people use Twitter. How do you reach them in astrategic way? (If you don’t want to use strategy, this partisn’t for you.) You absolutely must have a strategy and setgoals if you want to successfully market your business onTwitter. This part breaks down the topics of creating a Twittermarketing plan, building your followers, and taking bestadvantage of this wonderful communication tool. 83
    • Chapter 3Combining New and Old Media MarketingIn This Chapter Using old-school marketing and principles on Twitter Working with new media tools and techniques Tweeting to find warm sales leads Deciding what to tweet aboutDepending on whom you ask, Twitter and social media arechanging the landscape of marketing. Old marketing is dead;new marketing is king. They’re surprised that people stilladvertise in the phone book, on TV and radio, and — gasp —on billboards.“Everyone,” they cry, “is online! Renounce your old waysand join us on the Interweb.” (Because the really cool peoplecall it the Interweb as a sort of irony.)Meanwhile, the old-school marketers believe that thesocial-media craze is just a passing fancy and that seriousbusiness is still done with a handshake. They cite all sorts ofnumbers and reasons to continue to advertise in broadcast andprint media. “Social media,” grumble the curmudgeons, “isjust a fad. People need to quit playing games and join the restof us here on Earth.” 84
    • But neither of these marketing views is entirely correct.Social media hasn’t changed the marketing landscape, but atthe same time, marketing can’t completely go back to the wayit was. The smart marketers — by which I mean you, theperson who bought this book (see, that action right therealready shows how brilliant you are) — understand that thetools may have changed, but the principles are still the same. You still have the five Ps of marketing — product,price, place (distribution), promotion, and people. Themessage is still more important than the medium. And youstill have to provide a value to your customers; otherwise,they won’t be willing to part with their money. Twitter is justone more tool in the marketing toolbox.Applying Old-School Marketing and PrinciplesMarketing has been around since Og and Zog were bothcompeting in the blossoming wheel industry thousands ofyears ago. Og and Zog had to show customers how they’dbenefit from a wheel (education) and how a wheel couldprovide value to them (sales), as well as offer customersexcellent customer service (follow-up).The same techniques apply today. Marketers educate, sell,and service by using commercials, brochures, and Web sites.But now they have some new tools in the marketing toolbox. 85
    • So, what’s the difference between old-school marketing andthe new school? On the face, not much. The principles arestill the same.Say that you manufacture marbles and sell them to marblecollectors. Thirty years ago, your marketing plan would havelooked like this:1. Find your ideal customer.Do focus groups, surveys, and data analysis. Find out who thetypical marble collector is. Create a profile about what he orshe likes to do, where he or she is likely to live, and whetherhe or she belongs to any marble clubs. Because collectorsmake up the majority of your customers, you need to focusmost of your energy on them.You may have an ideal customer who is male, lives in a largecity, is in his 30s or 40s, and likes sports.2. Create a marketing campaign to reach those idealcustomers.If it’s in your budget, advertise during sporting events on TV,especially on ESPN. Put up billboards around the 15 biggestcities around the country. Buy a mailing list from the differentmarble clubs around the country, and send those on the list acopy of your latest catalog. Put ads in print magazines that theideal customer reads, including sports magazines such asSports Illustrated.3. Measure sales before and after the campaign. 86
    • If sales went up, the campaign was a success. Also, if saleswent down, it is important to figure out what went wrong inthe marketing process. Why did you lose money? Test.Retest. Try again.4. Survey your customers.Find out where customers saw your ad. Continue to putmoney into the ads that worked. Don’t pull the plug on theunderperforming ads just yet, but make sure to keep a closeeye on them for a bit longer, as they may turn out to bemoney sinkholes.Marketers still follow the process in the preceding list to somedegree. Even if companies have more advertising channels tochoose from and they’ve gotten smarter about finding theideal customer just by paying attention, every company stillfollows this basic plan.But Twitter and the Internet have changed how you can targetyour customers. They’ve made marketing easier and cheaper.E-mail accounts and social networks such as Facebook arefree to use. The cost of developing (and running) a Web sitehas dropped dramatically. And thanks to the Internet,performing research, creating your message, and distributingit have become more affordable than ever before.Here’s what new-school marketing looks like:1. Target your customers.Who cares what your ideal customer is like? You don’t haveto target people like them because you can target them 87
    • directly. As you can see in Figure 3-1, you can do a search byusing Twitterment (www.twitterment.com) and NearbyTweets (http://nearbytweets.com). Follow people who aretalking about marble collecting.2. As long as you tweet about relevant content that these folkscare about, you have a very good chance that they will followyou back.Figure 3-1: You can use Twitterment to find people thatmatch your customer profile.3. Create a marketing campaign that involves a Web site anda blog, and create a Facebook and/or MySpace page. Invitepeople to join these groups.See Web Design For Dummies, 2nd Edition, by Lisa Lopuck;Blogging For Dummies, 3rd Edition, by Susannah Gardnerand Shane Birley; Facebook For Dummies, 3rd Edition, byLeah Pearlman and Carolyn Abram; and MySpace ForDummies, 2nd Edition, by Ryan Hupfer, Mitch Maxson, andRyan C. Williams, all published by Wiley.4. Write regular blog content and use Twitter to postmessages, letting your followers know that you have a newpost on your blog, as you can see in Figure 3-2. 88
    • Figure 3-2: You can use Twitter to inform your followersabout your recent blog posts. You can shorten a really long Web address in atweet. (I discuss URL shorteners in Chapter 6.) You can alsotrack the shortened URLs, which means that you can actuallymeasure their effectiveness. By using a URL shortener suchas http://bit.ly, the longer URLhttp://www.marblemayhem.com/2009/06/marble-collecting-conference-bostonbecomeshttp://bit.ly/frpKwBecause you have targeted your customers, one of the manymarble-collecting fans that follows you may retweet yourmessage out to his 2,000 followers (many of whom alsohappen to be marble collectors). Some of them may retweet itto their followers and so on. If enough people are interested in 89
    • what you have to say about marbles, with just a few mouseclicks, your post can potentially be read by thousands uponthousands of people.In Figure 3-3, you can see what a retweet by one of yourfollowers may look like. (The abbreviated form of retweet isRT, which appears at the beginning of a retweet post.)Figure 3-3: On Twitter, others can help expand the reach ofyour message by retweeting it.5. Measure your results.If you are not tracking and analyzing the traffic on your site,you should. You can do it using a platform such as GoogleAnalytics (www.google.com/analytics), which lets you lookat lots of information about your site’s visitors. You also havethe ability to add Google Analytics into your HootSuiteaccount for increased support from your analytics platform!Using Google Analytics, find out which messages, whichposts, which tweets, and even what time of day produced thebest results, leading to the most sales. Armed with thisinformation, you can put more energy and effort into the 90
    • actions that generate more sales and drop the ones that don’tproduce such a good result. You can also try to figure outways to improve nonperforming messages, posts, and tweets. Most of the ideas stay the same when youtransition from old marketing techniques to tech-savvy ones:Find your customer, create a marketing campaign, create aneffective message, and measure the results.However, you can improve the return on your investment insome of these areas when you use social media as part of yourmarketing toolkit: Find your exact customer, not an approximation or ideal ofone. Reach your customers right where they are, instead ofadvertising in places you hope they’ll be. Send your message only to people who care about yourproduct(s), instead of wasting ink and money on people whodon’t. Create frequent, even daily, content and get it to customersat all hours of the day, not once a month or only at game time. Don’t spend thousands and thousands of dollars in printand broadcast advertising. Spend a small amount to no moneyon electronic marketing. 91
    • Encourage retweets. This improvement is huge: Customerscan easily share your message within their circles ofinfluence, and their circle of influence may buy your productor service.Because of social media, you can share information with yourfriends much more easily than you could even five years ago.Back in the mid 2000s, if you wanted to share informationwith people, you had to e-mail links to Web sites or forwardjokes countless times to each other. Now, you can sharephotos with friends and family. Upload a 5-minute movie ofyour 3-year-old explaining Star Wars and get a ton of hits.Write a blog post that 1,000 rabid marble collectors see orclick a button that retweets a message to 10,000 people in justa few minutes.Word of mouth was almost literally word of mouth 30 yearsago. You called your friend about a great new restaurant. Youasked a colleague whether she saw the billboard over onMassachusetts Avenue. You talked about the great new TVseries. But you couldn’t share articles or videos, unless youclipped an article out of a newspaper or magazine, or recordeda TV show on your VCR.People didn’t share 30 years ago like they do now. Thanks tosocial media’s growth and tools such as Twitter, you can noweasily share information with people who think like you andwho like the same things you like. That’s why some peopleare now calling “word of mouth” advertising “word ofmouse.” (Clever, huh?) 92
    • If anything is different about marketing today, it’snot the tools and it’s not the technology, and the medium isn’tthe message — the ability to share has given consumers anew voice. It has given consumers the power to talk aboutexperiences and share them with thousands upon thousands ofpeople. And you can make your business a success by sharingyour stories, ideas, thoughts, and successes with the clientsand consumers using Twitter for communication.Working with New Media Tools and TechniquesThirty years ago, you could easily get your message to yourpotential customers. You advertised on the big threenetworks, on the radio, and in newspapers. People couldn’tescape your message. They were in your world. You just hadto repeat your message enough times for it to take effect.Now, people have hundreds of channels on TV. They get theirradio from the Internet, satellite, or one of a myriad of radiostations. Newspapers aren’t faring very well: Both readershipand advertising revenues have dropped, many newspapershave gone bankrupt, and people are questioning whether thenewspapers will even be around in ten years.But people are also online. In fact, if you need one placewhere you can find most people, it’s online. More people arecongregating on Facebook and MySpace every day. They’rereading and writing blogs. And they’re using Twitter. 93
    • If you want to reach your customers, you need to find outwhere they’re located. Thanks to high-speed Internet andcheaper, faster computers, they’re on social media, includingTwitter.Understanding the potential of social mediaFrankly, you can’t escape social media. Not only areindividuals getting involved, but small businesses and largecorporations are also jumping into the fray with both feet.Even the U.S. State Department has a Twitter account and aFacebook account, and it’s even started a social networkingsite on its own server.You can find plenty of examples of corporations, governmententities, and businesses using social media for contentdistribution. Government politicians and entities have takenup the Twitter world to produce content for their personalpreference as well as their political campaigns. The presidentof Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has an account that currently hasover 1 million followers. It is reported that his account is themost followed account in the country. Politicians in countrieslike Japan and Greece have started using social media todistribute content to the public, as you can see in Figure 3-4.When Twitter is used for distributing political content tomillions of people, it is even more important to watch thetrends on Twitter. Think about that: the ability to be noticedby hundreds of thousands of people.Keeping your message real 94
    • You hear these words a lot these days: authenticity andtransparency. People use them interchangeably, and theybasically mean the same thing: Let people see what you’rereally doing and don’t lie about it.In the marble-collecting example that I talk about in thesection “Applying Old-School Marketing and Principles,”earlier in this chapter, say that you buy your marbles fromoverseas. A dishonest or less-than-ethical company mightlead people to believe that the company manufactures themarbles in the home office. But a transparent company tellspeople where the products come from.Figure 3-4: Politter.com shows a list of Japanese politicianswho use Twitter to share content. 95
    • Lying in the social media realm is the kiss of deathbecause as quickly as you get your message to the public,word of your deception spreads twice as fast. Customersrespect honesty. They might not like your product, but at leastthey won’t accuse you of lying to them.Tweeting to Find Warm Sales LeadsBefore social media, salespeople found prospects on mailinglists and phone lists, through their business networks andreferrals, and by cold-calling. They turned prospects intowarm leads and then into paying customers. Just likeold-school marketing principles still apply today (as I discussearlier in this chapter), old-school sales principles do, too.Searching for potential customersNowadays, you can find prospective customers by searchingfor them through Twitter’s search feature (both the one thatyou have access to within Twitter itself and the advancedsearch Twitter offers at http://search.twitter.com), NearbyTweets (www.nearbytweets.com), and Twitterment(www.twitterment.com). Though Twitter’s search, Nearby Tweets, andTwitterment are excellent options to help you unearthprospects, new and improved Twitter search tools keep 96
    • appearing all the time. Keep your eyes open for references tonew resources you can use to expand your list of prospects.To start your hunt for prospective customers, do a search tofind people who are talking about your industry, field, orcompany. Going back to the marble-collecting example, youcan type in marble collection using the native search box onTwitter, as shown on Figure 3-5, or Twitterment’s search box.Figure 3-5: Twitter offers a convenient search box to helpyou find people to follow.This search yields results that may be useful to a certainextent: After all, these are Twitter users who are talking aboutmarble collection. But you may be interested in folks who are 97
    • talking about this topic within your own geographical area. Inthis case, Nearby Tweets comes in handy, letting you enter alocation, keyword, and search radius. Figure 3-6 shows theresults.Figure 3-6: Nearby Tweets lets you find nearby Twitterusers.If you need to get more specific with your search query, usethe Twitter advanced search. To get to it, visithttp://search.twitter.com and click the Advanced Search linkbeneath the search box. This takes you to a very detailed page(shown in Figure 3-7) that lets you find tweets based on thefollowing parameters: 98
    • Words: You can construct a query that contains all or anyof the words you enter. You can also find tweets that containan exact phrase or a particular hashtag and tweets written in aspecific language. People: You can find tweets posted by someone, directedat someone, or referring to someone. Are there no secretsanymore? Places: In a similar way to Nearby Tweets, you can findstweets posted a certain distance from a specific location. Dates: You can specify what dates you want to search fortweets. This search parameter can come in handy if you wantto find out the response on Twitter to a campaign you arerunning. Attitudes: You can spot tweets with a positive or negativeattitude as well as tweets asking a question. Can you imaginethe power of learning how happy (or upset) your customersmay be about your product? Other: You can filter your results to show only those thatcontain links or include retweets, or to limit the number ofresults per page.Figure 3-7: Fine-tune your search on the Advanced Searchpage. 99
    • Turning prospects into warm leadsAfter you’ve identified potential customers, follow thesepeople so that hopefully they’ll follow you back. Engagethem in conversation about anything and everything. Providerelevant content that they may be likely to find useful. Aspeople get to know you, they’ll become interested in whatyou do. And when that happens, they’ll begin contacting youfor information about what you do.After you develop these relationships with people, they movefrom prospects — people you’re following and who arefollowing you — to warm leads. As leads, they’ve visitedyour Web site, signed up for your e-mail newsletter or blog,and even requested a catalog or downloaded your salesliterature. What you do with them after that is up to you. (See 100
    • Selling For Dummies, 2nd Edition, by Tom Hopkins[published by Wiley] for the scoop on making a sale.)Sending commercial messages on TwitterAs a general rule, don’t bombard your customers andfollowers with commercial message after commercialmessage. That gets real old, real fast. If people think you’re aspammer, they’ll block and unfollow you. And if the folks atTwitter notice a pattern of a lot of people blocking orunfollowing you, they’ll suspend your account and possiblyeven cancel it permanently.However, this rule has a few exceptions. In some cases, yourfollowers may actually expect you to send commercialmessages. It can be okay to share a commercial message atrandom. Your followers will accept you pushing your waresor products across Twitter if you have not sandblasted themwith content every hour of the day.For example, @DellOutlet has been one of Twitter’smarketing success stories and the one that many people pointto as the shining star among corporate Twitter users.@DellOutlet tweets nothing but major discounts for Dellcomputers and products (see Figure 3-8), and those discountsare available only on Twitter, not the Dell Web site orcatalog. You can’t even call in to ask for them.Figure 3-8: The tweets by @DellOutlet often containexclusive offers. 101
    • In its first two years, @DellOutlet grew to nearly 1million followers and sold $3 million worth of products, with$1 million of that being within a 6-month period. What’s evenmore surprising about Dell’s Twitter success is that Delldoesn’t tweet every day, and it does actually communicatewith its followers. The folks answer questions, recommendproducts and Web sites, and even send nice thank-you notesto people.Some people scoff at the fact that @DellOutlet made“only” $6.5 million, compared to the $61 billion the entirecompany made in 2009. But think of it this way — when wasthe last time you made $6.5 million doing anything, let alonesending 140-character messages a few times a day?Promoted Tweets 102
    • We all know that Twitter has a problem with generatingrevenue. It is a given with a site that is completely free to theusers! This is a positive for you (the user) and a slightnegative for Twitter (the company). However, Twitter hasreleased some new tools called promoted tweets that can putads in Twitter on search results and then move to the userfeeds. Twitter is trying to re-create the keyword adphenomenon that pushed Google to being one of the largercompanies on the Internet.What are promoted tweets?Promoted tweets are simply that — tweets promoted by abrand on Twitter. As seen in Figure 3-9, you will start seeingpromoted tweets being used by a handful of big brands toreach a wider audience with their promotions. When a usersearches for a specific term, the promoted tweet shows upfirst in the search results before the user sees the list ofdifferent conversations about the brand.The difference between a promoted tweet and a regular tweetis the ability to resonate with Twitter users. If a brand sendsout a promoted tweet and it is not shared organically, Twitterwill discontinue the use of the promoted tweet.The promoted tweet will be clearly labeled when anadvertiser is paying for the tweet. The tweet will then be sentout through the timeline of a user who is following theaccount.Figure 3-9: Brands will have the ability to send outpromotions that will grow organically. 103
    • Over the course of 2011, Twitter will be perfecting thissystem of marketing directly to the end user. Now, thequestion is lingering over our heads — should you be usingpromoted tweets to market your business? The same questionapplies to whether you should be using Facebook ads. When something is organically shared in theTwitter world, it means that people are excited about thecontent being shared. You can tell that something is beingorganically shared if the tweet is being retweeted (or shared)by numerous people.The promoted tweets system that Twitter has developed couldreally annoy people. This system could annoy people to thepoint of unfollowing your brand on the site. Be extremelycareful when investing money into the promoted tweetssystem. 104
    • Positives and negatives of promoted tweetsPromoted tweets have the potential to grow the revenue ofyour business in terms of sales, but there are negative aspectsto the service. With the elusive revenue model still on thehorizon, Internet companies are having a hard time keepingadvertisers from being completely annoying to their userbase. Banner ads are an example of an annoying medium.Promoted tweets could have the potential of affectingTwitter’s message to the public. Zecco increases engagement by 50 percent The promoted tweets system is extremely new, and you could be hard-pressed to find information about the success of the beta platform. Twitter received some positive press from the discount online brokerage firm, Zecco. Zecco tested 50 promoted tweets against 50 regular tweets to measure the engagement between the two types of content being shared. The promoted tweets received 50 percent more engagement with other Twitter users than the regular tweets. What does Zecco mean by engagement? Engagement is measured by the number of retweets, replies, or clicked links by users on Twitter. This is an awesome example of promoted tweets working to increase brand awareness among Twitter users, but Twitter still waits in anticipation for an actual revenue model to be released by a brand using the beta version of the service. 105
    • What are the positive and negative ramifications of promotedtweets? I look at the positive results first. I like to be positive— leave you with a smile on your face: Increased sales: This should come as a given when usingpromoted tweets. The Google model would say that whenusing a promotion medium through search, your sales willincrease. Brands will have the ability to directly influencesearch results through Twitter, which can (if done correctly)increase revenue. Increased engagement: Zecco showed us that promotedtweets can and will increase user’s engagement with a brand’scontent that is shared through Twitter. If your goal is to driveusers to your Web site, promoted tweets should be used togain clicks by users who may not be following your brand butwho are searching for it.What about the negatives of using promoted tweets? Forsome reason, the negative ramifications of this tool are easierto come up with in the long run: Annoying individuals: Users started without advertising.We enjoy using Twitter (and social media) because it is ourcontent and our ability to share information. When a serviceintroduces content that we did not give permission to share, itcould be catastrophic. If you are in a conversation and arerudely interrupted by an individual who did not ask to beinvolved, it is annoying. Accustomed to ad campaigns: The Google model hasworked, but it has also made users accustomed to the ad 106
    • platforms that share sponsored content based on searches. Thesame concept is applied to TV advertising: When you see toomuch of something, you become accustomed to thatadvertising medium. Third-party applications: I talk about third-partyapplications in Chapter 2; they also apply to this promotionalmedium. Millions of Twitter users access the platform usingthird-party applications like HootSuite and TweetDeck.Twitter will have a hard time measuring the effectiveness ofthe promoted tweets when third-party applications are closedsystems.The success of the promoted tweets platform will fullydepend on how Twitter decides to implement the ads intouser’s timelines. How will Twitter users react to corporatesponsors interrupting their Twitter timelines? Time will tell. Itis extremely important for Twitter to move in this direction sothat all of us can enjoy the platform for years to come.Deciding What to Tweet AboutFiguring out what to tweet about can be tricky. Your firstinclination may be to just start sending out message aftermessage about your product or service. Come up with aclever statement, insert a URL to your Web site, and repeatthe process about three or four times an hour, right? Wrong. This approach is actually the worst thing you cando. Oh sure, if you play the numbers game and trick 107
    • thousands and thousands of people into following you, youmight get a few sales this way. But if you try this technique,Twitter users will quickly label you a spammer, and Twitterwill cancel your account and drop you.The professional spammer is undeterred and just starts thewhole mess over again, under a different name. But you don’twant that to happen for your business. Your brand andreputation are important. You’ve worked hard to grow andmaintain them, so you don’t want to ruin them by blastingnothing but Twitter spam (which isn’t called Twam, thoughI’m not sure why). You can send out commercial messages, but youneed to intersperse them with other types of messages. Andyou need to balance all the types of messages you send out.Share too much about yourself, and you may come across astoo self-centered. If you only tweet questions, you’ll appearas someone who only takes and gives very little back. If youonly retweet what others write, it may sound as if you don’thave much to contribute on your own.Keeping a balance between the different types of tweets canhelp you grow your follower base and fit in within the Twittercommunity.The five types of tweetsYou can send out five basic types of tweets: 108
    • Personal messages: Information about you, whether youtweet about work, home, or your personal life. You can shareas much or as little as you want. Don’t feel that you have toshare intimate details of your life — just share the parts thatyou don’t mind other people knowing about. This sharing letspeople get to know the real you. Retweets and replies: Communicate with other people.Respond to their messages and carry on a conversation withthem. Talk with these people the way you talk with yourfriends. Questions: Trying to decide which cell phone to buy?Need to know what the IRS mileage allowance is for yourexpense report? Want a recommendation on a restaurant tovisit while you’re in Boston? Tweet your question to yourfollowers and see what comes back. Commercial messages: As I explain earlier, it’s okay tosend commercial messages on Twitter; just don’t do it all thetime. In fact, the recommended ratio is usually onecommercial message out of 10 to 15 other types of messages.Any more commercial messages than that can make youcome across as spammy. Miscellaneous messages: You can send out quotes thatinspire you, links to articles you’re reading, songs you’relistening to, and anything that doesn’t fit in the message typesin the preceding bullets.Tweeting about what you know 109
    • When you’re starting to tweet, you might feel like you havewriter’s block — especially if you take my advice to heartabout not spewing your content all over the place. So, whatdo you talk about? Talk about what you know. Talk abouthobbies or interests that involve your product(s);manufacturing of your product(s); shows, competitions,articles, and videos related to your product(s); and similartopics.Using the marbles example that I introduce in the earliersection “Applying Old-School Marketing and Principles,” ifyou sell marbles and you have marble collectors followingyou, talk about marble collecting, marble manufacturing, theresults from the World Marble Shooting Tournament, andhow Tim “Hammer Thumb” Murphy is considering comingout of retirement. Announce that you have a new post on yourblog about how Italian glass marbles are more durable thanRussian glass marbles, and ask for comments and a rigoroushealthy debate. And once in a while, mention when your newline of shooters will be available on your Web site.If you take the time to establish your reputation as a marbleexpert among other marble experts — speaking to marblecollectors in the language of marble collectors about thingsthat matter to the hearts of marble collectors — those marbleexperts will be more willing to listen when you talk aboutyour business once in a while. But if you jump online andimmediately begin blasting tweets about how your businessoffers 20 percent off the latest marble lines, users will ignoreyou more quickly than Hammer Thumb Murphy’s patentedDouble Ambrose Spin can knock his opponent’s marbles outof the ring. 110
    • Chapter 4Planning Your Twitter Marketing StrategyIn This Chapter Choosing the right target market Creating goals that deliver results Crafting the right message to share Defining the tactics that produce resultsThe place to start when you need to develop a strategy for abusiness or a product is, of course, a business plan.Developing a Twitter marketing strategy helps you, youremployees, and your business make marketing on Twittersuccessful.The same concept applies to a traditional marketing plan.Every business in the world should write a business andmarketing plan so that it can create a successful environmentfor the business. Think of your Twitter marketing strategy asa road map. You’re developing a map, a sort of guide that canlead you to the wonderful world of business success in theland of Twitter!The first step to developing a successful journey is to decidewhere you want to go. Likewise, when you’re developing aTwitter marketing plan, the first step is to determine yourgoal. 111
    • In this chapter, I tell you some of the tools and techniques thatyou can use to build and maintain a successful Twittermarketing strategy.Setting a Destination for Your Marketing StrategyYou can think about the concept of a destination for yourTwitter marketing plan in a couple of ways. A good analogyis to think of your Twitter marketing strategy as a road trip.When you build a Twitter marketing strategy, the mostimportant thing you do is set a destination — meaning theoverall goal or specific goals that you can achieve by usingTwitter.Choosing a target audienceIf I were talking about the ABC’s of business marketing,choosing a target audience would be A. This is also the firststep in building a Twitter marketing plan. When you’re tryingto determine the target audience that your business reaches,answer a couple of questions: Whom does your product or service appeal to? Forexample, a travel company may be targeting retiredindividuals for vacationing. A video games company mighttarget single men, ages 20 to 30. Whom do you care about? This may not be as relevant inthe realm of traditional marketing, but it is in the Twitterenvironment because you’re building relationships. So, in thecase of the travel company, this may be the retiree who hasbeen dreaming all his life of traveling to Hawaii. In the caseof the video game company, this may be the guy who is 112
    • willing to camp outside a store waiting for a new game to bereleased. Review your current demographic (targetaudience) so that you can build an honest opinion of yourclient. Why reinvent the wheel? You either have a basic ideaof your target audience or already have a specific group ofpeople buying your product or service. For example, perhapsa typical client is Mary, a stay-at-home mom with three kidswho buys your soccer balls. Or maybe it’s Paul, thewhite-collar professional who works 90 hours a week, orJanice, the grandmother of your best friend. Or perhaps asegment of your clients are small-business owners.Reviewing your current clients and placing them into the mixcan also help you figure out whom you should target onTwitter. If you’re starting a new business and you don’t yethave a good idea of whom to target, review the questionsincluded earlier in this section to help in your brainstormingprocess. A concept many business owners or professionalsfail to understand when it comes to brainstorming newstrategies for business is to ask your clients’ opinions. Whenyou’re figuring out who your target audience is on Twitter,look to your current clients. Are they on Twitter? Ask thoseclients who use Twitter for advice about whom you need to 113
    • target on Twitter. Getting input from your current clients cango a long way to help you implement your strategy. You cansend out e-mail surveys or just pick up the phone in order toget input from your existing customers. Whom do youcommunicate with currently? Now do it.Identifying your unique selling positionThe next step in crafting a marketing plan is to think aboutwhat makes your business unique. Most businesses started ona concept of uniqueness. What sets you apart from thecompetition? What can you do while using Twitter that canset you apart from the other business owners or professionalswho use the tool?If you’re in a unique niche, you can more easily build offyour unique selling position on Twitter. Unlike traditionalstrategies, in which you’d make your unique selling positionlowest price or club membership, a Twitter strategy involvescombining what makes you unique as a business with uniquecontent. How are you going to stand out from the millions ofother people who use Twitter? (And no, frequent commercialtweets don’t count as a good stand-out technique.) It is important to keep your content fresh. Offeringyour followers new content on a regular basis is a keycomponent of a successful Twitter marketing strategy. Youneed to offer your Twitter following fresh and relevantcontent that can help your Twitter domination quest. It will 114
    • help you reach your marketing destination and set yourself upfor success.You might offer a discount to Twitter users on your productor service. For example, offer a prize to the Twitter user whoshares a certain blog post the most with his or her followers.You could also offer a 10% discount to the first 20 people toclick a link in one of your tweets. While there aren’t anyspecific sites that help build a 10% discount, you can track theusers who click your link by asking for their name and emailthrough www.formstack.com.If you want to decide what to offer your Twitter followers,you need to figure out why you’re unique. What value doesyour product or service offer that your competition doesn’t?(It’s not your beaming personality, though customers do lovethat.) A couple of standard properties that can help youdetermine what makes you unique are: Customer service: This is still an important selling pointin the business world. Even if you offer the same product asanother company, if you have superior customer service, youcan make it something that sets you apart on Twitter. To dothis, monitor conversations about your company and yourproducts on Twitter, and use every opportunity to resolve thecomplaints of an unhappy customer and thank a happy one.You can see an example of a service provider doing this inFigure 4-1.Figure 4-1: This Twitter user got a reply from his providerafter tweeting about a bad experience. 115
    • It’s also important to train your customer servicerepresentatives to politely ask an irate customer to continuethe conversation by e-mail or phone instead of on Twitter.You may even want to have your customer service reps give astandard answer to irate customers, such as “I’m sorry you’reunhappy with your experience. Would you like to discuss thematter further via phone or e-mail?” The last thing that youwant to happen is your representative getting into a publicargument with a dissatisfied client on Twitter. Upscale product offering: You have a product or servicethat you sell to the upper echelons of society. This is whatmakes you unique, so you price your products or services wayabove the competition. Downscaled product offering: This comes from theWal-Mart effect. If you have a downscaled product offering, 116
    • you price your product below the average price offered bymost of the industry. You can develop an extremely positivereputation when you use this approach to marketing onTwitter. Longest track record: You can use the age of yourbusiness as a unique selling position on Twitter. A long trackrecord can be very valuable if you want to become a thoughtleader for your business niche. Awards or prizes: Have you or your company won anyawards or prestigious plaques that tout your expertise in anindustry? Those accolades make you unique. Specialty: If you offer a product or service that defines aniche market, you can turn this into a unique way to presentyourself on Twitter. For example, Zappos.com(www.zappos.com) is almost a synonym for “online shoestore.” Write down the things that make you unique. Youcan refer to the list you create when you need help creatingcontent for Twitter (described in the section “Crafting yourmessage,” later in this chapter) and building your following(covered in Chapter 7).Figuring out what your customers valueWhat do your customers value? Don’t worry; you candetermine what your customers value pretty easily, but it’s an 117
    • important question to answer. In the world of business, youneed to create a type of value that your customers can latchonto. By figuring out what your customers see as valuable inyour company, you can create content on Twitter that canbring more customers and clients to your door.What do your customers value when it comes to content?What do your customers value when it comes to products orservices? You can easily determine the answers by askingyour current customers. Have an open and honestconversation with your five best clients. They can tell youwhat they value in you or your company. Figuring out what your customers value can alsohelp you figure out your unique selling position — whatwould convince your customers to buy the product or serviceyou offer as opposed to the one(s) offered by yourcompetition. The strategy to Twitter success involves producingcontent that takes into account the interests of your potentialclients and customers. You want to share content that’sdirectly related to your unique selling position.Implementing Your PlanYou can have all the ideas in the world, but without a goodplan of implementation, you’re going to fail miserably. But 118
    • you won’t fail when it comes to Twitter marketing if youadopt the principles in this book! Success is the only option.(Didn’t George W. Bush say that one time? Too bad he didn’tpost it on Twitter.)The first step in implementing your Twitter marketingstrategy is to develop your content and the message that youwant to share with the Twitter crowd. If you share the rightcontent, the crowd responds: They retweet it, click on yourlink, and buy your product, or they follow you.Crafting your messageWhen you implement your strategy, you need to plan yourmessage. What are you trying to say to the Twitter groupies?You have endless possibilities for sharing your ideas,thoughts, and opinions through a communication technologysuch as Twitter. Your voice drives your Twitter profile. You are theidea generator when it comes to sharing and producingcontent. Your business can benefit from establishing aconnection with your followers that emphasizes the humanside of your business: Putting a name and a face together, soto speak. They want to know that you’re human and that youfeel their pain. You feel their pain and can heal it — if theybuy your product or service, of course.To find your unique voice when it comes to communicatingthrough Twitter, follow these steps: 119
    • 1. Take one of your unique selling positions and write itdown.A notecard or piece of scrap paper will do.2. Review your unique selling position.What does it say? Are you the most personable realtor in thetri-state area? Are you the fastest plumber on planet Earth?Knowing your value position can help you find your voice.3. Write or type any stories you can remember in whichyou helped a client or customer by using your uniqueselling position. Think about your unique selling position, likehaving a super power. Imagine being Superman or WonderWoman, or better yet, the powerful Twitter Man or TwitterWoman. What super powers do you possess that help you inyour quests to make clients happy?Keep the stories, sentences, and ideas that you create in thepreceding steps nearby. They can help remind you of howpowerful your unique selling position is to your customers.The stories and ideas created by your business can help youcreate your unique voice for Twitter. JetBlue is a goodexample of this. Besides offering blue chips, their uniqueselling position involves caring for passengers, as shown inFigure 4-2, where they are answering a question that is notnecessarily related to selling this customer a plane ticket. 120
    • Figure 4-2: Your message on Twitter should be a reflectionof your unique selling position.Twitter is a place where you build relationships (unlessyou’re a spammer). Relationship building is the key to yourmessaging on Twitter. So you should strive to cultivaterelationships with your customers through your interactionswith them on Twitter. Content drives Twitter much like local, regional,national, and global stories drive newspapers. The contentyou create becomes the driving force of your Twittermarketing plan implementation. You have to directly relatethat content to your unique selling position, your voice, andyour industry. I discuss how to share, retweet, and createcontent in Chapters 6 and 10. 121
    • You have valuable content when it rings a bell with yourfollowers (meaning your clients or potential clients) onTwitter. The content must have value that speaks to whatcustomers are looking for on a daily basis. If you’re a serviceprovider, share content that has merit in your industry. Forexample, if you’re a plumber, share a blog post withinstructions on how to use duct tape to fix a leaky pipe. Valuable content surrounds the concept of talkingabout what you do — meaning what you (personally) do on adaily basis to help clients. Just remember: Don’t try to pushyour product or service on Twitter. I deal some more withhard selling (another name for pushing your product orservice) in Chapter 16.Defining the tacticsWhen you establish an overall idea about how to build thebeginnings of a Twitter marketing plan, you need to defineand refine the tactics associated with Twitter and yourbusiness.In parallel with creating a presence on Twitter, you shouldalso figure out what your competitors are doing in the worldof micro-blogging. Also, you want to determine whether youshould have separate accounts for your personal use and yourbusiness. Does it make sense to have both? The tactics definehow you implement your strategy: This is the part where youroll up your sleeves. 122
    • Performing a competitive analysisYou need to create a competitive analysis report for Twitter.What are your competitors doing that you can mimic (at thevery least) or do better?A competitive analysis involves finding out what steps yourcompetition takes to use Twitter for lead generation.Determining the area of influence for your competitors canhelp in your quest for Twitter domination by letting youfigure out where you stand in comparison to them.The first step in building a Twitter competitive analysisinvolves finding out who among your competition is usingTwitter. You can get this information in a couple of ways, butthe best way is to use a tool called Twellow.Also known as the Twitter Yellow Pages, Twellow(www.twellow.com) is a service that allows you to search fora specific name on Twitter. As shown in Figure 4-3, by usingTwellow, you can find which companies are using Twitter inyour business niche. When you enter a personal or company name intoTwellow, try your search with and without spaces. The twosearches may return different results, all of which aretypically useful.After you find the Twitter name of all your competitors, youneed to determine the amount of influence each competitor 123
    • has. To find this information, you can use the tool calledTwitter Grader (www.twittergrader.com) from the companyHubSpot, as shown in Figure 4-4.Figure 4-3: Twellow can help you put together your Twittercompetitive analysis.To use Twitter Grader to find your competition’s area ofinfluence, follow these steps:1. Open your browser and go to www.twittergrader.com.The page that opens features a text box labeled Enter YourTwitter Username at the top of the page. 124
    • 2. Type a competitor’s Twitter username in the EnterYour Twitter Username text box, and then click theGrade button.Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, TwitterGrader may take a few minutes to finish the analysis.A new page appears, showing the rank of the Twitter user incomparison to all users that have been analyzed by TwitterGrader (nearly 8 million as I write these lines), as well asother useful information, like location, bio, followers, tweetcloud, and Twitter account suggestions. One of the most useful pieces of informationreturned by the Twitter Grader analysis is the user’s grade (orscore). This number is calculated by weighing elements suchas the number of followers, the influence of the followers, thenumber of updates, the freshness of the updates, the ratio offollowers versus users followed, and the number of times theuser is being retweeted or cited. The rank information isbased on the grade obtained by the user: A user with a highergrade will be higher in the ranking.Figure 4-4: Twitter Grader helps you determine yourcompetitors’ influence on Twitter. 125
    • Another important piece of information you obtain from aTwitter Grader search is the Tweet Cloud. A Tweet Cloud is alist of generated words that a specific person uses the most,showing more frequently used words in larger font and lessfrequently used words in smaller font.The Tweet Cloud gives you valuable hints as to what kind ofcontent the user is writing about. For example, look at Figure4-5. @edeckers’s main tweets include the words@brewhouse, books, and @nickilaycoax.Because he has a pretty decent Twitter Grade (resulting in agood rank), if you were @edeckers’s competition, you’dtake into account the different words he’s using on Twitter tohelp build your content strategy so that you can compete withhim in the world of Twitter. For example, borrowing from 126
    • @edeckers’s Tweet Cloud, you may discover that hisfollowers enjoy reading about local humor in Indiana.(Because you are his competitor, I am going to assume thatlearning about the comedy preferences of folks in Indiana isrelevant to your business!)Figure 4-5: Twitter Grader’s report also includes a user’shistory. Note that the Tweet Cloud changes based on thecontent being shared by the user. It is possible for@edeckers’s Tweet Cloud to reflect content from aconference he recently attended and not humor. Follow your 127
    • competition closely on Twitter to get an overall gauge ofcontent being shared.Creating a business profile, personal profile, or multipleprofilesHow many accounts do you need when using Twitter? Thistopic is much debated in the Twitter world. If you’re usingTwitter for business, do you create a personal account and abusiness account, or do you use just one account? A lotdepends on your specific case, and you should base yourdecision on your strategy and goals (which I discuss in thesection “Setting a Destination for Your Marketing Strategy”earlier in this chapter).Here are some tips to remember when you try to decide onhow many Twitter accounts you need: Create a single account: Stick with one account if you’rea sole proprietor, artist, author, speaker, or any professionalwho is the business. Create two accounts: If you’re a salesperson, anemployee, or part of a company that has more than threeemployees, go with a personal account and a businessaccount. Create special accounts: If your company is organizing aconference, you can make a Twitter account to drive traffic tothat particular event or to highlight activities during the event.If you want to promote a book, whether you are the publisheror the author, it is also a good idea to have a dedicated 128
    • account for it. For example, as you can see in Figure 4-6,@twitmrkting serves as the Twitter page for this book,Twitter Marketing For Dummies.You can also create accounts that pertain to a particularproduct. For example, Intuit (the maker of QuickBooks) hasaccounts for itself as a company, for its products, and for itscustomer service representatives.Figure 4-6: It is a good idea to create a separate account topromote a book or a product.You can explore the use of multiple accounts with an examplecompany, XYZ Company. XYZ has six employees: anaccount representative, a graphic designer, a Web developer,a sales manager, a business development representative, and 129
    • an operations manager. The account representative, salesmanager, and business development representative are mostlikely to interact with clients on a daily basis. If your personalrelationship with clients helps you develop business, create aspecific account for your own personal use.Given their more limited role facing the customers, thegraphic designer, Web developer, and operations manager caneither start a Twitter account or run the company account. Scotty’s Brewhouse Tweets Scotty’s Brewhouse, a restaurant with multiple locations in Indiana, developed a Twitter naming strategy for employees after seeing increased success from the tool. The owner of the Brewhouse, Scott Wise, created the Twitter name @brewhouse and the entire staff has SBH (Scotty’s Brewhouse) before their first name. For example, Bruce McClain would be @SBH_Bruce. The restaurant created a structure to creating names for employees and locations that works and is completely organized.Finalizing your marketing planBuilding your marketing plan takes time, but it’s the mostimportant thing you do when it comes to your Twitterdomination! Now, for the important part: integrating yourTwitter marketing plan with your offline strategy. You canmake your Twitter marketing extremely successful if youcombine it with your traditional marketing strategies. 130
    • Your offline strategy can include everything from direct mailto newspaper ads. You can combine some traditionalstrategies in order to promote your Twitter name offline: Business cards: Be very sure to put your Twitterusername on your business cards. People use business cardsas a marketing instrument constantly in the world of business. Hire a sign holder: You’ve probably seen guys and galsholding promotion signs for Domino’s or Liberty Tax whiledancing on the side of the road. You could hire one of thesesign holders to promote your Twitter username. You also getan added benefit to hiring a roadside promotional person —they can be very entertaining when cars stop at a traffic light! Buy a billboard: Celebrity Ashton Kutcher boughtmultiple billboards to promote his Twitter username so thathe could grow his list of followers. And it worked! Ashtonhas well beyond 3 million followers on Twitter at the time ofthis writing. If you can afford it, go for it. Add to traditional marketing: Add your Twitterusername to every traditional marketing piece you send topotential and current customers — including direct mail,newsletters, and advertisements. T-shirts: Make a t-shirt to support your Twitter username(see Figure 4-7). For example, you could have a t-shirt thatfeatures different tweets you’ve written about your nichetopic. Create copies of the shirt and recruit ten people amongyour friends, employees (and perhaps even customers) to 131
    • wear those shirts around, providing you with a greatpromotion!Figure 4-7: You can print your tweets on t-shirts and developmarketing merchandise! Integration is the key to a successful Twittermarketing strategy. You’re already paying the money throughyour traditional marketing strategy, so why not takeadvantage of what you’re already doing offline to promoteyour new Twitter username?Speaking of paying money for a traditional strategy, you needto figure out your budget for running a Twitter marketing 132
    • campaign. A Twitter marketing budget really consists of onlytwo things: Time: In the small-business world, time is money. Mapout how much time you’re willing to delegate to Twitterusage. (I talk more about time management while on Twitterin Chapter 5.) Money: Decide how much you’re willing to pay to helpimplement a Twitter strategy. Use or create a budgetspecifically for your Twitter marketing efforts. 133
    • Chapter 5Being Productive with Your Twitter Marketing PlanIn This Chapter Managing your time on Twitter Using Web tools for time management Making your time on Twitter productiveIf you want to have long-term success with Twitter (and othersocial media), you need to effectively manage your time andavoid burnout. If you’re like me, you’re a busy professionaland probably have more than 20 different things to do before8:00 a.m. and 30 things to do before noon. But if you canspare 15 to 30 minutes a day, you can get the most out ofTwitter through repetition, planning, and being proactive.This chapter takes a look at how proper planning and supportcan help you maximize your time on Twitter. If you followthe advice in the following pages, you can successfullymanage your time and content on Twitter.Creating a Time-Management Strategy for Twitter“I don’t have time,” many people say when they exploreTwitter and other social media tools. “I’m already too busy.How am I supposed to squeeze in one more thing?” 134
    • “It’s like eating an elephant,” I sometimes say to these people(because I’m a little clever and more than a little weird). “Youeat it one bite at a time.”Managing Twitter involves managing your time. If you lookat Twitter as some big elephant that you have to eat all at thesame time, you’ll never get it done. But if you start small —one bite at a time — you can master the thing in less than aweek.Avoiding Twitter overloadAt times, you may become overwhelmed by all theinformation, content, friend requests, questions, comments,suggestions, and ideas that your followers are sharing on aconsistent basis. This feeling has a name: It is called a socialmedia overload or Twitter overload. Just don’t let it get to thepoint of a brain hemorrhage or a heart attack! Timemanagement and effective use of tools can help you keepyour head above water.Like with any problem, you can always spot warning signsbefore the worst part hits you right in the face. Bam! You falloff the edge and get overwhelmed. When you becomeoverwhelmed, your Twitter marketing and usage will falldown the tubes, and you’ll have no idea where to go fromthere. You’d rather not get to that point, right? In that case,watch out for these symptoms in your quest for Twitterdomination: Sleep deprivation: You may find yourself using Twitterat times not best suited to your sleep routine. Maybe youwake up in the middle of the night with the extreme urge to 135
    • tweet something absolutely ridiculous. A midnight tweetactually matters only when you have a dream you needsomeone to remember for you. But be honest, who reallycares about your dream? Inbox overload: If your e-mail Inbox is overrun withTwitter requests, direct messages, and follower status updates,you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your use of yourInbox as a Twitter notification center. You can go about silencing Inbox overload foreternity in one of two ways:• Set up a folder to catch all your incoming Twitter e-mailannouncements, and then set aside a couple of minutes everyday to go through your Twitter folder. This separate folderkeeps all your Twitter e-mail out of your Inbox — so youdon’t open your Inbox and see a gazillion messages fromTwitter, giving you a nervous breakdown.• Turn off updates in the settings of your Twitter profile. Todo this, click the Settings link (in your drop down menu at theright hand side of your screen), choose the Notices tab, anduncheck all the check boxes on the page. This stops e-mailsfrom being sent out when new people follow you and whenother Twitter users send you Direct Messages. Additionally,you can kill your subscription to the Twitter newsletter, asyou can see in Figure 5-1. 136
    • Remember that you may not want to shut off allyour notifications. It may be important to keep your DirectMessage and Reply notifications on in order to respond toimportant inquiries.Figure 5-1: The Notices section in your Twitter Settings letsyou control what e-mails you receive. Client phone-call backlog: If you find your phone ringingconstantly and voicemail messages piling up from clientsupset because you’re twittering rather than serving theirneeds, you’re probably experiencing a Twitter overload. Thisis also the case if your spouse starts giving you the evil eyefor spending more time on Twitter than together as a couple. 137
    • Make sure to set aside time to specifically to useTwitter. This will help you get work done (and possibly helpyou save your relationship!). Non-stop use: You can easily start using Twitter withoutstopping if you don’t set barriers. There are literally millionsof people you can follow, so try to keep yourself frombecoming obsessed. You can burn out from informationoverload and follower requests. Use your time management tools and calendar(discussed in the following section). You need to tweet on aconstant — but not too constant — basis.Setting aside blocks of timeTo effectively manage your time, you need to block outcertain parts of the day to accomplish certain tasks. The samerules apply to your Twitter and social-media usage. You canapply time blocks to any area of your business or personallife. The most important thing to remember is to stick to yourschedule as closely as you can.Think of your typical work day. What happens throughout theday? You have to pick up the kids; file a report; more thanlikely, do some shopping; and above all, run a business.Because you’re so busy, you need to block out time in your 138
    • day during which you can accomplish your Twitter marketingplan. The optimal amount of time in your Twittermarketing time blocks is between 15 and 30 minutes apiece.Don’t set aside blocks of less than 15 minutes and never morethan 30 minutes. If you start using Twitter for more than 30minutes in the same time period, you can waste away hourswith Twitter fun.Although you may be enjoying yourself, spending endlesshours on Twitter doesn’t necessarily help you reach yourTwitter marketing goals. Or if it helps you reach them, it iseating into the time you have previously allocated to othertasks in your business (or your life). The following list givesyou tips on being productive with your Twitter time blocks: Choose the times for two 15- to 30-minute Twitter timeblocks each day. You can choose to place the time blocks atthe beginning and end of your day or during your lunch break. Add the time blocks to your calendar. Whether you usean electronic calendar, such as Outlook, or a written calendar,record your scheduled time blocks every day. Respect the time block! You wouldn’t call a prospectiveclient to reschedule a meeting because you needed to run tothe store or pick up office supplies. The same rule applies foryour Twitter time block. 139
    • Did your grandfather always tell you that practice makesperfect? This same principle applies to your Twittermarketing plan. Respect the time blocks that you set aside foryourself. If you don’t keep to your Twitter time goals, youbecome frustrated, develop Twitter overload symptoms, anddie a horrible Twitter death (well, most likely you won’t die,but your spouse might want to kill you).Make a commitment to yourself to stay on task and get yourTwitter plan done in a timely manner.Using Third-Party Tools to Be More Productive with TwitterYou can find dozens, if not hundreds, of different Twitterapplications (apps) that make you more efficient in yourTwitter efforts.As a Twitter marketer, look for an app that allows you toeffectively manage multiple Twitter profiles, schedule tweetsto go out at a later date and time, and measure your Twitteranalytics. The following sections describe a few of the bestTwitter apps currently available.HootSuiteHootSuite (http://hootsuite.com) is a Twitter tool that gathersa lot of the features of different Twitter apps and offers themon one simple Web interface. Although other apps do some ofthe features that HootSuite offers, I haven’t found one thatdoes everything HootSuite does.With HootSuite, you can manage multiple Twitter accounts,let several people manage one account, schedule tweets to go 140
    • out at a later time, and find out how many people clicked thelinks you included by using the HootSuite ow.ly URLshortener.The following list describes a few of the useful things you cando with HootSuite: Schedule tweets for specific days, such as#FollowFriday (a Twitter meme through which youshare the Twitter accounts of people you feel are worthfollowing). You can see how a Pending Tweet for#FollowFriday looks in HootSuite in Figure 5-2. Youcan also save tweets as drafts to edit later!Instead of trying to remember to send out a tweet at a specifictime, you can write your tweets as you have them ready, andthen schedule HootSuite to send them out when needed. Onecool use of this feature is scheduling tweets to congratulatecustomers and friends on their birthdays. Test different headlines and ideal tweeting times bycreating different ow.ly URLs for the same article andmeasuring which headlines and times of day get the mostclicks. Use that information to write optimal headlines andschedule them to go out when the most people will payattention.Figure 5-2: HootSuite offers the convenience of schedulingtweets for a later time. 141
    • If you have clients whose Twitter accounts you are incharge of, you can manage them from the HootSuiteinterface, along with your own personal and business Twitteraccounts, as you can see in Figure 5-3. Run a corporate customer-service Twitter account and giveseveral employees access to it. Let them work in shifts tomanage the account, forwarding the customer’s tweets to theappropriate people who can manage the questions orcomplaints.Figure 5-3: Click the Twitter profile icon of the profile(s)you want to update. 142
    • Integrate Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and blog pageswith HootSuite. This integration gives you the opportunity tomanage more than just your Twitter account from yourHootSuite dashboard! Talk about productive! To add yourpages to HootSuite, go to Settings, select Social Networks,and then click Add Social Network. Google Analytics has been integrated into the HootSuiteanalytics suite, adding in functionality to track conversions,set goals, and track Twitter (or social networking) trafficpatterns to your Web site. This system allows you to achieveHUGE potential in deep research of your customer base. Want to share a file on Twitter? It’s easy with HootSuite.Just drag a file or image into the message box and a customURL will be created for that file. Klout (http://klout.com) integration has made it easy forpeople to define influencers in their follower and followingmix.TweetDeckI recommend the TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com)application for anyone getting started with Twitter or for thepeople who try to use the Twitter.com Web interface and 143
    • throw up their hands, saying, “I just don’t get how Twitterworks.” Nearly everyone I know who uses TweetDeck hasbecomes a Twitter ninja.TweetDeck runs on Adobe AIR (see the sidebar “AdobeAIR,” in this chapter, for more information). You can sendand receive tweets using this desktop application, so youdon’t have to rely on the Twitter.com Web interface. Imaginetrying to watch a baseball game through a cardboard tubeversus seeing the game with no obstructions. When it comesto Twitter, TweetDeck lets you see the entire game. Adobe AIR Adobe AIR is a cross-platform application that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. If a program runs on Adobe AIR, and your computer runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux, that program can run on your computer. When you download a program that runs on Adobe AIR, the installation application performs a check to see whether you already have Adobe AIR on your computer. If you don’t have it, the installation application asks whether you want to download it, or you can download Adobe AIR directly at www.adobe.com/products/air.By using TweetDeck, you can create groups of people youwant to follow, do searches for keywords and hashtags, anduse any of four built-in URL shorteners or the “other” option,including http://bit.ly and http://tinyurl.com. (It doesn’tinclude http://ow.ly, however.) You can also manage multiple 144
    • accounts from different social networks, like Facebook andLinkedIn. Now that has huge potential for time management!With a few exceptions, you should use TweetDeck for allyour twittering and social networking. You can send andreceive tweets; send and receive direct messages; shortenURLs; translate languages; integrate information fromStockTwits (http://stocktwits.com); and create groups ofclients, competitors, industry experts, and favorite people.More specifically, TweetDeck offers the following features: Groups: When you’re following more than a couple ofhundred people, don’t bother trying to follow all their tweetsindividually. For one thing, you’re going to have theoccasional spammer, someone who tweets about the latestlittle “present” his or her new puppy left or a person whorepeatedly sends the same quote about a small group ofthoughtful citizens changing the world. You don’t want tokeep up with all that madness. So, create groups of peopleyou want to follow, as shown in Figure 5-4.Figure 5-4: TweetDeck’s Groups feature lets you managepeople you follow conveniently. 145
    • URL shorteners: TweetDeck has four URL shorteners,including http://bit.ly, and each of them has its pros and cons.However, TweetDeck doesn’t offer some shorteners, likehttp://cli.gs (discussed in Chapter 6), so if you want to use it,you need to go to the http://cli.gs Web site, shorten yourURL, and then copy and paste the shortened URL into theTweetDeck What Are You Doing? text box, as shown inFigure 5-5. Facebook status updates: You can update your Facebookstatus from TweetDeck, and you can even find Facebook appsthat let you feed all your tweets into your Facebook status.Figure 5-5: TweetDeck supports six URL shorteners. 146
    • Don’t push all your tweets into Facebook.Although you should feel free to send the occasionalFacebook update by using TweetDeck (as seen in Figure 5-6),any friends you have on Facebook who are unfamiliar withTwitter can get confused with the format and abbreviationsthat are customary in Twitter. After all, Facebook doesn’thave the 140-character (or the text only) limitation thatTwitter imposes. Multiple Social Networks: TweetDeck gives you theoption to connect to multiple social networks for crosspollination of your content. It connects you with your contactsacross Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, foursquare,Google Buzz, and much, much more.Figure 5-6: TweetDeck’s multiple account features allow youto manage different social networks. 147
    • Hashtag Support: Underneath the message window onTweetDeck, you have the option of adding your top ten usedhashtags to your message. Basically, we are looking atone-click hashtagging! Functionality is also built in to appendthe hashtag when you reply to a message in a hashtag stream. User Column Search: If you are wanting to search andtrack keywords or different users, TweetDeck (shown inFigure 5-7) allows you to create a column that tracks whatpeople are saying and another column about people of interest(competitors). TweetDeck has multiple buttons for each socialnetwork you have added into the desktop account, like a 148
    • button that you can turn on or off before you send out statusupdates. You can also create a column that lets you monitoryour Facebook and LinkedIn status updates as part of yourTweetDeck usage.If you think some tweets are appropriate to become yourFacebook status too, the best option to selectively update yourFacebook status from Twitter is to use a Facebook applicationcalled Selective Twitter Status (http://apps.facebook.com/selectivetwitter). After you have set it up on Facebook, onlythose tweets in which you add the #fb hashtag will appearon your Facebook status.Figure 5-7: Search for any username and follow theirconversations in a specialized column. 149
    • CoTweetCoTweet works a lot like HootSuite and TweetDeck in thatyou can update Twitter and multiple social networks fromyour desktop or Web site. However, CoTweet tends to leanheavily into the corporate arena. If you are a business wheremultiple people will be managing an account and it isextremely important to track all communication; CoTweet isfor you.The tool allows you to assign people the status of being “onduty.” When an individual is “on duty,” they will receivee-mail and information from CoTweet regarding the corporateTwitter account. When the individual is “off duty,” theyreceive nothing from Twitter. This application helps withcontent flow and time management for a multitude ofindividuals using one Twitter account. Here are a few of theuseful things you can do with CoTweet from a corporatelevel: You can monitor keywords and trends that directly relateto your brand name on Twitter. Columns are set up to helpyou maintain multiple keywords and search functionality. You can assign updates for your employees or colleaguesto follow up, as you can see in Figure 5-8. When you assignan update, CoTweet e-mails the “updater” and a follow upmessage will appear in their CoTweet account. After theyhave responded to the request, you receive confirmationcontaining their response for documentation. 150
    • Figure 5-8: Assign tasks to individuals within the CoTweetsystem to track updates and user engagement with customerson Twitter. Conversation threading is an application built intoCoTweet that allows you to view all of your team’s responsesto a specific topic on Twitter. You can see which messageshave been responded to and by whom. With seamless bit.ly integration, you can track andmonitor your URLs being shared across the Internet. One of the cooler systems built into CoTweet is themessage archive. The system allows you to keep a record ofall your updates, which includes those you received as well asthose you have sent. 151
    • Ping.fmPing.fm (http://ping.fm) works a lot like HootSuite in that youcan update your Twitter account from a Web site other thanthe main Twitter site. Ping.fm does much more thanHootSuite in some respects, but it also lacks some ofHootSuite’s features.Ping.fm is considered the mack daddy of all remote-postingservices. It lets you post 140-character messages and sendthem to over 38 different social networks, including Twitter,Facebook, LinkedIn, and even a Blogger or WordPress blog. Ping.fm can get even cooler and more useful. Sayyou want to send two messages, one just to Twitter and one toall your other networks through Ping.fm. By including certaintrigger words, you control which network or networks yourmessage gets sent to. You can integrate HootSuite andPing.fm, as explained at http://bit.ly/ping-hootsuite, to helpyou post your messages to multiple networks throughHootSuite.Here’s where Ping.fm gets really cool. In the followingexample, I used trigger words. So, the message I send to onlyTwitter looks like this:@kyleplacy: Heading to the MidwestMarble Collecting 152
    • Convention in #Findlay, #Ohio.#MidMarbCollConAnd the message I want to send to all my networks throughPing.fm looks like this:New blog post: Day 1 at the MidwestMarble CollectingConvention, with great photos.http://bit.ly/jxlfh#MidMarbCollConPing.fm sends this message to LinkedIn, Facebook, andTwitter with the hashtag, which may be confusing to someusers, but the rest of the message is understandable to anyone.And because the URL shows up in all three places as aclickable link, readers are still likely to read it, even with theTwitter-speak at the end.Making the Most of Your Time on TwitterI talk about time management in the section “Creating aTime-Management Strategy for Twitter,” earlier in thischapter, and if you follow my advice, you’ll spend no morethan 30–60 minutes per day (in two 15–30 minute blocks) onTwitter. The following sections provide some tips and advicefor how to be productive during the time you spend onTwitter.Don’t agonize over what to say 153
    • First of all, don’t spend a lot of time worrying about whatyou’re going to say. Some people refuse to tweet anythingbecause they’re afraid they’ll say the wrong thing (you can’t)or that nobody cares what they have to say (your followers docare).I hate to admit it, but Twitter is a throwaway method ofcommunication. Anything you say stays in the generaltimeline and on people’s minds for all of ten seconds. Unlessyou tweet something grossly offensive or rip-roaringly funny,people aren’t going to remember what you said five minutesafter you tweet it, let alone what you said last week.You don’t need to make your tweets profound. Your tweetscan contain abbreviations, but remember that is it extremelyimportant to your business’s image to spell words correctlyand use proper grammar. Also, you don’t need your tweets toalways have a 50 percent click-through rate. Falling water drops wear away stone over time —likewise, it may take weeks, and maybe even months, beforeyour frequent tweets lead to increased sales and become aviable marketing strategy. Be patient, stick with it, and justhave conversations with people. Let them see the real you sothat they can trust you enough to buy from you.When you talk to friends, you don’t always use propergrammar. You might stumble over your words once in awhile, and you’ve probably even said the wrong thing a timeor two. Twitter is exactly the same. Your followers can 154
    • forgive you for a few grammar and spelling gaffes andetiquette blunders, so don’t worry too much about it. Justjump in and see what happens.Don’t read every tweet from the people you followThe effective Twitter marketer is following, and beingfollowed by, thousands of people. You just can’t keep up witheveryone. So, accept the fact that you don’t have time to readtweets from some people (okay, a lot of people).The following list provides a few solutions to finding thepeople whose tweets you want to read: Follow only people worth following. Hundreds ofaffiliate marketers and spammers follow you, so ignore them.Find people in your industry, people in your city, and yourcustomers. Keep your list of followers to just the people whowrite worthwhile tweets: These may be people who sharevaluable information and links, folks whom you want or needto be informed about, or even users whose tweets you lovereading. You may have a relatively short list, but it’s a list ofpeople you want to follow. Create lists in TweetDeck or HootSuite. By usingTweetDeck or HootSuite (described earlier in the chapter),you can create lists of people based on any number of criteria,and each list appears in its own column. Want to see whatyour competitors are doing? Create a list. Want to see whatthe people around town are talking about? Create a list. Havea thing for redheads? Create a list. 155
    • Save keyword searches. Whether you use a third-partytool or Twitter itself, saving searches based on a keyword orphrase is helpful. Look for hashtag topics, keywords in yourindustry, or current events. Now, instead of having to scanevery tweet for that elusive message about the MarbleCollecting Convention, you see only the tweets related to thattopic.To perform and save a search on Twitter, enter the keywordor phrase of interest in the Search box on the Twitter homepage. Then click the Save This Search link at the top of thesearch results, as shown in Figure 5-9 for the search#iranelection. If you do this, a new link appears underthe heading Saved Searches below the search box for yourconvenience.Figure 5-9: Saving searches on Twitter helps you quicklyfind tweets about topics you care about. 156
    • Don’t try to add value to all your tweetsTweet whatever you want. Just try to add value when youcan. Adding value is one of those social media buzzwords thatmeans you are writing about things that may help otherpeople (even if it doesn’t translate into new sales). You wantto add value to their daily lives. You can add value by tellingpeople about breaking news stories, articles in a trade journal,new blog posts, and new resources or software. You don’t addvalue by tweeting things such as going for a walk,taking the dog to the vet, or good night,tweeple!Don’t feel like you have to add value to every single tweet.Some people truly like those bagel posts, so feel free to throwthose in whenever you feel like it — although a 100-tweet 157
    • serialized epic about your bagel spread may be a little overthe top. Bottom line: Tweet what you want and feel free tobe a little personal. The more you show yourself as a realperson, the more likely people will buy from you. Remember,people buy from people they like, and if they like you, they’relikely to buy from you.Do spread out your marketing tweetsIf you’ve read other parts of this book, you may have noticedthat I often tell you not to send marketing message aftermarketing message. I’m going to repeat it now: Don’t sendmarketing message after marketing message.Why? Because it’s boring, it’s considered spam, and peoplewill quit following you. So, all your hard work goes down thedigital drain.The number of acceptable marketing tweets seems to varyfrom expert to expert, but a good guideline is a maximum of1:9 ratio, though I recommend a 1:15 ratio. For eachmarketing message you send out, you should send out 15messages that don’t talk about your product at all. You canmake those 15 tweets conversational, added value tweets(described in the preceding section), or even 140-characterlove sonnets about hazelnut cream cheese on a blueberrybagel. 158
    • Do stick to a schedule with your tweetsHow often do you e-mail people? How often do you talk onthe phone? How many days a week do you work? That’s howoften you should tweet.If you work every day, including weekends, you may want toconsider whether you have a good work-life balance. But ifyou insist that your balance is just fine, and you aren’tbothered by questions such as, “Who’s that person huggingmommy/daddy?” then by all means, tweet every day. If youwork only during the regular work week, then tweet duringthat time. Twitter is all about creating personal relationships.If you’re conducting an activity that some of your followersmight be interested in, tell them about it. If you go to afestival, a party, or a conference, you can tweet what’s goingon because your followers may want to hear about it. Thesetweets can further strengthen your relationships and make youseem more real to your customers and potential customers. 159
    • Chapter 6Measuring the Success of Your Marketing PlanIn This Chapter Figuring out whether your marketing efforts are successful Working to build your influence on Twitter Striking the right balance with others on TwitterBack in the old days of traditional media (about ten yearsago), it was a footloose, carefree time. Marketing budgetswere big and usually contained totals like “$????.??” or“whatever we can get,” ad buys were huge, and marketersreally didn’t know whether their ads were working.“We’re building mind share,” the marketers would say. “Youcan’t measure mind share.” And then they would snickerknowingly among themselves, and other departments couldnever be sure whether they were being totally honest.The mind share argument is one that a lot of marketers fellback on when a campaign didn’t meet expectations. “At leastthe campaign built mind share,” they would say. This wasanother way of saying, “The campaign helped createconsumer awareness.”After a while, organizations started to hold marketersaccountable for their wild spending, so those marketers had tomeasure whether total sales went up after a particular 160
    • campaign. If sales went up, the campaign was a success. Ifthey didn’t, it was a failure.But marketers couldn’t directly attribute a specific market, aspecific commercial, or a specific time of day to a specificsale. Did the TV commercial result in that bump in sales, orwas it the billboard ads? Did the radio campaign outperformthe direct mail? And which of the five commercials was theone that made people interested?One of the great things about social media is that it lets you(the marketer) measure the effectiveness of campaigns andmessages, and even find out who’s talking about you — andwhat they’re saying.Measuring Your Advertising and Marketing EffortsYou can measure your Twitter marketing efforts in a numberof different ways. Some of them are free, but others cost quitea bit of money. Regardless of the level of sophistication thatyou need, you can find a means to measure your marketingthat fits your goals (and budget).Using an analytics packageYou can use analytics to monitor Web-site traffic and thebehavior of visitors who come to your Web site. Mostanalytics packages work by checking the IP address of eachperson who visits your site. They monitor which pages peoplevisit, how long they stay, what link they click to get there, andwhat part of the world they’re from. Analytics can help youdetermine which of your tweets got customers to the site, 161
    • what time of day they came to the site, and whether you’rereaching your local audience.For example, if your traffic on the Midwest Marble CollectingConvention site is coming from the Midwest, you can feelreasonably assured that your message is reaching the rightpeople. But if most of them start coming from another part ofthe world, you may have a problem that you need to address(or a potential business opportunity that you need to takeaction on).Selecting an analytics packageGoogle Analytics, Clicky, StatCounter, and Yahoo! WebAnalytics are a few of my favorite analytics packages, butyou can find many more options out there. Just do an onlinesearch for free web analytics software to find a plethora ofchoices. Here’s a rundown of my favorites: Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics): Mostpeople use Google Analytics because it’s free, easy to use,and conveniently integrated with the rest of Google’sofferings. Google offers great reporting features, some ofwhich you can see in Figure 6-1.Figure 6-1: Google Analytics offers a lot of usefultraffic-analysis features. 162
    • Google Analytics also allows you to build your own customreports and filter your results by certain search criteria, suchas new traffic, referral traffic (visits that resulted fromclicking a link on another Web site), and so on.The downside of Google Analytics is that it doesn’t updateyour numbers in real time (while new visitors land on yoursite). So, if you’re a constant checker, Google Analytics maytry your patience at times. But it’s still the most popularanalytics package available. StatCounter (www.statcounter.com): StatCounter is freeat the basic level, but you can purchase an upgrade that givesyou access to more detailed reports. The upgraded servicescan range in cost from $9 a month to $119 a month for 163
    • different levels of page loads. You can find out more atwww.statcounter.com/services.html.The best thing about StatCounter is that it gives you real-timereports, so if you have a lot of traffic, you can click theRefresh button whenever you feel like it, and StatCounterrecalculates everything. However, your log size when you usethe basic version of StatCounter is only 500 entries. If youwant to measure a bigger pool of visitors, you need to pay forthe upgrade. Clicky (www.getclicky.com): Clicky does something noneof the other analytics services do today: It analyzes yourTwitter traffic. Sure, other analytics packages can tell you thatsome of your traffic came from Twitter, but who sent most ofthe traffic your way? Clicky lets you drill down to the level ofthe data corresponding to each individual twitterer, as you cansee in Figure 6-2. It’s important to note that you don’t receivethe Twitter analytics with the free version of the program.However, some paid levels allow you to do the different pageview tracking. The cost for this varies, but at its lowest, it is$4.99 a month. Yahoo! Web Analytics (http://web.analytics.yahoo.com):Yahoo! Web Analytics is a paid analytics service that’sgeared toward merchants and people who sell services online.It lets you see information such as where people abandontheir shopping carts during the checkout process and whichproducts visitors view the most versus how often theypurchase those products. It also helps you spot whethervisitors have difficulty finding certain products on your site. 164
    • Figure 6-2: Clicky gives you Twitter-specific traffic data,unlike any other analytics package.Different analytics packages likely show different numbers interms of visits, unique visitors, and page views. In simplestterms, this discrepancy is based on the mechanicaltraffic-counting process that each package uses. But thereality is actually more complex, going beyond the scope ofthis book. To give you a simple example, different packagesmay count unique visitors to your site differently. Analyticspackages that use cookies (a software-based approach) tocount visitors may get a different number than those that 165
    • count unique IP addresses (a hardware-based approach). Thisdifference can result in different traffic numbers for the samesite on the same day, depending on what package you’reusing. My advice? Use a couple of packages and figure outwhich numbers make more sense, based on the actual sales orinquiries you see.Installing an analytics packageYou can install an analytics package on your Web site fairlyeasily. Each package provides you with a snippet of code thatyou add to your site. Make sure that you have access to theHTML code for your Web site so that you can add theanalytics snippet in a way that includes it on every page of thesite you want to track. Follow these steps to set up analyticson your Web site:1. Find the part of the HTML code of your site that endswith</body></html>2. Copy the code snippet from the analytics package, andthen paste it into your HTML right above the </body> tag.If you’re adding code for more than one analytics package,just paste the code for each package one after the other.3. If you want to track more than one page, repeat Steps 1and 2 for all the pages that you want to track. 166
    • You can add the code from the analytics package to your blogas well as to Web pages that you (or your Web designer)create. If you run a blog by using Blogger(www.blogger.com) as a platform, follow these steps to addthe analytics code:1. Go to your Blogger dashboard.2. Click the Design link.The Page Elements page appears.3. Click the Add a Gadget button to the left of your layoutimage.4. Click the plus sign (+) to the right of the HTML/JavaScript option, as shown in Figure 6-3.5. Paste the snippet of analytics code in the Content textbox.Leave the Title field of the gadget box blank.Figure 6-3: Blogger lets you easily add an analytics codesnippet to your blog. 167
    • If you host a blog by using WordPress (http://wordpress.org),follow these steps to add the analytics package code:1. Click the Theme Editor in the Appearance section ofyour blog editor.You can find the Appearance section on the left side of yourscreen under Comments.2. Click the Appearance button, and then click the Editorbutton.3. Click the Footer file of your theme.You can find this file on the right side of your Theme Files,more than likely under the Comments section. 168
    • 4. Paste the snippet of analytics code right above the</body> tag. If you have WordPress host your blog athttp://wordpress.com, you can’t install your own analyticspackage.For more details on analytics and how to make the most ofthem, consider checking out Web Analytics For Dummies, byPedro Sostre and Jennifer LeClaire (published by Wiley).TwitalyzerYou can also find tools that help you measure, analyze, andinteract with Twitter stats in ways that the previous accountscould not. Twitalyzer (www.twitalyzer.com) is one of theWeb-based tools that allow you to automate, export, andmanage your Twitter data and analytics to measureeffectiveness, as you can see in Figure 6-4. As the Web sitestates, “Serious Analytics for Social Relationships.” It isabout measuring your social relationships online.Figure 6-4: Twitalyzer helps you manage your Twitter andsocial account effectiveness. 169
    • The ins and outs of TwitalyzerYes, the name is a little awkward and hard to comprehend.No, the information obtained from Twitalyzer is notoverwhelming. Twitalyzer is a paid-subscription model butyou can get some analytics for free like “Impact Score” and“Influencer Type.” If you are wanting more in-depth analysisyou are going to need to pay for the service at a minimum of$4.99 per month. However, you can take the tool for a testspin for 7 days.Twitalyzer also has a paid subscription service that allowsyou to automate and export data from the account to betterservice your analytic needs. Three types of payment optionsexist, from $4.99 to $99.99 a month, which is based on apay-by-month system. In Figure 6-7, you can see the benefits 170
    • of using the different accounts. You can cancel at any time.Some of the services offered through the paid subscriptionservice are as follows: bit.ly integration: I talk more about bit.ly and URLshorteners in the next section, but Twitalyzer does offerclick-tracking for your links shared on Twitter. Why plugbit.ly into the system? You can see how many clicks a tweetreceived from different accounts or your personal Twitteraccount! The system also links with other shorteners such asj.mp, nyti.ms, ow.ly, and ht.ly. Comparing accounts: You can also compare accountsamong different users. Twitalyzer will give you differentusers that compare or have better impact scores to see areasthat you can improve upon. Retweet level: This option basically means that you willbe given the scores and stats on who is your top retweeter andwho is the biggest influencer of your content. In Figure 6-5,you can see that @dudeman718 and @ginidietrichare @kyleplacy’s largest influencers. This is extremelyimportant to facilitate and grow the relationship with theindividuals sharing your content. The more your content isshared, the better your Twitter experience.Figure 6-5: Twitalyzer gives you excellent stats on retweetersand their level of influence. 171
    • Location reports: There may come a time where youwould like to see the locations of conversations happeningbetween your account and other individuals. The locationgives you a report on where your more recent conversationswere located, whether in Las Vegas or Bangladesh. Impact of network: Twitalyzer can track your recentconversations and measure each user by level of impact.Figure 6-6 shows @kyleplacy’s impact network and whohas the most influence over his network. Impact is an analyticthat measures the effectiveness of an individual’s account forsharing content. It is important to show the users that youinteract with on a daily basis to build a following.Figure 6-6: The impact of your network is important tomeasuring the success of your Twitter account. 172
    • Twitalyzer also has a paid subscription service that allowsyou to automate and export data from the account to betterservice your analytic needs. Three types of payment optionsexist, from $9.99 to $199.99 a month, which is based on apay-by-month system. In Figure 6-7, you can see the benefitsof using the different accounts. You can cancel at any time.Some of the services offered through the paid subscriptionservice are as follows:Figure 6-7: Twitalyzer offers many important featuresthrough its subscription reporting. 173
    • Automatic daily updates: You have no reason to go backto Twitalyzer to update your scoring. The automatic dailyupdates process twice a day for maximum efficiency. Theyalso send you updates via e-mail about your scores andinfluence. Phone support: This is an exciting feature of theTwitalyzer pro accounts. You have access to the Twitalyzerteams 12 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have aproblem with data associated with your account, just give thefolks a call and verify. Full data export: All the subscription and informationyou receive from Twitalyzer can be updated and exported to a.csv file or Excel spreadsheet. 174
    • It is encouraging to view statistics and analytics that can helpyou better your use of Twitter. Twitalyzer also has a 50-pagereport that helps a user understand the different metrics withinthe system.HootSuite analyticsThe HootSuite management tool also offers tracking and userengagement analytics through its system. You find plenty ofnew tools to use to increase your effectiveness on Twitter: Geo-Search: This is a new function that enables usersto search tweets based on location information sent by otherusers. The information can be siphoned so that users canlocate tweets that originate from their areas or from an area ofchoice. This is extremely important when tracking where yourtweets are originating. Google Analytics integration: HootSuite has integratedGoogle Analytics into its dashboard to make it easier for usersto view both data screens instead of having to switch backand forth between screens. Influencer mention: You also find an influencer sectionthat shows how many times your name has been mentionedby an “influencer” in the world of Twitter. It is important tothank and follow who is mentioning you. You don’t want tomiss the advocates that communicate with many, manypeople! Klout integration: Klout is an influencer measurementsystem that I discuss at length in Chapter 7. As you can see inFigure 6-8, HootSuite pulls your follower lists and gives you 175
    • the Klout score for each individual. The information obtainedfrom this score is much like the impact score from Twitalyzerand can help you determine the influencers who are sharingyour content. Custom URL shortener: As you already know,HootSuite has custom URL shorteners named ow.ly and ht.ly.Ow.ly can share a link without the HootSuite “social bar,”and ht.ly includes the social bar. You can track the clicks ofposts shared through Twitter by viewing the different tweetsin the HootSuite analytics platform.Between TweetDeck, HootSuite, and CoTweet, you have theultimate system for measurement and management. UsingHootSuite, Twitalyzer, Clicky, and Google Analytics, youhave the ultimate tool for Twitter content success!Figure 6-8: HootSuite allows you to track the Klout scores ofyour followers. 176
    • Using URL shortenersNot everything you tweet is going to point to a blog, let aloneyour blog. Maybe you find an interesting photo or song, oryou want to refer people to another article someone elsewrote. You may still want to track your URLs to see how wellyour tweets are performing. Many URL-shortener servicesoffer the option to track how many clicks each link gets.You can find a great article that compares the different URLshorteners at http://bit.ly/z9tmw. TweetDeck and Seesmic(TweetDeck’s direct competitor) both offer numerousURL-shortener options (bit.ly, is.gd, TinyURL, and twURL),but only bit.ly offers click tracking. Therefore, as a Twittermarketer who needs to track link performance, you should usebit.ly. 177
    • Tracking clicks with bit.lyIn addition to using bit.ly as a tool integrated into third-partytools — and even Twitter itself — you can also use it directlyat http://bit.ly. Simply enter your long URL and click theShorten button, as you can see in Figure 6-9. You can copythe resulting bit.ly link and use it in your tweets, in youre-mail, or even on your Web site.Figure 6-9: bit.ly lets you easily shorten your links and trackclicks for each of them.If you click the shortened link on bit.ly, you get access todetailed traffic information related to number of clicks,referring Web sites, and geographic locations of the userswho clicked. You can also find out how many clicks yourparticular bit.ly link got compared to the total clicks on the 178
    • long link. Although I’ve seen better and worse results, youcan expect a 4 percent click-through rate (four clicks on yourbit.ly link out of 100 total clicks on that blog or content link)for a well-crafted, valuable, interesting tweet. You need to be signed in to your bit.ly accountbefore you can enter tracking data for the link.Using bit.ly Pro to track successRecently bit.ly announced the addition of a premium serviceto its URL-tracking system. Creatively called bitly.Pro, thesite allows you to customize short URLs. You can use yourown short URLs to point to different pages on your site. Anexample of this is from the New York Times (http://nyti.ms).The service includes all the custom bit.ly features plusreal-time information about the page you are “shrinking.”You can also track clicks to the page and how many timesthat page was shared and by how many people.Tracking clicks with ow.ly and ht.lyAs I discuss earlier in the chapter, HootSuite offers ustomshortened URL solutions called ow.ly and ht.ly. As you cansee in Figure 6-10, when you are using HootSuite, you canshorten any URL to an ow.ly or ht.ly link. HootSuite alsoallows you to view a dashboard that tracks clicks for eachshortened link shared in the management system. 179
    • Figure 6-10: HootSuite ow.ly statistics shows different clickson links shared through the management system.First things first: How do you view your shortened links inHootSuite?1. Go to your HootSuite dashboard.2. Click the owl head in the upper-left corner of thescreen.A drop-down box appears with different options.3. Click the Stats button to show the Summary tab.The Summary tab shows all clicks on different ow.ly and ht.lylinks shared over the course of seven days. You can always 180
    • view clicks over a period of 24 hours, a month, and a customdate range. Within this tab, you can also search locations,referral tweets, and popular tweets shared.The secret to high click-through rates involves some of theprinciples that apply to search engine optimization: Write adescriptive and catchy headline that’s relevant to most of yourfollowers and have a network of people who are trulyinterested in hearing from you. In Chapter 7, I discuss whyyou need to have followers who are potential customers and/or fans. Don’t fall for one of those “build your Twitterfollower count fast” programs. You just end up followingother people who fell for the same thing — and you’re alltweeting to each other, without any of you really listening towhat the other ones have to say.Following the right peopleAlthough most of marketing, including Twitter marketing, isa big numbers game, that approach isn’t always successful:More leads don’t always equate to more sales.Direct mail typically has a response rate of 1 percent. So, forevery 100 pieces of mail that you send out, one personresponds. If you want to get 100 responses, you need to sendout 10,000 pieces. If you want 1,000 responses, you need tosend out 100,000 pieces, and so on. 181
    • When you use targeted direct mail, you send mail pieces onlyto people who are likely to buy your product, which canreduce the number of pieces you send and help improve yourresponse rate.Say that you sell gardening tools by catalog. You want tosend those catalogs to people who do gardening becausethey’re more likely to buy your products. You probably sendcatalogs to everyone in a certain Zip code, assuming that theyhave a certain level of disposable income based on theproperty values in that Zip code.However, doing a bit more research, you find out that peoplewho do gardening are commonly either married women orretired men. You can use this information to narrow yourtarget. But your chosen Zip code still includes plenty ofapartments; these folks probably don’t garden. And a lot ofmarried women and retired men don’t garden, either.To further enhance your list, you can consider other elements:people who fill out a survey indicating an interest ingardening, people who subscribe to a gardening magazine,and maybe even people who buy seeds from a seed catalog.Just by defining and refining who your customers are, youcan go from sending out 100,000 catalogs (at, say, $2 apieceto print, plus almost $1 per catalog for sorting and mailingcosts) to sending out 5,000 catalogs only to people who arelikely to buy from you. Instead of getting a typical 0.5 percentresponse rate (500 people responding to 100,000 catalogs)while spending nearly $300,000, targeted marketing makesyou more likely to get a 10 percent response rate (still 500 182
    • people, but responding to only 5,000 catalogs), meaning thatyou have to spend only $15,000.You can boost your Twitter click-through rate by using thissame philosophy. Make sure that you only follow people whoconsider you worth following. Don’t try to boost yourfollower count by following anyone and everyone. Also,don’t get sucked into one of those get-followers-fastprograms. If you have a small group of people who areinterested in you, you’ll have a much higher click-throughrate (and thus, higher sales) than you’d have with a Twitter“empire” of 10,000 followers who couldn’t care less aboutyour tweets.Take it one step further, and block the people who don’t addany value to your Twitter marketing efforts. The followingsections discuss how to block twitterers.Blocking a Twitter spam accountKeep track of the people who start following you. If you haveyour account set up to send you New Follower e-mails, justfollow these steps to block undesirable twitterers:1. When you receive an e-mail notification that someonehas started following you, click the link in the notificatione-mail to go to that person’s Twitter page.If you disable notifications, as I explain in Chapter 5, youhave to periodically go through your list of followers byclicking the Followers link in your account, and then clickingeach person’s Twitter name to access his or her Twitter page. 183
    • 2. Quickly read the person’s bio, read his or her pasttweets, and click the link to his or her Web site to seewhether they’re spammy in nature.Spam on Twitter looks a lot like spam sent through e-mail —get-rich-quick schemes, products that enhance certain bodyparts, porn, and so on.3. If the follower seems spammy, click the Block linkwithin the Actions box.The Actions box is at the top of the Twitter page under thebio. The button looks like a gear with an arrow pointingdown. Click the gear and choose Block.4. If the account is blocked, the green Following buttonwill change to a Blocked button.If you would like to undo your decision to block the account,just click the Undo button.Figuring out which accounts are spammyIf your new Twitter follower is following several hundredpeople, has fewer than a hundred followers, and has sent outabsolutely no tweets, watch out. He or she is either buildingup a fake Twitter identity or setting up one to use with aget-followers-fast system. In either case, you probably aren’tgoing to get much value out of this person as a follower, soblock him or her. You can see an example of this kind ofaccount in Figure 6-11. 184
    • Figure 6-11: Block users who follow hundreds of people,have few followers, and send out no tweets.Getting Twitter involvedIf you find a particularly egregious spammer, report theaccount by following these steps:1. Go to www.twitter.com/spam and follow the @spamaccount.@spam follows you back shortly. The @spam account isTwitter’s spam-reporting account.2. After @spam follows you, send that account a directmessage that includes the spammer’s username. 185
    • Sending a direct message to @spam gives you a way toreport spammers without tipping them off that you just rattedthem out.The Twitter authorities now block the account that wasflagged for spam. If the account is verified as spam, the useris automatically deleted. Do not retweet the entire message a spammer sendswhen DMing the @spam account. You could be flagged anddeleted right along with the disgusting spammer!Using social media–monitoring servicesI talk about social media monitoring extensively in Chapter12, but it’s worth mentioning here, too.To measure the success of your Twitter marketing efforts, ithelps to know whether and where people are talking aboutyour tweets, forwarding your links, or using those linkselsewhere on the Web. You can follow that kind of activity ina few ways: Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts): Have you everGoogled your own name or your company name? Everyonewith Internet access has. But you probably don’t want to do itevery day. Google Alerts saves you some time by notifyingyou about new search results that contain the search termsyou’re interested in. 186
    • Google Alerts sends you e-mails once a day, once a week, orwhen new alerts occur. Those e-mails contain links to newsstories, blogs, Web sites, discussion groups, and even videosthat mention your search terms. See Figure 6-12. Tweet Scan (http://tweetscan.com): Tweet Scan is amicro-blog search service that does for Twitter what GoogleAlerts does for the rest of the Web. It can send you e-mailsand lets you create an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feedthat contains all the results that include your keywords. Theseresults include mentions of your company name or brand, aswell as whether it appears in someone’s tweets or bio.Besides Twitter, Tweet Scan also monitors Identi.ca andStatusNet, two other micro-blogging sites.You can use the service for free directly on the Tweet ScanWeb site, or you can pay for Tweet Scan to send you e-mailalerts. HowSociable (www.howsociable.com): Enter your brandor company name in the search box on the homepage, andthen click the Measure Visibility button to see how manytimes (if at all) it appears on blogs, Facebook, and more than30 outlets. Radian6 (www.radian6.com): Radian6 is a Web-basedsocial media–monitoring program that’s best suited for adagencies and businesses that manage multiple brands andclients. The service isn’t free, but it’s very thorough androbust in terms of its reporting features. 187
    • Scout Labs (www.scoutlabs.com): This is a Web-basedsocial media–monitoring program geared toward small- tomedium-sized businesses (though a few large companies arein its list of clients). You can more easily use Scout Labs thanyou can Radian6, and Scout Labs automates a few morefeatures, including sentiment scoring (good versus bad).Figure 6-12: Google Alerts sends you e-mails automaticallyabout search terms you want to monitor. Cligs (http://cli.gs): Although Cligs is a URL-shorteningservice, it also offers social media monitoring. If someoneretweets your shortened link, shares it on FriendFeed, orincludes it in a blog post, you can find out about it throughCligs.Tracking and Increasing Your Influence on Twitter 188
    • You may have a new product or a solution for a problem thathas arisen, such as the H1N1 virus, unemployment, or killerrobots. But how can you discover whether people are trulyconcerned about that topic? What do you need to do toincrease your influence on Twitter?One great place to find out your overall Twitter impact isTwitalyzer (www.twitalyzer.com). It gives you an idea ofyour level of influence and clout in Twitter, the quality ofyour tweets (called signal-to-noise by Twitalyzer), how muchyou retweet other people’s tweets, and even the rate at whichyou tweet. To get all this valuable information, simply enteryour Twitter username in the text box to the left of theTwitalyze button and click the button, as shown in Figure6-13.Figure 6-13: You can find out a lot about your Twitterimpact through Twitalyzer. 189
    • If you set up a Twitalyzer Pro account, you can also get agood idea of your return on influence. Return on influence isanother way to monitor your return on investment when usingTwitter. After you enter your Twitter username and check outyour Twitalyzer stats, scroll down to the Twitalyzer ProReports and click the Return on Influence link.When you have an understanding of your Twitter impactlevel, you can start to make the most of Twitter trends.Getting in on Twitter trendsTwitter trends are the most talked-about topics on Twitter. Ifyou want to get in on a conversation about a local, national, oreven global topic, you need to find out who’s talking aboutwhat. I talk about Twitter trends extensively in Chapter 10, 190
    • but you can use Twitter trends to see what is popular onTwitter. If you can create enough sensation around a specifictopic (marketing your service), you can gain a lot ofrecognition.For example, say a well-known computer operating systemprovider, Tangerine, releases a new version, 2009, that causesprinters to quit working. You’re a computer repair specialist(your Twitter username is @PittsburghComputers)looking for a way to boost your business. You can use Twittertrends to find the problem, fix it for several people, and boostyour own business as well, by following these steps:1. Do a quick search for Twitter trends by using Twitter’ssearch feature (http://search.twitter.com) or one of themany Twitter trend finders on the Web that I mention inChapter 10.You start to notice that people are complaining about thesame problem related to the operating system update. Forexample, say your search brings up tweets such as thefollowing:kristiekreation: I just installed the#Tangerine09 upgrade, and my printerquit working!aballstudio: The #Tangerine09 updatebroke my printer. 191
    • douglaskarr: Does anyone know why the#Tangerine09 update would make myprinter stop printing?You happen to know the fix consists of a quick patch thatTangerine has already released, followed by a reset of theprinter preferences — all in all, a simple six-step fix.2. Write a blog post about the fix, giving step-by-stepinstructions, complete with screen shots.In your blog post, be sure to include a call to action, like “Ifyou need additional repair work, virus protection, or hardwareupdates, don’t hesitate to contact us,” with the words “contactus” linked to your Web site’s Contact Us form or to youre-mail address.3. Tweet about your blog post and include a shortenedURL link to that post.For example, you might tweetPittsburghComputers: There is a simplepatch and fix to the #Tangerine09update on my blog: http://bit.ly/ee9Zo4. Monitor the trend you start by using TweetDeck’sSaved Search feature, Twitter’s search, or Twitterfall(http://www.twitterfall.com), and respond to every tweetthat mentions your keywords.Before you know it, you’re getting 100 tweets every twominutes from people all around the country who have 192
    • problems with the Tangerine update. That’s way more thanyou expected. Most of these people don’t live in Pittsburgh,so they’re not likely to become your customers. And althoughyou want to help everyone, you need to focus on makingmoney.Because you’re a local business, you need to spend most ofyour time trying to follow your fellow Pittsburghers — or, atleast, create a group or a saved search on your favoriteTwitter application.5. Jump over to Nearby Tweets (http://nearbytweets.com),which lets you search for people who live in a specificgeographic area and who are talking about a certain topic.Look for people in a 20-mile radius around Pittsburgh whoare talking about the #Tangerine09 update issue.You may want to respond to all of those people, whetherthey’re following you or not. However, after a few minutes,you find yourself sending the link to your blog post thatdescribes the fix over and over.Although it seems like you’re helping a lot of people, thosefolks who are unaffected by the Tangerine 2009 issue look atyou like a spammer. So, don’t retweet the same content morethan once.6. Follow all the people who result from the NearbyTweets search, and see whether they follow you back. Ifthey do, send them a direct message with the details aboutthe post on your blog. 193
    • Avoid the temptation of sending out a link to yourblog post as an auto-DM (automatic direct message). I discussthe pros and cons of the auto-DM in Chapter 7, but althoughthe idea may seem like a big timesaver, what if you forget toturn it off? Or what if a group of people follow you, but theyaren’t following you because of this article?7. Track how many times your bit.ly link gets clicked, andmonitor how many times it gets retweeted.To keep tabs on your links, you can use a service calledRetweetist, which I talk about in the following section. If you gain a customer based on marketing throughTwitter, be sure to ask him or her how he or she heard aboutyou. If the customer heard about you on Twitter, keep track ofthis information: Tally all the additional income that resultedfrom that tweet.Tracking retweets with RetweetistRetweetist (www.retweetist.com) helps you further spot andanalyze Twitter trends by sorting tweets based on the numberof times they’ve been retweeted. As you can see in Figure6-14, it lets you find the people who’ve been retweeted themost in the last 24 hours, the URLs that have been retweeted 194
    • the most, and even where your links or your own messageshave been retweeted.Being able to visualize these trends can help you, as a Twittermarketer, because you can find out who the most popularusers are (regardless of their real-life popularity) so that youcan get your tweets in front of them — and hope that theyretweet you.Also, Retweetist enables you to figure out what the mostpopular users did so that you can adapt their techniques toyour own efforts. And it lets you see which of your owntweets did best: Are most of the retweeted links about 5Ways to Solve the Tangerine09 Update orFix the Tangerine09 Update in SixSteps?So, how do you get retweeted more? If you want to showthese influential twitterers, or the influencers in your industryor city, that you can add value to their lives, you have to startretweeting them first.Figure 6-14: Retweetist helps you spot and analyzeretweeting trends. 195
    • If the influencers you’re targeting post interesting tweets,retweet them. If they make interesting points, respond to themthoughtfully. If they write good blog posts, write one inreturn, tweet about it, and include their names in the tweet. Inshort, make sure that you’re in front of them. When youbecome visible and valuable to them, they’re more likely toretweet your stuff. Be sure that your tweets and blog posts are relevantto what the influencer and your followers do. If you’re sellingcosmetics, you probably won’t get retweeted by a socialmedia celebrity, no matter how hard you work at it. Save yourenergies for finding the thought leaders and influencers inyour industry. 196
    • Engaging Others on TwitterThe temptation on Twitter is to get as big a following as youpossibly can. For example, a site like TwitterCounter(http://twittercounter.com) shows you where you rank in thegeneral Twitterati, based on the number of followers youhave.In the beginning of 2009, you could easily break well into thetop 10,000 — usually within the 8,000s — if you had morethan 3,000 followers. Now, thanks to the availability ofget-followers-fast scripts and systems, you’re lucky to breakinto the top 20,000. That’s the problem with many of theseget-followers-fast systems. You aren’t engaged. You’refollowing 9,999 other people who signed up through the samesystem. You don’t care about a single one of them andprobably don’t pay attention to their tweets. And you knowwhat? They don’t care about you, either. So why are youfollowing them? Why are they following you? You shouldn’t,and they shouldn’t.You don’t want a lot of followers if they don’t do anything. Ifanything, you want fewer followers, but ones who actuallycare about you, your product, and your business. The musicbusiness has an old saying that if a band could get 1,000committed followers willing to spend $100 per year, the bandwould make more than if it sold 60,000 CDs per year(because most big-label artists make $1 per CD sold). 197
    • Your business is the same way. You want to get as manycommitted, rabid, evangelistic customers as you can, but youdon’t want to spend your time chasing the hundreds ofthousands of people who frankly don’t give a rat’s fuzzybehind about you. You’ll be much more successful getting a10 percent response rate from 1,000 followers than a 0percent response rate from 1 million. Zero percent of 1million is still zero.Balancing the follow-to-followers ratioYour follow-to-followers ratio (FFR) (also called the TwitterFollower-Friend — or TFF — Ratio by the folks athttp://tffratio.com) is a measure of your Twitter streetcredibility (tweet cred?). It measures the ratio between thenumber of people who follow you compared to the number ofpeople you follow (also called friends), and it’s representedby either a decimal (1.0) or a ratio (1:1).You can find your Twitter FFR by visiting TFF Ratio(http://tffratio.com), entering your Twitter username in theGet TFF Ratio for Twitter User text box, and clicking the GetTFF Ratio button. You can also simply divide the number ofpeople you’re following by the number of people who arefollowing you.In other words, if you follow a lot of people but they don’tfollow you back, you have an FFR of less than 1.0 (0.4:1). Ifyou have an FFR of 10.0 or higher (1:10), TFF Ratio saysyou’re “either a Rock Star in your field or you are an elitistand you cannot be bothered by Twitter’s mindless chatter. . ..” Unless you really care about the person’s tweets, I don’t 198
    • recommend following a lot of people with an FFR of 8 orhigher. Your ideal FFR ratio should be around 1.0 (or 1:1).That ratio means you’re listening as much as you’re beinglistened to. With an FFR around 1.0, you can think of yourselfas the ideal Twitter conversation partner.If your ratio is around 2.0 or higher, you could be a thoughtleader or influencer in your community or an influencer toyour followers because people are interested in what you’retalking about.Reducing your number of Twitter followersTo get to your truly engaged followers, you need to lightenyour load. Sure, it means you have fewer followers, butTwitter is about engagement, not an artificial measurement.Although reducing your number of followers may create afew problems with your FFR (when you unfollow someonewho’s following you, he or she may unfollow you in return),believe me: It’s really not that important. Your FFR is goingto fluctuate as you get started and get things rolling, but it willeventually grow while you improve your Twitter brand.Unfollowing with Twitter KarmaTo trim the fat and reduce unnecessary followers, followthese steps: 199
    • 1. Visit Twitter Karma (www.dossy.org/twitter/karma) andclick the Sign In with Twitter button.2. As shown in Figure 6-15, select Last Updated from theSort By drop-down list and select Only Following fromthe Show drop-down list.3. Select the check boxes to the left of the usernames of thepeople whose last update was over 60 to 90 days ago.People who haven’t updated their Twitter accounts in thatlong probably have abandoned them and, despite your bestefforts, aren’t likely to become your customers — they’requite possibly never going to sign in to Twitter again.Figure 6-15: Twitter Karma lets you unfollow, follow, orblock people in bulk on Twitter. 200
    • 4. Unfollow the users who are not active on Twitter.You are going to have to unfollow each user one by one, butdon’t fret! This simple action is going to make your Twitterexperience that much better!You can further narrow your followers by removing peoplewho have only a few followers:1. Go to Twitter Karma and log in by clicking the Sign Inwith Twitter button.If you’re already on Twitter Karma, click the Refresh buttonto refresh the page and pull up your network again.2. Select Follower Count from the Sort By drop-down list,and select Only Following from the Show drop-down list.3. Find the people who have only a few followers.They probably aren’t very active, but you can check theprofile of a twitterer who has few followers by right-clickinghis or her link to visit his or her Twitter page.4. Unfollow the users who are not active and have fewfollowers.You need a mirror for the last follower-narrowing process.Look deeply into it, and with all the sincerity you can muster,say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it,they don’t have to like me!” 201
    • Finally, remove people who have tons of followers but followonly a few people (the cewebrities) by following these steps:1. Go to Twitter Karma and log in by clicking the Sign Inwith Twitter button.If you’re already on Twitter Karma, click the Refresh buttonto refresh the page and pull up your network again.2. Select Follower Count from the Sort By drop-down list,and select Only Following from the Show drop-down list.3. Unfollow the people who decided to follow a smallamount of people. If you really want the latest celebrity insights, hangonto them. But remember, they’re most likely not going toretweet you, buy from you, or be interested in you. Theybasically don’t add value to your business, so why waste yourtime on them? Arm yourself with patience when you’reunfollowing people. Because of the way Twitter works, usingTwitter Karma can be a lengthy process — but it’s one worthyour time.Unfollowing with Twitoria 202
    • You can also identify people to unfollow by using Twitoria(http://twitoria.com), but it’s a little more labor intensive thanTwitter Karma:1. Visit Twitoria, enter your Twitter username in the textbox, and select a threshold of your followers’ last tweets(two months ago, one month ago, two weeks ago, and soon) from the drop-down list.A list of people who fit the criteria you selected appears.2. Click or mouse over the name of each person whoappears to check out his or her Twitter homepage.You can peruse this person’s past tweets and bio to seewhether you can get any indication of why you shouldcontinue to follow him or her. If you can’t find one, unfollowthis person on Twitter.3. Click the Next button at the lower right of your screenand repeat Step 2.Keep clicking the Next button until you have no more peoplewho meet your inactivity criteria. Unfollow people who have never tweeted, orhaven’t tweeted in more than two or three months, becausechances are, they aren’t going to start. And if they do jumpback into Twitter, they’ll start following people again, andthey’ll find you. 203
    • So, what do you do if your FFR suffers as a result of yourbulk unfollowing efforts? I recommend that you stick withfewer followers who love and adore you.If you want to be truly successful and play the numbers game,try to find more and more people who think you’re great andwant to pay attention to you. I discuss how to find qualifiedfollowers in Chapter 7, which can help you find followers youwant as your customers, not people who are clogging up yourvirtual space. 204
    • Part IIIDevising Online Strategies for Twitter Marketing DominationIn this part . . . 205
    • So, you’ve created a mind-blowing, life-altering, andbusiness-changing marketing plan for Twitter that canincrease leads and the amount of cash in your pocketbook.But you need to figure out the specific strategies that you canuse to gain followers and dominate the market on Twitter.Say it again — how do you dominate the Twitter world? Howdo you lead all your Twitterati to spread the word about yourbrand?People who know how to qualify and measure theeffectiveness of their followers have a huge marketingadvantage. How do you build a network that shouts to theheavens about your product or service? Flip through this partto find out. 206
    • Chapter 7Building Your Personal Twitter TribeIn This Chapter Developing your network on Twitter Choosing quality of connections or quantity Considering whether to use automatic direct messagesThe problem most people have with Twitter is that they startan account, but they don’t follow up with it. They add acouple of friends, post a few tweets, and then give up, sayingit didn’t work for them. In fact, according to some studies, asmany as 17 percent of all Twitter accounts have sent only onetweet over the past month. If you dive even further into thestats, you see that 10–15 million Twitter users produce themajority of the content. Millions of people use Twitter, andyou need to get some of them to follow you.When you use Twitter, you have an expectation that if youfollow someone, that person will follow you back. Thisdoesn’t always happen, but it does a large part of the time —especially if you’re a real person following real people. But ifyou’re a spammer or you look like you’re on Twitter to sendnothing but commercial tweets, you don’t get manyfollow-backs.In this chapter, I discuss several ways that you can build yourTwitter network, which can help you market and sell yourproduct or service. 207
    • Building Your Twitter NetworkYou can build your network in several ways. Depending onyour attitude toward the sanctity of Twitter, you can eitheradd people organically (manually following people when youfind them to be a good fit for your marketing goals) orartificially (by letting software plug-ins and other tricks dopart of the work).Although you can use the artificial means to build yournetwork of followers quickly, you won’t necessarily have anetwork of people who are interested in following you. If youuse an artificial method to gain followers, you run two risks: People will overlook your messages in the mire of all theother artificial twitterers, sort of like having a TV commercialon a channel that shows only TV commercials. The only people who will follow you are other Twittermarketers and people who have systems on how to getthousands of Twitter followers quickly, like having acommercial that’s seen only by other advertisers.Determining the best way to build your networkAn organic network takes a long time to build. You find yourfriends and colleagues, you find people who are interested inwhat you have to say, and after a while, you eventually builda network of people who are truly interested in what you do.The problem is that it takes quite a while to build a networkorganically. 208
    • You can ramp up your network by adding a couple hundredfollowers a day, but you usually get those followers by usinga plug-in to your browser or a Web site made up of followerswho want to juice up their follower stats by following eachother. You can even pay to become a VIP on some sites,which quickly boosts your follower count. While building your organic network can take along time, a bigger downside exists to having artificialfollowers: These people don’t actually care about you or whatyou think or write.However you choose to build your followers, keep thefollowing points in mind: Your follower/following ratio: Twitter wants to makesure that you don’t start following too many people withouthaving many people follow you back. Twitter does it tocontrol spammers who hope to game the system by followingtens of thousands of people at the same time, hoping that aportion of those people will follow back. So, Twitter neverlets you have a large difference between the people who arefollowing and your followers. The Twitter folks call it theaggressive follower churn rate.For example, if you have 1,000 followers and you arefollowing 2,500, it looks as if you are trying to buildfollowers to spam them. Figure 7-1 shows you an account thathas a huge difference between the followers and the 209
    • following. This account will more than likely be targeted asspam. Limited followers: As a way to prevent spam, Twitter hasalso limited the number of people you can follow in a singleday to 1,000. So, even if you do try to game the systemthrough artificial means, Twitter still lets you follow only1,000 people per day.Figure 7-1: This user is following more than double thefollowers, and the tweets are about a sweepstakes.Finding friends and professional contactsYou can find your friends and colleagues on Twitter in twoways: 210
    • After you have signed in, click the Who to Follow linkat the top of the page. This link takes you to the Find Peoplepage, where you can use the search box to find users by nameand people with similar interests that you want to follow orpeople whom you don’t have any other way to reach. Whenyou find the person you want to follow, click the Followbutton next to his or her name to follow that person.When you do a search, you may end up with many names (ifyou’re looking for John Smith, forget about it) and not knowwhich one is the right person. When you click the user’sTwitter name, his or her profile opens to the right of thescreen. Then you can check out that twitterer’s bio andlocation to see whether this is the person you want. If it is,click the Follow button. If your mouse has a scroll wheel and you’re usingFirefox (www.mozilla.com), you can click the scroll wheel toopen a tab underneath the one you’re looking at withoutdisrupting your flow. If you’re using a Mac, you can alsoopen a new tab without a mouse by pressing /> and clickingthe link that you want to open on the new tab. Import your e-mail contacts list. You can import e-maillists from Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, LinkedIn, and AOL. Youcan choose whether to follow people on your contacts list.If you keep different e-mail accounts on Gmail, Yahoo!,Hotmail, LinkedIn, and AOL, repeat the process to importyour contacts list for each e-mail account. Be sure to import 211
    • your e-mail contacts every three months or so because peoplejoin Twitter all the time. Before you import your e-mail contacts intoTwitter, consider importing all your various contacts into oneaccount and then cleaning up the contacts by getting rid ofduplicates, combining multiple e-mail addresses for the sameperson under one name, and cleaning out the addresses ofpeople you don’t keep in touch with. This good e-mailmanagement can make your life a lot easier.After you follow your friends, go to your Twitter homepageand click the Following link in your profile. Even if they areyour friends in real life, keep your eyes open for people whodon’t have a photo for an avatar. If it’s still the generic eggsymbol, click the person’s name and view his or her profilepreview. Check out his or her past tweets and followers. Ifthis person hasn’t tweeted for several months, he or she hasonly a few followers, or it otherwise looks like an abandonedaccount, unfollow that person by clicking the green Followingbutton. When the button turns to a Follow button, you havesuccessfully unfollowed the user.Searching for followers based on interests and keywordsSome applications let you find people you should followbased on your own interests, who your friends follow, andeven keyword searches: 212
    • Listorious (www.listorious.com): This site helps youexpand your Twitter fiefdom by finding users who aregrouped in lists or have certain keywords associated withthem. By using the search function on the homepage of theWeb site, you can find users grouped in certain areas likeactivism and charity. By clicking the keyword, Listoriousfinds people associated with that keyword, as you can see inFigure 7-2. Twitter Grader (www.twittergrader.com): Not only canyou grade your Twitter profile (so that you can see how yourank, compared to other twitterers) on Twitter Grader, but thissite can also help you find members of the Twitter elite basedon a city, state, country, or even across the globe. (No oneseems to call them Twelite. Sorry.) The Twitter Graderranking takes into account factors such as the number andpower of followers, the number and recency of updates, thefollower/following ratio, and how often your tweets getretweeted.Figure 7-2: Listorious can help expand your Twitterinfluence. 213
    • Identifying industry leaders and evangelistsNearly every industry has its leaders and evangelists. Thesepeople write the articles in the trade journals, get invited togive keynote speeches and presentations at conferences, andget interviewed by media as industry experts. They write thebooks about their field, and everyone knows who they are.These people are the thought leaders and idea makers. Youcan find these leaders just by doing a simple name search onTwitter’s Find People – Who to Follow page and followingthem.You can also build your own brand and reputation if youbegin conversations with these leaders and evangelists.Retweet their stories, tweet links to their articles, and askthem questions. The following Web sites can help you findleaders in your field: 214
    • Twollow (www.twollow.com): Do a search for specifickeywords and automatically follow people who use thosekeywords in their tweets. Twollow is a great service thatrequires you to pay a fee after your 7-day free trial hasexpired. If you don’t upgrade your account, Twollow willupgrade the account automatically to the Bronze package.Keep this in mind and remember to delete or upgrade. TweepSearch (www.tweepsearch.com): Search tweets orprofile bios for specific keywords, and get a list of people youcan follow. You can search for keywords that can pull usersinto a list for you to peruse! You can also download a .csvfile of the list, as you can see in Figure 7-3.Figure 7-3: TweepSearch lets you easily find people andexport the information to a .csv file. 215
    • Hunting down your competitionBecause you’re reading this book, I assume that the mainreason you’re on Twitter is to promote your product orservice to potential customers. Your competitors are onTwitter for that reason, too. So, why not keep an eye on themand see what they’re saying? Hopefully, you’ve been keepingtrack of your competition anyway, and you know who theplayers are in your field. Do a search for them by usingTwitter’s Find People – Who to Follow page and Searchfeatures (http://search.twitter.com), or use some of the toolsdescribed in the section. 216
    • If you’re using TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com),create a group for people in your industry whom you want tokeep track of, such as industry leaders, evangelists, importantcustomers, and even your competition.If your industry doesn’t have any leaders, maybe you canbecome one. Build a following of people in your industry, andthen blog and tweet about the issues in your industry. Severalexcellent books discuss how to become an expert in yourfield: Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Fieldand Attract More Business With Less Effort, by Steven VanYoder (Bay Tree Publishing) How to Position Yourself as the Obvious Expert, by ElsomEldridge Jr. and Mark L. Eldridge (MasterMind Publishing,LLC) How to Become an Expert on Anything in Two Hours, byGregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch (AMACOM)You can find many others, too — just use the one that suitsyou.Finding the localsYou can find twitterers in your area, or even in your chosenfield, in a number of ways. Here are a few applications that letyou find people you want to follow: 217
    • Twellow (www.twellow.com): This is the Twitter YellowPages. Search for people by industry or name, or even use theinteractive map to find people located in cities that matter toyou. If you’re into celebrity watching, Twellow helps youfind them. You can also do a search for different terms,instead of just browsing categories. Nearby Tweets (www.nearbytweets.com): This Web sitelets you search for people in your chosen location as well asfor keywords as a way to filter your search results. Want tofind all the twitterers who sell ice cream in Cincinnati, Ohio?Nearby Tweets can do it for you. TwitterLocal (www.twitterlocal.net): You can downloadthis Adobe AIR application. (TweetDeck also uses AdobeAIR, which is platform-agnostic.) You can use TwitterLocalto find out when people from your chosen area send tweets.(Remember, TwitterLocal can find people only if the localtwitterers list their locations in their profiles.)Following #FollowFridayFollow Friday, also called #FollowFriday, is an Internetmeme (an idea or concept that spreads from person to personby word of mouth). You send out a tweet that lists people youthink your followers should also follow, but you send thistweet only on a Friday. (I get rather annoyed when people#FollowFriday on any day other than a Friday.) As partof your tweet, do not forget to include the#FollowFriday (or the shorter #FF) hashtag, as shownin the examples in Figure 7-4. 218
    • Figure 7-4: Here are some examples of #FollowFridaytweets.Most people rattle off the names of a group of twittererswithout saying why they think those people are worthfollowing. But say why someone should be followed in yourown #FollowFriday tweets. For example, the followingtweet shows a #FollowFriday tweet that relays goodjudgment:@kyleplacy Two of the better contentwriters on the planet: @askmanny@edeckers #followfridayBy creating a tweet that had two names instead of six, Iallowed for the #FollowFriday to be more significant. 219
    • Of course, it’s considered good manners to thankthe people who listed you in their #FollowFriday tweets,or you can just list them in your next #FollowFridaytweet.Determining who’s worth followingNot everyone is worth following. This doesn’t mean thatthese folks are bad people; they just don’t provide the valueyou need to promote and grow your business. Maybe theytweet about subject areas that don’t interest you. Maybe theyhave nothing but special offers, sales, and spam. Maybe theyrepeat the same three messages over and over in the hopes ofsnaring someone. When you visit a user’s Twitter homepage,check out these three things to see whether someone is worthfollowing: The person’s tweet-to-follower ratio: If someone hasmore than a few hundred followers and absolutely no tweets,he or she is using one of those get-followers-fast programs Imention in Chapter 6. At best, this person is using Twitterincorrectly; at worst, it’s a fake account used to spread spam.If the person fits this description, don’t follow him or her. Ifsomeone has a lot of tweets and followers, he or she isprobably a real user. Check out the next two bullets to seewhether this person is still someone worth following. The person’s follower-to-followed ratio: If the personhas significantly more followers than the people he or shefollows (for example, someone who’s followed by thousands 220
    • but follows fewer than 100), this person probably won’tfollow you back. Don’t bother following this person, unlesshe or she is someone you truly want to follow.If the person you’re checking out has a lot of followers and alot of tweets, he or she might be a real Twitter user. Look tosee what this person tweets about. Does he or she send out abunch of spam and commercial tweets? Or are his or hertweets conversational and useful? If it’s the latter, follow thatperson. The person’s bio: What does this person do? Look forpeople who share your interests, profession, or industry. Be very wary of following twitterers whose tweetsare adult in nature, given the proclivity of porn sitescontrolled by criminals and hackers who want to unleashviruses, Trojan horses, and spyware onto your computer.Twitter links to adult sites may take you to some of theseinfected sites and unleash all kinds of harmful programs ontoyour computer.Quantity over QualityThe Twitterati have a raging debate about whether you shouldhave a huge Twitter following or focus more on having asmaller number of loyal fans who truly care about what youhave to say. Here’s the lowdown on thequality-versus-quantity debate: 221
    • Quality: Many Twitterati point to quality as the argumentwhy you should have fewer people who are loyal fans, ratherthan thousands of followers. In other words, you’re moresuccessful with a 10 percent response rate from 1,000followers than a 0 percent response rate from a million. Quantity: Other Twitterati, however, say that Twitter hasan average click-through rate (when someone clicks a linkwithin a tweet) that ranges between 1 and 4 percent. So, onaverage, 2 out of every 100 people who receive a tweet thatincludes a URL actually click that URL. If you have 100followers (for the sake of argument), 2 people will click theURL; if you have 1,000 followers, 20 will click; and 10,000followers will equal 200 clicks.“So,” say the quantity folks, “the more followers you have,the more clicks you get. It’s a numbers game.”“But you can get 400 clicks by having 800 people whoactually like you,” counter the quality backers.And then the two groups stamp their little feet and threatennot to be each other’s friend anymore until they can resolvetheir differences.But then the cool kids come along and say it’s possible —necessary, in fact — to have both. You need a lot of qualityfollowers — as many as you can get.Understanding the value of quantity in the TwitterverseIn the section “Building Your Twitter Network,” earlier inthis chapter, I talk about how artificially building your Twitter 222
    • following can give you a false sense of accomplishment —you have a lot of people following you, but not a lot of themcare about what you have to say. However, having a largefollowing does have some benefit because you have a goodchance of reaching a larger number of people.According to some informal research done by one of thesocial media companies I am involved with, the averageTwitter click-through rate is roughly 4 percent. This is a greatthing to keep in mind when you consider that direct-mail openrates are 1 to 2 percent and e-mail open-and-read rates arenotoriously difficult to accurately calculate (because differentpeople quote different rates). According to e-mail marketingfirm ExactTarget (www.exacttarget.com), e-mail open ratescan range between 12 and 22 percent.So, although you may originally look down on the idea of listbuilding, keep in mind that a 20 percent read rate from 1,000followers who love and adore you is more powerful than a 20percent read rate with 10,000 followers who kind of knowyou.Following the rules for building a quantity-based networkOkay, this section isn’t so much about rules as it is theetiquette for building a large network of followers.The most important rule is that you’re expected to earn yourfollowers, not get them through computer scripts andlist-building Web sites. Visit people’s Twitter homepages,click the people they’re following, and investigate eachperson to see who’s worth following. (See the section 223
    • “Determining who’s worth following,” earlier in this chapter,for guidance.)The other rule is that if you’re going to follow a lot of people,you should provide value to them. Value in this contextdoesn’t mean giving them 10 percent off their next purchaseat your Web site. It means actually sharing ideas and givingthem information that makes their lives better or gives themnew knowledge.Understanding the negative side of list buildingAlthough building a big list of people you follow can increaseyour odds of selling your product or service, consider a fewbig cons (not the big cons you usually find in prison movies,though): You’ll seem disingenuous. People can easily spot listspammers because they’re the ones following 1,500 peoplewith only 150 followers (who are probably people whoauto-follow everyone) and absolutely no tweets. Twittererscommonly block list spammers. Blocking keeps your tweets from appearing in theother person’s timeline. If enough people block you, Twitterwill drop your account. So don’t even try to play the “gettingblocked” game. You’ll end up filling your list with a lot of Internetmarketers and spammers. These people’s only interest is 224
    • getting their message out to a lot of people — the same asyou. So, you end up sending a message to thousands ofpeople who ignore it — same as you ignore their messages. While you add more followers, you’ll also be followingmore people. Although following a lot of people can exposeyou to interesting people (some of whom may turn into yourcustomers), you may find it hard to keep up with people youreally want to hear from. You can find solutions to thisproblem, such as creating groups on TweetDeck(http://tweetdeck.com), but keeping your groups in goodshape can be a challenging at times.Building the following that your business needsIf you’re trying to build a following for your business, youjust need to find your customers. Figure out who your typicalcustomer is, where he or she is from, what he or she likes, andso on.For example, if you’re an ice cream shop owner in Cincinnati,you want to follow only people who live in the Queen City.You don’t care about people in Cleveland, Dayton, orZanesville. Sure, they’re nice people, but they aren’t going todrive all the way to Cincinnati for ice cream. (Maybe youcould ship it. . . . )Similarly, if you sell poultry-feeding equipment to people allover the world but don’t sell a single bolt in your hometown,you aren’t as interested in people who live within 10 miles ofyour city (unless your business happens to be a few blocksfrom a major poultry farm). You want anyone and everyone 225
    • who’s in the poultry industry, so search for them with a toolsuch as Twollow or Listorious.Qualifying out of the quantifiedYou can add a bunch of people to your Twitter tribe, but howdo you know whom you really need to reach? Pay attention tothe people who engage in conversations on Twitter. Keeptrack of how often they tweet (if they tweet at all) and howrelevant their messages are to you. Use a resource such asTwitter Karma (www.dossy.org/twitter/karma) to see whetherand when they last tweeted.Then — and I hate to say it — drop the people who don’t doanything. If you find that one-third of the people you’refollowing have never tweeted even once, they aren’t going to.If you see that several people haven’t sent a tweet after theirinitial trying to figure out this Twitterthing message, they aren’t going to. Stop following themand find more people who are worth following.The people who never tweet hurt your click-through rate.Because they aren’t likely to be using Twitter (to tweet), theyare also not likely to even see your tweets and click any linksyou include in them, as a result. If you have 1,000 followersand 250 of them don’t do anything, you are better off axingthose 250 followers from your list. Your list of followersagainst which your click-through rate gets calculated willcome down to 750, which will result in a higher click-throughrate.Yes, your click-through rate is mostly an artificial number.So, a high click-through rate doesn’t guarantee success. But, 226
    • if you have to prove to other people that this strategy works,you don’t want to have a lower click-through rate than youactually deserve. Remember, 40 clicks out of 1,000 is lessthan 40 clicks out of 750: 4 percent versus 5.33 percent.You also want to get rid of the followers who don’t actuallyprovide you with any value because they probably aren’tgoing to be customers. These are the folks who send outnothing but spam; keep responding to every Twitter app andquiz, and then send out the results; or tweet that they’ve founda way to increase your follower count. No need to waste yoursocial media efforts on them, either. One way to increase the number of twitterers thatyou can follow is to get more people to follow you. Anotherway is to drop the people who aren’t even using Twitter sothat you can engage with people who are. By dropping thepeople you follow who aren’t following you, you reduce yourfollowing count, and you can fill it back up with qualitytwitterers.The Pros and Cons of Auto-DMsDirect messages (also called DMs) are tweets that you sendout to a follower that only he or she can see. Whereas othertweets are public to all your followers, the DM is a privatemessage that functions like an e-mail, but with 140characters. 227
    • An auto-DM is an automatic response that you can send tosomeone who follows you. You can set up auto-DMs byusing a Web site service such as SocialOomph(www.socialoomph.com) or software packages such as TweetAdder (http://tweetadder.com).However, keep in mind that sites that help automate tasks onTwitter, such as SocialToo (www.socialtoo.com), havedropped support of auto-DMs because most people don’t likethem. You can find my Stop Auto DM petition (shown inFigure 7-5) in the top results of a Google search for Twitterauto DM.Figure 7-5: I started a Stop Auto DM petition in late 2008,and it continues to grow in 2011. 228
    • You may want to use an auto-DM at times, although youshouldn’t that often. Here are a few reasons to use auto-DMs: Time management: If you use auto-DMs, you can saveyourself a lot of time sending thank-you messages to newfollowers, introducing your product or service to people andsending links to your Web site to help build your readershipor Web traffic. Fast and timely responses to followers: If you like torespond to new followers, you can set up an auto-DM so thatyou immediately send a welcome message to each newfollower. An auto-DM is one of those “set it and forget it”features for Twitter. Set it once, type in a message thatincludes a link to your Web site, and then just measure howmany clicks you get. You can even consider changing yourmessage and link every 30 days to measure which phrasinggets the best results. Don’t use auto-DMs too often. In fact, the reasonsnot to use them far outweigh the reasons to use them: Brand degradation: A lot of people may use auto-DMs,but most twitterers don’t like getting them. If you sendimpersonal auto-DMs to people, they aren’t going to respectyou or your brand very much, much in the same way as theywouldn’t start a conversation with a robot. Looking lazy: Although you may see auto-DMs as a wayto save time, others may see you as lazy. 229
    • Impersonal touch: Twitter is all about personalconversations. You can’t start a personal conversation bysending a form tweet to anyone and everyone.In short, I’m not a fan of auto-DMs. People have some validarguments in favor of auto-DMs, but you can find a lot moremade against them. If you want to be a successful Twittermarketer, don’t sabotage yourself right out of the box withnew followers by sending them auto-DMs. 230
    • Chapter 8Leveraging Your Twitter TribeIn This Chapter Understanding the value of the retweet Tracking trends with TwitterCounter and Qwitter Treating your followers with respectYour Twitter tribe is your followers, an empire of people whohave opted to receive your updates and content. Yourfollowers are the most valuable thing to your business,product, or service in the Twitter world. They make upindividuals who may have a need for your products orservices, people in your general area, and other professionalsin your industry. This chapter describes how to convince themto share your message with their friends.Your Twitter tribe comprises a vast network of peopleconnected in one simple way: They are all Twitter users. Ifyou handle it correctly, you can use this network to produce ahuge marketing push that could potentially drive visitors and(eventually) revenue to your place of business. Your tribe canbuild Web site traffic or send people your way who’ll buyyour products or services.This chapter helps you track your followers, measure theinfluence of your network on your business, and encourageyour followers to share your content. Remember, content is 231
    • the queen bee of the Internet, and Twitter is a powerful meansof sharing that content.The Power of the RetweetA retweet sounds like the call a bird makes to respond toanother bird. (Perhaps you heard it’s popular among bluebirdsand cardinals.) When you retweet, you tweet a message thatwas previously posted by another user — in other words,you’re quoting another user or echoing that person’s thoughts.Depending on your desktop application, to show that you’reretweeting, you can use the common format RT @usernameand then type or paste the original poster’s message.Applications such as twhirl (www.twhirl.org) give you achoice among four different retweet formats.People commonly retweet so that they can share content theyfound valuable. For example, you may see a retweet thatlooks like Figure 8-1.Figure 8-1 shows that I loved the post by @rickerstoresand deemed it valuable enough to share with my followers.You can make retweeting work for you if you can convinceyour tribe to share your information with their networks.Some good examples of retweet-worthy tweets are as follows:RT @arnteriksen: “Cheating: PR firm hasinterns post positive reviews forclients” http://tinyurl.com/nebl68 (via@amandachapel) 232
    • RT @BobWarren: NEED A LAUGH? 30 Ways toLose a Job on Twitter http://bit.ly/96CrYxRT @BarbaraJones: I know you’resupposed to ‘work smarter, notharder’--anybody figure that out yet?(no. Lol)RT @TechCrunch Twitter Can Now KnowWhere You Tweet http://tcrn.ch/avSpo5Figure 8-1: This is an example of a retweet.This type of sharing is viral marketing, which means usingmarketing techniques with social networks (such as Twitter) 233
    • to increase brand awareness or to achieve other marketingobjectives (such as product sales) through self-replicatingviral processes. In layman’s terms, viral marketing means thatif you tell Sally about a product and she tells three of herfriends, those three people could potentially tell ten people,and so on. (The idea is rather like the game Six Degrees ofKevin Bacon.) On Twitter, viral marketing takes the form ofretweets.Discovering the art of retweetingThe art of retweeting isn’t a sappy rendition of a MichaelBolton song, nor is it a Picasso painting depicting the Twitterbird. The art of retweeting involves concepts that you canapply to retweeting so that you can exponentially increaseyour effectiveness when you use the retweet function. Idiscuss the rules of retweeting in the following sections.Using the proper format for the retweetYou want to retweet because the world of social media andtools such as Twitter are built on the concept of contentsharing. Without sharing content and adding value, you can’tgain traction in the Twitter world.As discussed previously, you indicate that you’re retweeting apost by typing RT (or via) and the name of the originalposter (@rickerstores in Figure 8-1).@rickerstores shared a blog post of his own for otherpeople to read.After identifying the original twitterer, the retweet post showsthe title of the blog entry posted by @rickerstores; the 234
    • URL (the link to the blog post); and finally, the retweeter’spersonal thoughts on the blog post. An alternative way toretweet is to start with your own thoughts, followed by thetitle of the blog entry and the link to the blog post, and closethe tweet by typing via and the name of the original poster,as shown in Figure 8-2.You can write a retweet in the right or the wrong way. Notcrediting the original twitterer is an example of retweeting thewrong way. Next, I suggest that you follow a few rules of theretweet if you want to retweet the right way.Example of the wrong way to retweet:RT @Minervity: Fresh Web and Graphicand Development Information andTutorials (RSS Feed) –http://feeds.feedburner.com/MinervityFigure 8-2: A properly written retweet gives credit to theoriginal Twitterer. 235
    • A couple of reasons why the preceding retweet is terrible arethat The full URL was used at the end of the retweet. Youshould always shorten anything that could be retweeted. Too much content is stuffed into this retweet. The title ofthe tutorials should have been shortened for easier retweet byother people.Obeying the rules of the retweetThe following list describes the rules you must follow to be asuccessful retweeter and to write tweets that your followerscan easily retweet: 236
    • Read before you retweet. If you retweet everything justfor the simple fact of gaining more followers, you canbecome annoying to the point where people may stopfollowing you. There is no point in following a machine thatonly repeats what others say . . . much less, following amachine that repeats everything others say.An example of a nonread retweet:@kyleplacy: RT @arnteriksen: “I hateeverything about Twitter.”This tweet is awful because I actually love Twitter! The onlyreason I retweeted @arnteriksen’s tweet is because hehas a ton of followers. If you don’t read the tweet beforesending it out, you risk losing followers. Leave room in your tweets for your followers toretweet. When posting your own content, be sure to makeyour tweets short enough to leave room for multipleretweeters. You want to make it as easy as possible for peopleto share your content. Try to keep your original tweets to around 75 to100 characters so that others can retweet your content. Share others’ content. Retweet posts from people withwhom you want to build a relationship on Twitter. This ruledoesn’t negate the first rule (read before you retweet), butothers appreciate it when you retweet their posts. This is 237
    • particularly true when you retweet a post by someone who isnot a Twitter celebrity with follower figures in the five andsix digits. It helps expose these folks to your followers andbuild their influence on Twitter.Connecting with your evangelistsIn the Twitter world, evangelists are the people who shareyour content the most. Twitter evangelists are valuablebecause they love your content, and they aren’t afraid to tellpeople about it! Focus on your Twitter evangelists when youhave content you want to share: You can now and then sendthem a direct message letting them know about new tweetsthey may be interested in. Be sure to periodically retweet your evangelists’content with the same verve that they show toward yourcontent.How do you find your Twitter evangelists? Keep track of whoretweets your content. If you start seeing a Twitter namepopping up every so often with your content, you’ve found anevangelist. Be sure to thank this person for sharing yourcontent and return the favor.Tracking Your Followers by Using TwitterCounterTwitterCounter (http://twittercounter.com) is a Web site thatallows you, the user, to generate a graph that gives you anoverview of the number of followers you’ve earned in a 238
    • specific time period. If you want to know how many usersstarted to follow you yesterday, TwitterCounter can help you.If you’re familiar with the blog-reader counter GoogleFeedBurner (www.feedburner.com), you have a general ideaof how TwitterCounter works. The following sections explainhow you can sign up with TwitterCounter and use it to trackyour followers, track your competition’s followers, andpinpoint the evangelists among your Twitter followers.Signing up for TwitterCounterYou can easily sign up to use the TwitterCounter service; justfollow these steps:1. Open your browser and go to http://twittercounter.com.The TwitterCounter Web site opens, displaying a randomTwitter user’s stats and graph.2. Enter your Twitter name in the blue box that says, “IAm @_______ on Twitter, Show Me my Twitter Stats.”The An Application Would Like to Connect to Your Accountwindow appears. This page loads in a pop-up window.3. Click the red Show Me button.4. Click the Allow button.This allows TwitterCounter to pull your Twitter statsautomatically every time you return to the site. After you 239
    • click the button, the pop-up box closes and you are taken toyour TwitterCounter Settings page, as shown in Figure 8-3.5. Select the three check boxes on the General Settings tabunder your e-mail.These check boxes are Email a Weekly Stats Update ,Automatically Follow Featured Users, and Count MyRetweets.6. Click the Save Settings button.TwitterCounter saves your settings, and you can now click theMy Stats button (at the top of the page) to view your stats.TwitterCounter helps you track your Twitter stats andcompare them to those of your competition. You can comparethe number of followers, friends, and updates with as many astwo other Twitter users, as shown in Figure 8-4. Thisinformation can help your Twitter marketing plan when itcomes to tracking the success rate of your followers and yourcontent.Figure 8-3: The General Settings page lets you set upTwitterCounter. 240
    • Figure 8-4: Twitter user @kyleplacy compares his followerstats to @askmanny and @edeckers. 241
    • Adding a TwitterCounter button to your Web siteYou can add a TwitterCounter button to your blog or Website. When visitors to your site click it, they are taken toyour TwitterCounter homepage. By adding a TwitterCounterbutton, you show in your blog (your central online contenthub) how many people follow you on Twitter. If any Twitterusers who are not currently following you visit your blog,thanks to the button, they learn about your Twitter accountand how many other people follow it. To add aTwitterCounter button to your blog or Web site, follow thesesteps: 242
    • 1. Click the My Buttons tab at the top of theTwitterCounter page.The button is located above your TwitterCounter statsdetails. As shown in the following figure, when you clickthe button, a new page loads, displaying different buttonsand widgets that you can embed on your Web site, blog, orsocial network profile page (outside of Twitter).2. Edit the Twitter username, text color, and backgroundcolor of the button.3. Click the green Generate Preview & Code button.The preview of your button and the source code appears onthe right side of the screen.4. Copy the script or code, and post or embed the codeinto your desired social network. 243
    • Searching for followers using TwitterCounterTwitterCounter offers a ton of great resources for tracking,updating, and comparing your Twitter account with theoverall database. It also offers ways to gain more followersusing the tool in different ways. Become a featured user. TwitterCounter offers a serviceto help advertise your Twitter account to the users of theTwitterCounter site. The premium service (or ad placement)is a great way to gain followers. For different pricingstructures (monthly or one-time accounts), you can be givenfrom 15,000 views to 5,000,000 views. Compare accounts and follow back. Compare differentaccounts that may be competitors to your Twitter account and 244
    • follow their featured users. This is a great competitiveadvantage when it comes to measuring influence on theTwitter site. Use the Ranking function to follow influencers. The siteincludes a list of the top 100 twitterers and the top 100 lists aswell as global ranks of Twitter users. Follow the influencersand use options in this book to get them to talk about yourTwitter account! Predict follow size. TwitterCounter also gives youpredictions on the different sizes of your followers based onyour past growth. This can be used to track size and rank overthe course of a certain time period.TwitterCounter may be a better tracking system then afollower growth system, but the tools can be used to growyour Twitter account. With growth comes traffic, and withtraffic comes increase in sales.Viewing your follower growth on TwitterCounterAfter you sign up with TwitterCounter, you can use it to trackyour followers and the growth of your list of followers. Thefollowing list describes what makes TwitterCounter importantto your Twitter marketing road map and shows how it helpsyou reach your goals: Track your follower count. You need to track how manyfollowers you gain over different periods of time so that youcan figure out what type of content your Twitter followers aremost interested in as well as what kind of content will helpincrease your number of followers. You can view your stats 245
    • and find out when you gained the most followers (althoughyou still have to figure out why). Over a period of time, Ihave figured out that my followers enjoy content surroundingthe topic of social media. An example of the content that isbest received is quotes like this:RT @kyleplacy Social media is aboutportability and experiencesRT @kyleplacy 5 Tips to a MoreProductive Social Media Lifehttp://bit.ly/2904RT @kyleplacy Your customer is onsocial media and they do not care aboutyour ROI Compare your follower growth rate to others.TwitterCounter has a great feature that allows you to compareyour growth rate to other people who use TwitterCounter. Inthe Compare text box below the graph on the homepage, entera username whose follower growth rates you want to see, andthen click the Compare button. A chart comparing growthrates for three different Twitter users is shown in Figure 8-4.The reasoning behind comparing followers between certainaccounts can be related to content sharing. If a competitor hasmore followers than your account, you need to take a look atwhat type of content he or she shares. You don’t need to bedisgruntled by being outnumbered by your competition interms of a follower count. Remember, what is important isthat your followers are communicating with you. A 246
    • competitor could have 20,000 followers, but if she doesn’tcommunicate, she’s wasting her time and you’re ahead of thegame! Compare your number of updates to others. You canalso use the Compare function in TwitterCounter to comparethe number of updates among three different accounts. Clickthe Tweets tab, enter the usernames in the Compare textboxes, and then click the Compare button. This helps youunderstand the rate at which your followers are posting onTwitter. You may find another Twitter user who is updatingless and still maintaining a faster growth rate. This allows youto adjust your content strategy. You may find that some usersshare too much content and others share too little. It’simportant to find that comfortable place in the clouds. Youcan see the Tweet charts for three different accounts in Figure8-5.Figure 8-5: Twitter user @kyleplacy compares his tweet statsto @askmanny and @edeckers. 247
    • Tracking When You Lose Followers with QwitterYou can find plenty of tools that feed your ego and help yougain as many followers as you could possibly want, but noneare quite like Qwitter (http://useqwitter.com). Qwitter is aservice that allows you to track who has unfollowed you andguesstimate why they unfollowed you. After you sign up forQwitter, you receive an e-mail every time an individualunfollows you.The developers of the Qwitter service set it up to help youunderstand why certain individuals unfollow you. Assumingthat twitterers may unfollow you as a result of a tweet youposted (there may be other reasons), Qwitter informs you whounfollowed you and what was the last tweet you posted beforehe or she stopped following your tweets. It can be quite the 248
    • eye-opening experience when you have 50 to 100 peopleunfollow you based on one tweet.Signing up for QwitterYou can get started using Qwitter fairly simply — just followthese steps:1. Open your browser and go to www.useqwitter.com.The Qwitter login page opens, as shown in Figure 8-6.Figure 8-6: Find out when people unfollow you on Qwitter.2. Enter your username in the Twitter Name text box.Leave off the @ — for example, enter kyleplacy. 249
    • 3. In the Email Address text box, enter the e-mail addresswhere you want Qwitter to send your update e-mails.4. Click the Join Qwitter button, and you’re done! Don’t get depressed when individuals unfollowyou. You may be getting quite a few e-mails from Qwitter inthe next few months because you’re still figuring out the bestpractices at marketing on the Twitter platform. Create a separate folder in your e-mail program forthe Qwitter e-mails and change your e-mail account’s settingso that all messages from Qwitter automatically go to thatfolder. You may feel like Qwitter is spamming you becauseof the number of notices about individuals unfollowing you,and you can more easily manage the amount of e-mail if youdon’t have to sift through it all in your Inbox.Understanding why Qwitter is a powerful content toolIt may sound discouraging to know every time someoneunfollows you because of a specific tweet or some type ofcontent you shared, but you need to know what contentgenerates bad responses from your Twitter followers. 250
    • If two or three individuals unfollow you after atweet, they may not have done so because of that tweet. Don’tworry when a few people unfollow you. Look for instanceswhen a big group of people decide to stop following you.If you see a trend in unfollowing based on the kind of contentyou’re sharing, be very sure that you try to mix up thecontent. If Twitter users don’t want to hear about what you’reeating or what breed of dog you want to buy, take theinformation and use it to improve your approach to contentcreation. You aren’t going to please everybody, but the morepeople who can become potential customers, the better.Use TwitterCounter and Qwitter to keep track of your Twittertribe as well as the content you share. It can help youfast-track your way to Twitter domination.Showing Your Followers That You Value ThemI say it several times elsewhere in this book, but I feel theneed to say it here, too: Your followers are the most valuablething on Twitter. They help you share content and spreadnews about your products and services; they also help youbuild thought-leadership and your ideas. You want yourTwitter tribe to think the world of you and know that you’llreturn the favor if they share your content.Sharing before asking to share 251
    • The Twitter universe has an important rule: Share others’content before you ask them to share your content. Don’t tryto convince people to share your content without doing it firstfor them.Think of it this way: Say that you’re at a business-networkingevent and someone comes up to you and says, “Hey dude,introduce me to all your friends and tell them I’m the bestever.” Now, keep in mind that you have never met this personand he’s already demanding that you share information abouthim among all your friends. What would you say? Probablyno (or maybe something a little stronger).To create a working relationship with your followers, sharetheir content by retweeting their posts and telling your otherfollowers about their content. Find the top-ten people on Twitter who arefollowing you and vice versa. Share their content as much asyou can and when you can. Forge relationships with thepeople who have a large following on Twitter. A Twitter miracle for a single mother Sometimes great things happen to people who are down and out. A story out of Chicago shows the power of a network where Twitter was the main source of help for a Romanian mother and her three children. The story starts with an 252
    • extremely influential social media user (@armano) meetingDaniela, a mother of three from Romania. Daniela had leftRomania because of an abusive husband and was trying tofind support to help secure an apartment.A blogger named David Armano found sympathy forDaniela and decided to write a blog post to ask for $5,000 tohelp Daniela put down a deposit and pay for her first monthof rent. The blog post can be viewed at http://bit.ly/3WhVP5.The blog was retweeted and shared hundreds of times onTwitter and was a viral sensation around the world in 24hours. The campaign raised $16,000 for Daniela in 48 hours.Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Total strangers who were more thanlikely connected to David or one of his followers gavemoney to help a single mother from Romania get back onher feet.The story doesn’t end there. From different levels offollowers and connections, Daniela was able to outfit hernew apartment with furniture from Vicki Semka(http://migandtig.com) and Jerod Lazan(www.mortisetenon.com). Vicki contacted Jerod, who washappy to donate furniture to help Daniela. Keep in mind thatJerod is located in Los Angeles.This story shows the power of using your followers for thebetterment of mankind. If you have followers who respectand share content with you (thank you @armano!), the 253
    • potential of viral messaging is endless! Thank you to @tkpleslie, who shared this story with me.You’ll be pleasantly surprised when they return the favorwithout your asking for their help. However, you can forgerelationships with your followers in a better way than sharingtheir content outright — you just have to ask.Asking how you can help your followersYou can’t find a better way to forge a relationship than askinghow you can help your followers. If you want to build sometype of content-sharing relationship with individuals onTwitter, ask how you can help them. Here are some pointersto keep in mind when you ask to help:1. Create a list of the top 10 to 25 users who are followingyou and whom you’re following. You can use HootSuite to find users’ Klout scores.For a refresher course, check back to Chapter 6.2. Look at each user’s Twitter profile, Web site, or blog, andtry to find a tip that you can give each user to help in his orher Internet marketing strategy. 254
    • For example, you can send a follower a message such as,“Hey, I love that picture on your Web site. Have you tried(insert your advice)?”3. Direct-message those 10 to 25 users to make contact withthem.4. If they respond with thanks, reply by asking how you canhelp them.5. Do what they say.You’re creating a relationship by helping first and then askingfor help second. I don’t have any real rules for when youshould ask someone to help you share content, but don’t beannoying when you decide it’s time to ask for help. Your Twitter followers are the most importantresource you have on Twitter, and the Internet, as a whole. Ifyou present and share content in the right way, they can opendoors you never dreamed possible. 255
    • Chapter 9Reaching Your CustomersIn This Chapter Identifying who on Twitter wants what you offer Getting current customers to sing your praises Directing twitterers to your Web site or blog Using proper Twitter etiquetteWho are your customers? Where do they live? What do theylike, buy, use, watch, read, or drive? If you keep track of yourcustomer base, you should be able to figure out who your bestcustomers are (those who are likely to buy more or buy moreoften from you) and where you can find them.For example, if you’re a marble manufacturer and sell tomarble collectors, your typical customer is male, lives in a bigcity, and is in his 30s or 40s. If you have an ice cream shop,you know your typical customer comes from a 5-mile radiusaround your store. If you have a coffee shop, your typicalcustomers may be small-business people and entrepreneurswho have business meetings during the day.As I discuss in Chapter 3, the great thing about using Twitteris that you can reach customers in a whole new way: You can find your exact customer, not an approximationof one. 256
    • You can reach your customers right where they are,instead of advertising in places they’re likely to be. You’re sending your message only to people who careabout marble collecting, so you don’t have to waste ink andmoney on people who don’t. You can create frequent — even daily — content and getthat content to your customers at all hours of the day, notonce a month or only during special events. You aren’t spending thousands of dollars in print andbroadcast advertising. You’re spending little to no money onelectronic marketing. People can easily share your message within their circlesof influence.In this chapter, I show you some of the tools and techniquesthat you can use to find your followers, how to encourageyour customers to pass your message on, and ways to directtraffic to your Web site or blog.Finding Your Customers on TwitterIf you want to build a following, you need to follow peoplefirst. But don’t just go following as many people as you canfind. That approach works for spammers, but you’re betterthan that. You don’t want to go following everyone just in thehopes that he or she might buy something from you. 257
    • You want to follow the people who are likely tobuy from you, people whom you think would be interested inwhat you have to say, and people you’re interested in. Findthose people and have conversations with them. Talk aboutwhat interests them, send out links to articles that they mayfind useful, and retweet their articles. (For details onretweeting, see Chapter 8.)Think of it this way: Have you ever had a friend who wasinvolved in some multilevel marketing plan or sales club? Didhe or she invite you to take a few minutes to find out a littlebit more about the product or club? And did you feel like youat least owed your friend a few minutes?Twitter is a lot like that, but without all the begrudgingacceptance and feelings of guilt for saying no. Basically, ifpeople like you because you’re a good twitizen (Twittercitizen), they’re more likely to pay attention to what you haveto say when you send out a commercial message every nowand then.But you have to find followers first. The following sectionsprovide a few good resources that you can use to find yourfuture customers, as well as your competitors and industryleaders.Searching by subject matter on TwitterVery honestly, the hardest part about finding your customerson Twitter is choosing which tools to use. Many search tools 258
    • are available, but none of them can do all the kinds ofsearches you want to perform, so you need to use a few ofthese tools to get started.You can dig in three main places to unearth people to followon Twitter: people’s tweets, people’s bios, and people’slocations. Based on tweets, you can establish an interest or aneed from someone in a product or service that you offer.Similarly, the bios of Twitter users may reveal whether theyare part of the industry that you serve (or the industry that youare a part of). Ultimately, if you run a local business, knowingwhether a Twitter user lives near you is critical. Thefollowing sections describe the ways to find people based ontheir tweets, their Twitter bio, and their location.Tweet searchesSearch tweets for keywords and topics because people whoare talking about your topics or industry issues are either inthe industry itself or have a problem that you might be able tohelp them with. The following Web applications help youfind people based on keywords in their tweets: Twitter search (http://search.twitter.com): Searches alltweets for your particular topic and returns tweets matchingyour search in chronological order. If you need to search for aparticular issue, you can find all the people who are interestedin it. The advanced search — http://search.twitter.com/advanced — enables you to exclude certain words or phrases,do a local search, and search for tweets to and from a specificperson. You can see Twitter’s advanced search options inFigure 9-1. 259
    • Figure 9-1: Twitter search offers an Advanced Search optionthat lets you filter your results. Twitterfall (www.twitterfall.com): Searches for keywordsand hashtags, and then automatically updates the results page,like a cascading waterfall. Twitterfall is ideal for conferences,in customer service applications, and even for ongoing eventssuch as a sporting event or an international incident, wherehaving a live view of comments as the activity is under waycan be useful to those involved in it or those following it. TweetTabs (http://tweettabs.com): Works just likeTwitterfall, but also lets you create tabs to monitor a numberof keywords. 260
    • CrowdEye (www.crowdeye.com): A search engine thatshows you not only tweets based on your keyword search butalso a time graph for when most of the tweets showed up. Iteven gives you some of the most popular Web links for yourkeywords. Social Mention (www.socialmention.com): More thanjust a Twitter search tool. Search for keywords, events, andeven your own name (it’s called ego surfing, and it’s perfectlyall right). See where micro-blogs, blogs, Web sites, newsarticles, images, videos, and even comments have mentionedyour search term. TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com): Normally considereda desktop application, but TweetDeck’s search function alsolets you save searches for keywords and topics. They appearas an additional column (or deck) in the TweetDeck interface,which is updated automatically any time someone’s tweetincludes the search term. HootSuite also has thisfunctionality.RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a news feedfor your favorite blogs, news sites, or even Twitter searchresults. Use My Yahoo! (http://my.yahoo.com), GoogleReader (www.google.com/reader), or one of dozens of otherRSS readers to keep up with your feeds.Bio and keyword searchesIf you want to find people in your industry or chosen field,you need to search Twitter users’ bio sections. However, youcan’t do that kind of search in Twitter’s search function, soyou need to use another app to search bios. If you sell to 261
    • accountants, for example, search for accountant oraccounting in twitterers’ bios, using one of these Web sites: TweepSearch (www.tweepsearch.com): Does a quickcheck of all the Twitter bios it has currently indexed. Just Tweet It (http://justtweetit.com): A directory-basedsearch that lets you register yourself under a directory almostas if it were the Yellow Pages of Twitter, as well as looks forother twitterers (see Figure 9-2). If you sell to a specificindustry, such as accounting, healthcare, or nonprofitorganizations, you can quickly find target customers usingthis search. tweepz.com (www.tweepz.com): A more robust searchengine than most of the others in this list. You can search forbios, locations, and names. Just type in the code that tellstweepz.com where to search, such as bio: humor writer. PeopleBrowsr (http://my.peoplebrowsr.com): Ahigh-powered people searcher and Twitter browser that offersmany different options for agencies, enterprises, anddevelopers. Create stacks based on keywords or even biosearches. (You can think of stacks as the decks or columnsoffered by TweetDeck.)Figure 9-2: Just Tweet It offers a directory-based searchbroken into categories. 262
    • Location searchesIf you have a location-specific business, such as a realtyoffice, retail store, or restaurant, you want to find twittererswho are in your area. You can search for people by city,county, and even state with the applications in the followinglist. You can search by map or just by typing in your city’sname and selecting a radius around the area: Nearby Tweets (www.nearbytweets.com): Enables you tosearch for people in your area and filter the results bykeywords. For example, if you’re a chiropractor in KansasCity, do a search for people around Kansas City who havetweeted about a sore back or back pain. 263
    • TwellowHood (www.twellow.com/twellowhood): Fromthe makers of Twellow, a Yellow Pages–type directory thatenables you to drill down to your city or town and see howmany twitterers are there. Twitaholic.com (http://twitaholic.com): The place to go ifyou want to find the top twitterers in your town. Visit theWeb site, enter your Twitter username, and click the Gobutton. You are presented with a plethora of Twitter statsabout yourself, letting you see how you’re ranked in yourarea, as well as who’s ranked above and below you. Theirnames are links: Click their Twitter name to view theirTwitaholic stats. No wonder they call the site Twitaholic! Twtvite (www.twtvite.com): The place where you canfind tweetups, as shown in Figure 9-3. Tweetups (gatheringsof local twitterers) are all the rage, and they’re a great way toactually meet local twitterers face to face. Whether you wantto find a general invitation or a meeting about a specific field,you can visit Twtvite to see whether any local tweetups areplanned in your area. You can even list your own tweetup.Keep in mind that not all tweetups are listed on this site, soyou may want to do a search on Twitter for the word tweetupand your city.Figure 9-3: Find local tweetups on Twtvite. 264
    • Finding followers by syncing your contact listThe best and easiest way to find people to follow is to startwith the people you already know. Remember, you want togather the people you initially know in order to build yourTwitter followers. The best way to do this is to gather yourcontact lists, especially if you have them scattered around ondifferent e-mail programs.Unfortunately, you can’t upload a .csv or .txt file fromyour Outlook or other e-mail program into Twitter. (.csvstands for comma-separated values files, and .txt is atext-based, tab-delimited file. You can export most e-mailaddress books to a .csv file and then upload the file to othere-mail programs.) If most of your e-mail addresses are in ane-mail program that sits on your hard drive, you need to take 265
    • a few easy steps to find out whether any of your contacts arealready on Twitter.Exporting your e-mail contactsFollow these steps to export e-mail contacts from Outlook:1. Open Outlook and then choose File⇒Import andExport.The Import and Export Wizard appears.2. From the Choose an Action to Perform list, selectExport to a File, as shown in Figure 9-4, and then clickNext.Figure 9-4: The Import and Export Wizard.3. From the Create a File of Type list, select CommaSeparated Values (Windows) and then click Next. 266
    • 4. Scroll down the list of folders and select Contacts as thefolder you want to export from. Then click Next.By default, you are presented with a hidden folder when youcan save your Contacts.5. Click the Browse button, and in the Browse dialog boxthat appears, select where you want to save the file.Save the file in a place where it’s easy to find, such as on thedesktop.6. Enter a name for the file in the File Name text box.Give the file an obvious name, such as contacts.csv.7. Click OK to close the dialog box.The file you selected appears in the Save Exported File textbox, as shown in Figure 9-5.Figure 9-5: Choose where to save your exported contacts file. 267
    • 8. Click Next and then click Finish.You’re done!To export e-mail contacts from Apple Mail, follow the stepson the page from the Apple Web site at http://bit.ly/vCardExport.Uploading your contacts to Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOLAfter you export your contacts to a .csv file or a vCard,follow these steps to upload the contacts to your Gmail,Yahoo!, or AOL e-mail account, and then upload the contactsto Twitter:1. Create a Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL e-mail account, or login if you already have one.You can easily create a Gmail or Yahoo! e-mail account —just go to http://gmail.com or http://mail.yahoo.com, and lookfor a Sign Up link or button. If you use AOL, you shouldalready have an AOL e-mail account.2. Import your contacts from the .csv or vCard file.In Gmail:1. Click Contacts in the navigation pane on the left.Your list of contacts appears.2. Click Import Contacts. 268
    • The next page lets you select the .csv or vCard file toupload, as shown in Figure 9-6.3. Click the Browse button and find the file on yourdesktop. Click OK/Open.At this point, you’re ready to import your contacts.4. Click the Import button.Figure 9-6: Gmail lets you import your contacts in .csv andvCard formats.In Yahoo! Mail:1. Click the Contacts link in the menu on the left side ofthe page. 269
    • This loads all your Yahoo! Mail contacts in a new tab on theright side of the page.2. Click the Tools button at the top of the window andselect Import.This lets you set up Yahoo! Mail to import your contacts inmultiple formats and from multiple sites.3. Click the type of file or site you want to import, clickthe Choose File button to find the file on your computer,and click the Import Now button.At this point, all your contacts are imported into Yahoo! Mail.4. Click the Tools menu again and select Clean UpDuplicates to eliminate any duplicate e-mail addresses.In AOL:1. Click the Contacts link on the menu on the left side ofthe page.As with Yahoo! Mail, AOL loads all your contacts on theright side of the page.2. Click the Tools button and select Import at the top ofthe window.This lets you choose between .csv, .txt, and LDIF fileswith your contacts. 270
    • 3. Select the type of file you want to import, click theBrowse button to find the file, and then click the Importbutton.You’re all set with your contacts loaded in AOL mail.3. Log in to your Twitter account and click the Who toFollow link.This page lets you find current Twitter users by searching forthem by name and importing your contacts from Gmail,Yahoo!, LinkedIn, or AOL; inviting them by e-mail; orchoosing among users suggested by Twitter.4. Click the Browse Interests tab.The Browse Interests page opens, as shown in Figure 9-7.You have the ability to find people who have the sameinterests as you. Just select a topic you are interested in.5. Click the Find Friends tab.You’re prompted to click the provider you would like to useto import contacts and enter your e-mail address andpassword for your account so that Twitter can import yourcontacts from your e-mail contact list.6. Click the Follow button to the right of the picture,name, and bio of people you want to follow.This adds the people you selected to your Following list. 271
    • Now you’re following those people. Depending on theirsettings, they get e-mail notifications that you’re followingthem, and hopefully, they’ll follow you back.Figure 9-7: Twitter lets you import your contacts fromGmail, Yahoo! Mail, LinkedIn, and AOL mail.Empowering Current Customers to Spread the MessageHopefully, your customers are also your fans. Hopefully,you’re providing the best customer service and greatest valueso that your customers want to tell all their friends about you.And hopefully, you’re making it possible for your customersto do just that.Spreading a message to friends of friends of friends 272
    • Retweeting isn’t just a way to spread your message to otherpeople (although that’s a big part of it). When someoneretweets a message, it’s a sign of respect, implying that theposter wrote something funny, wise, useful, or otherwisevaluable. When you write something worth sharing, yourfollowers retweet your message to their followers. And if oneof your friends retweets to his or her friends, your messagecan reach thousands — and even tens of thousands — oftwitterers with just a few clicks. Figure 9-8 shows how aretweet can spread through friends and friends of friends.Figure 9-8: Thousands of people may see a message that’sretweeted several times.The messages shown in Figure 9-8 build from each precedingmessage. @guykawasaki sent the original message and 273
    • @findtom retweeted it. If you look closely at the figure,you will see eight additional Twitter profile pictures under theoriginal tweet. The profile pictures are the additional Twitterusers who also retweeted @ guykawasaki’s originaltweet. This kind of retweet chain is called viral marketing,and it’s the way most Internet memes start.In this example, if each of the people who retweeted themessage in Figure 9-8 has 100 followers, this message couldpotentially reach 1 million people (if everyone who receives itretweets it).I discuss how to measure clicks and retweets in Chapter 6.Pay particular attention to the section on tracking retweetswith Retweetist (www.retweetist.com). It’s considered proper Twitter etiquette to giveretweeting credit to as many people as you can. But if youfind you’re running out of space, give the credit to the personwho started the message, not the person from whom you gotit.Understanding viral marketing on TwitterViral marketing is basically marketing techniques that spreadfrom person to person to person. The 1980s shampoocommercial that said “and they told two friends, and they toldtwo friends, and so on, and so on, and so on” illustrates theconcept of viral marketing. You tell a few people, they tell afew people, and it grows from there. 274
    • Viral marketing techniques commonly spread YouTubevideos, games, Flash movies, ads, blogs, and Web sites, toname a few.A few examples of successful online and offline viralmarketing campaigns include Ponzi schemes: You get recruited, you recruit yourfriends, and they recruit theirs, until the whole thing collapsesand the creator goes to jail. Mystery Science Theater 3000: Producers encouragedviewers to videotape the show and pass the tapes on tofriends. Hotmail: Microsoft made Hotmail popular by putting asmall ad for — what else? — Hotmail in the e-mail footer ofeach message. Every time a Hotmail user sent an e-mailmessage, the tiny ad for the free e-mail program went with it. Homestar Runner: These Flash movies have been anInternet hit for several years, thanks to a presence on iTunesas well as friends sharing videos with their friends. Will It Blend? videos: These videos feature Tom Dicksonof Blendtec, a heavy-duty blender manufacturer trying toblend various items, including a tiki torch, an iPhone, anOlympus digital camera, and several action figures, includinga Chuck Norris figure. (The result? Everything blends . . .except Chuck Norris.) 275
    • In all cases, users and fans made these videos, schemes, ande-mail programs popular by telling their friends about theitems, who then told their friends. Thanks to tools such asTwitter, you can easily forward new information and viralcampaigns on to your friends, who then pass them on to theirfriends through retweeting.Creating your own viral marketing campaignYou can’t always create a successful viral marketingcampaign, no matter how hard you try. Many attemptedcampaigns have fallen flat on their faces. Many that startedout as a cute little video for a few family members and friendsturned out to be huge successes. Typically, commercialmarketing campaigns don’t fare well, unless done properly.The Blendtec Will It Blend? videos are an example of acommercial marketing campaign that made it big, despite thecommercial nature of the videos.So, what creates a successful viral marketing campaign?Although following these tips can’t guarantee viral marketingsuccess, just remember, chance favors the prepared mind: Create a clear, easy-to-remember marketing message.Have one benefit or idea that you can sum up in a single tagline (for example, Murphy’s Marbles — So durable,diamonds can’t cut ’em). Create a Web site for your product or service. Get aneasy-to-remember URL, such as www.murphysmarbles.com. Put sharable items on your site and allow others toshare those items, too. Create your own videos and 276
    • encourage others to upload and share those videos byincluding Email This buttons and offering embed codes forblogs. Upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, and othervideo-sharing sites. Create a publication schedule. Instead ofuploading them all at the same time, trickle them in everyweek or two to build anticipation. Send out links to your videos through Twitter, yourblog, your e-mail newsletter, and anything else you can getyour virtual hands on. Remember to use a URL shortenerwhen you link to your videos so that you can track theperformance of each channel you use to get the word outabout your videos. Create some offline collateral, as well. Hand outbusiness cards that include your URL and tag line to everypotential customer, and give several of your business cards tofriends and family. Encourage them to hand your cards out totheir friends, too. If your budget allows for it, get yourbusiness name, URL, and tag line printed on t-shirts and hats,and give them to people who’ll wear them in public.Driving Traffic to Your Web Site or BlogIn other chapters, I discuss the importance of creatinginteresting, valuable content, so I don’t need to say it again.But, assuming that you’ve done that, how do you get peopleto your blog or Web site?First, keep in mind that a blog and Web site are two differentthings. A Web site is generally static and unchanging, so if 277
    • you want to get people to visit it, you need to change it oncein a while and offer something new and of value (forexample, a special offer or downloadable coupon). A blog, onthe other hand, changes every time you publish a new post.It’s a little like a newspaper, with every blog post like a newissue, and you can let people know that a new issue is on theirnewsstands now.The following sections describe two ways to share updates toyour blog (or Web site): by hand and automatically.Publishing blog feeds by handYou can easily share by hand with your Twitter followerswhen you update your blog. Copy the URL of your latestpost, shorten the URL with one of the many URL shorteners,and send out a tweet that includes the shortened URL.TweetDeck has several built-in URL shorteners, and they allhave their own Web sites, as well. I discuss Cligs(http://cli.gs) in Chapter 6, but a few others are bit.ly(http://bit.ly), is.gd (http://is.gd), and TinyURL.com(http://tinyurl.com).A typical format for tweeting about a new blog post is to typeNew post:, copy and paste the blog headline, and paste theshortened URL, as shown in Figure 9-9. The Please RT at theend encourages your followers to retweet the message to theirfollowers.Figure 9-9: Tweet when you update your blog. 278
    • Automating your blog feedYou can use a few programs to automatically send out tweetswhen you update your blog, but the most popular ones areTwitterfeed (http://twitterfeed.com) and Ping.fm(www.ping.fm).Twitterfeed works by visiting your blog at set intervals, fromevery 30 minutes to every 24 hours, to see whether you haveany new posts. It then posts the headline and URL to yourTwitter feed (hence the name). So, when you create a newblog post, you don’t need to do anything else. It’s all done foryou.Ping.fm sends out a 140-character message to different socialnetworks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, 279
    • FriendFeed, and even your blog. In fact, Ping.fm can post tonearly 40 social networks, if you’re on that many (but Irecommend that you use only two, maybe three, tops).However, you have to write each message and shorten eachURL manually. But — this is the really cool part — you can feedyour Twitterfeed, uh, feed into Ping.fm. When you set up aTwitterfeed account, tell it to send your posts to your Ping.fmaccount, rather than your Twitter account. Then make surethat you have all your social networking tools set up on yourPing.fm, as explained in Chapter 5.Automating your blog through HootSuiteIf you haven’t noticed already, HootSuite is awesome!Because HootSuite is talked about so much in this book, aseparate section needed to be created to talk about theautomating blog post feature within the tool as seen in Figure9-10.Figure 9-10: Feed your blog post through social media usingHootSuite. 280
    • Automating the blog post in HootSuite simply means thatwhen you post a new blog post to your site, HootSuiteautomatically posts the blog to your different social mediaaccounts (mainly Twitter).1. Go to your HootSuite dashboard.2. Click the owl head in the upper-left corner of yourscreen.A drop-down box appears.3. Click Settings.A settings box appears over your screen listing.4. Click the RSS/Atom button. 281
    • An Add New Feed button appears at the bottom of the box.5. Click the Add New Feed Button.6. Copy and paste your feed URL to the specific box.Find out how to find your RSS feed by visiting this site:http://bit.ly/aBlK5v7. Choose the account you would like to share the blogpost.8. Click Save Feed.Now you are ready to share your blog post on Twitter,LinkedIn, and Facebook through HootSuite. It is alsocompleted automated! You can also use HootSuite and the blogging toolto update LinkedIn, Facebook, and Ping.fm.Retweeting to add valueThe underlying theme of much of the advice in this book isvalue, value, value. Make sure that your tweets are valuableto your followers and their followers. Write interestingtweets, forward helpful articles you’ve read, and write usefulblog posts and tweet them. In the same vein, make sure thatyour retweets follow the same rules. If someone says 282
    • something you think is particularly useful, retweet it. If youhave room in the message, add a short comment.Retweeting is not only a way to pass on valuable information,but it also gives a little Twitter-love to the original writer. It’sa way of saying, “I think what you have to say is valuable.”Any twitterer with a pulse gets a little thrill to see his or hername preceded by an RT and the message he or she wrote.Retweeting is a little virtual validation of the poster’sthoughts and ideas, and it inspires people to repeat thebehavior so that they can get the same thrill again. Occasionally, you run into problems when youdon’t have enough room to give proper retweet credit to theoriginal poster. If that happens, it’s perfectly acceptable toedit the original message to get the person’s @username andURL (if he or she has one) to fit. Make edits such as changingtwo or to to 2, with becomes w/, and people becomes ppl.Every little bit helps as long as you can get your messageacross.Encouraging your followers to retweetAnyone who’s used Twitter for a few days is already familiarwith the concept of retweeting. However, that doesn’t mean afollower is going to do it. You need to make it easy andconvenient for your followers to retweet your messages.Here are the best ways to get people to retweet your content: 283
    • Keep your messages short. Leave at least 14 charactersfor your username and the RT flag. Leave at least 20 to 30characters of space at the end of every tweet if you wantseveral people to retweet. Use hashtags. You can get people to see your messagewho don’t normally follow you. Be sure to include a URL. A URL makes your contentmore valuable than just some clever quote. Use a URLshortener to save space. Tweet relevant content. Be interesting and clever, andhave something important or valuable to say. Ask your followers to retweet. Include the phrase PleaseRT at the end of the message. Don’t use too many usernames and URLs. People areless likely to retweet tweets that have too many @names andURLs. Too many @names means less space to add your ownwords when you retweet, and multiple URLs dissolve thefocus of the tweet: Which URL should people click? Theoriginal URL is the only one that should be included in atweet or a retweet. Use Retweetist (www.retweetist.com) to find the peoplewho retweet most often. Follow those twitterers and providethem value (by retweeting their stuff), and they mayeventually retweet your tweets, too. Just make sure that youfollow the other suggestions in this bulleted list. 284
    • Understanding What Etiquette Has to Do with TwitterMarketingThe rules of Twitter etiquette and procedure apply tomarketing, possibly more so than they do for regular users.Remember, as a marketer, you’re like someone who crashed aparty. No one will complain as long as you behave. But if youstep over the line, you’ll get tossed out by security guys withlarge muscles and tight black T-shirts.On Twitter, you need to engage in the conversation beforeyou start marketing. Let people see that you’re a real personwho’s interested in other real people. If you only hammerpeople over and over with the same messages about buyingyour product and taking 10 percent off today only, thetwitterers will shun you. But, if you become someone whoprovides good information and only occasionally sends out an“oh, by the way, this is what I do for a living” message,people more willingly accept the marketing when you send it.Depending on whom you ask, your ratio of marketing tononmarketing messages can be 1 marketing message to every5, 10, or even 15 nonmarketing messages. If people think you’re a good Twitter citizen,they’re more likely to pay attention to your marketingmessage.And although spacing out your marketing messages this muchcan seem like a real pain, just remember that you can use 285
    • tools to help make your Twitter life easier. (See Chapter 5 formore on these types of tools.) Use what’s available to you,create some good content, and form some solid relationshipswith other twitterers. 286
    • Chapter 10Creating Quality Content on TwitterIn This Chapter Determining what makes quality content Developing your story on Twitter Finding and following Twitter trends Discovering how to effectively use hashtagsIbase everything discussed in earlier chapters on one simpleidea: People are interested in what you have to say. If youaren’t interesting, if you don’t have quality content, and if youdon’t provide value, people are going to ignore you. If youwant people to pay attention to you and, as a result, visit yourWeb site and buy your product or service, you need to havequality content in your tweets.This chapter digs into the art of creating content that yourfollowers will want to read.Generating Quality ContentQuality content is one of those things you can’t really define,but you know it when you see it. Quality content is basicallycontent that provides some value or interest to the people whoread it. (You thought I was going to say “has quality,” didn’tyou?) Quality content has to be something people actuallywant to read in the first place. Forget whether you’re 287
    • laid-back or exciting, funny or dramatic, erudite or obtuse.You need to be interesting. If you aren’t interesting, peoplewill quit paying attention to you. Being interesting on Twitter doesn’t just meanhaving something clever and witty to say, although thatdoesn’t hurt. Being interesting actually means that you writethings that aren’t just commercial in nature. If you’re onlytweeting about your latest coupon or sale, you’re going tobore your readers to tears. If you’re only sending out links toyour latest blog post, you’re providing valuable content, butyou’re nothing more than a news feed. If you’re tweetingwhat you had for breakfast that morning or that you’re takingthe dog out for a walk, you’re being personal — but maybe alittle too much. To be a quality twitterer, you need to strike aneffective balance between tweeting about what matters toyou, what matters to your followers, and what matters to yourbrand or product.Tweeting about what matters to youYour tweets start with you. This is your form ofcommunication, your words, and your ideas. So, if you reallydo want to tweet rhapsodic about the hazelnut cream cheeseyou had on your bagel this morning, so be it. If you want tomake clever remarks while you’re watching a TV show, that’sfine, too.In fact, you need to tweet about things in your own life. Youwant to look like a real person, even if you’re tweeting as 288
    • your company, because people know a real person hidesbehind those tweets, and they want to get to know you. If theyknow and like you, they’ll buy from you.So, tweet about things such as the lunch meeting you had withfellow twitterers, the conference you just attended, or evensomething clever your kids said. Personal tweets help fosterand grow personal relationships with fellow twitterers, whichcan lead to all sorts of opportunities for you. Plus, it’s a greatway to embarrass your kids when they get older.You can also use Twitter to announce your victories in life,such as job offers, marriage proposals, book-publishing deals,and any other events you want to celebrate with your friends.Tweeting about what matters to your brandWhat matters to your brand is pretty much the same thing thatmatters to you — or at least it should be. If you’re anentrepreneur or own a small business, the line between youand your brand tends to be a little blurry. You want people toidentify you with your company. So, feel free to have a jointbusiness/personal Twitter account. I know several people whodo. I do it myself. But if you work for a larger business, youwant to separate the two.Treat your brand or company like a person when it comes toTwitter. If you have business victories, tweet about them. Ifsomething funny happens at work, tweet about it. You mayneed to be very vague and refer to “a client” — rather than aparticular person, or his or her username — but unless it’sinappropriate, illegal, or proprietary, you can shareinformation about your business with people. 289
    • Having said that, don’t tweet trade secrets, insideinformation, or financial information with your followers.You can get into some pretty big legal trouble.In Chapter 11, I talk more about the importance of notbombarding followers with commercials. Send outcommercial messages only about 1 out of every 15 othermessages. Remember, a balance of tweets doesn’t meanone-third personal, one-third about your followers, andone-third about your business.Conversing with your followersBelieve it or not, your followers aren’t sitting and staring attheir computers, eagerly waiting to see what you’re going totweet next. Their eyes aren’t bloodshot from lack of sleep,backs sore from trying to lean closer to the monitor so thatthey can rock back, roaring with laughter at your latestwitticism, or scramble for their credit cards at your nextspecial offer. Be careful what you tweet Be careful not to send tweets that may cause you problems with work or endanger you or your business. For example, avoid tweeting about things that shouldn’t be said face to face. 290
    • On August 25, 2010, there was a discussion between South Bank arts precinct, London Mayoral Advisor Steve Norris and the public, where he said that the “National Theatre should have a compulsory demolition order.” Upon hearing the news, one twitterer from the England’s National Theatre account tweeted that Steve Norris was clearly a giant $*#@. This is something that was not expected from a theatre, and it had the opposite effect than what you would imagine. There was actually a positive response to the tweet. However, the theatre reverted to its old habits, deleted the post, and apologized that its Twitter account had been hacked. The backlash was extensive, and Twitter users attacked the theatre for lying to the public about the mistweet. The moral of the story is, as a Twitter user, you need to think through certain scenarios before making rash decisions. The theatre employee should not have made the original tweet, but the theatre should have listened to the response of the users before making a decision about whether to delete the tweet.Your followers are people with their own lives and interests.And honestly, they aren’t waiting for your tweets. Chancesare, they forgot they’re even following you.So, if you truly want to stand out, find out what yourfollowers are talking about. You can do this one of two ways: 291
    • Read each tweet that they send out or see what everyone’stalking about.If you truly want to show people that you’re interested inwhat they have to say, respond to their tweets. Have an actualconversation with them. If someone sends a tweet out that heor she just came back from lunch at your favorite restaurant,reply that you were just there last week, or say that it’s yourfavorite place, or ask what he or she had to eat. Sure, it seemstiny and unimportant, but to the person you just tweeted, he orshe gets a little thrill of recognition that someone just read hisor her tweet. So, make sure that you do it publicly. Respond to several of your followers, making sureto respond with a kind word, big idea, or clever response tosomething they’ve said. Even if you respond to only fivepeople a day, you get a reputation as someone who’s involvedand in touch with your followers, and that impression canstart to make a difference in how you’re seen in your circle oftwitterers. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find at least fivetweets you are genuinely interested in from your followersthat you can respond or add something to.Of course, responding to people on Twitter (actually readingtweets, to select which ones to respond to) can be prettytime-consuming, especially if you have a lot of followers —or, more importantly, if you want to see what people aretalking about the most. To most easily find topics that peopleare talking about, just pay attention to the latest Twitter 292
    • trends, discussed in the section “Keeping Up with Trends onTwitter,” later in this chapter.Developing Your Story on TwitterFrom a traditional marketing standpoint, advertising anddesign are created to tell a story. Every brand from here toTimbuktu (they did a great job at brand development) isaround to tell a story. The end goal is that the story will betold over and over again until the masses know about thebrand.Your story is the lifeblood of your brand. There are some finepoints to creating your story, and no, you are not going towrite an autobiography (unless that is what you are trying tosell by using Twitter). The following sections delve into howyou tell your story.Developing your brand storyNothing is more exciting than developing your brand story forthe masses to communicate. You love the idea, products,services, and people. Your story is how you go about yourdaily routine and help the people involved in your brand. Sohow do you develop your story? Here are some tips to helpyou along the way: Share customer success stories. Your brand is yourstories. If you have customer success stories, it is important toshare these stories on Twitter. Better yet, get your customersto share them on Twitter. 293
    • Share your company history. How did you get started?Many people (your tribe) would love to know about thehistory of your company. If you are new to the scene or a newbusiness owner, share stories about your past career. Share your personal opinion. Your personal opinion ontopics can be a brand story builder. Just make sure that youdon’t fall in love with your opinions too much. Rememberthat the customer is always right.Developing contentHow do you develop content that caters to the needs of yourTwitter followers? How do you tell the customer story andshare your information with the masses? It is important toanswer these questions and build your story out of yourcustomer’s thoughts, needs, and desires.The content you share will help drive users to your site wherethe sale will (potentially) be made. Because of this, content isone of the more important aspects of Twitter marketing whenyou’re developing your following and is potentially yourlead-generation tool. Your main source of content is your blog or Website. It is important to have a central location where yourfollowers can gather and communicate with you or yourbrand. 294
    • A blog can be a great resource to send followers to on a dailybasis. You can think of Twitter as a content taste test: You arewhetting the appetite of many followers throughout the worldwith the main goal of acquiring some of your followers asclients or customers.The following list provides tips you need to consider whenyou’re developing your content strategy for Twitter: Share information based upon a blog post ornewsletter. You are sharing information on Twitter to gaintrusted clients and potential customers. Remember to use aURL shortener to share content from your Web site. Share little details about your daily routine. Remembernot to overstep yourself in this area. However, many peopleenjoy hearing about a movie, a dinner, or something fungoing on in your life. Show some personality in your thoughtsand opinions. Share news about your clients. Write about your clients,plain and simple. Write and share information, press releases,other blog posts, or e-newsletters from your clients. Share info about your industry. It’s important to buildthought leadership in your industry. Subscribe to industrynewsletters, competitors’ blogs, and industry content. Oneway to follow your industry is to keep up with trends onTwitter, which I discuss next.Keeping Up with Trends on Twitter 295
    • When you get a bunch of people together, they’re eventuallygoing to start talking about the same topics. They’re talkingabout politics, current events, sports, or that funny video theysaw on YouTube. So, what if you feel passionate about aparticular topic? How can you keep track of it and what otherpeople are saying about it? Can you follow all the tweetsabout this topic?Sure you can. Just use Twitter trends.Understanding Twitter trendsTwitter trends are discussion trends on Twitter. These are thetopics that people are talking about with some frequency.Everyone’s been discussing a Twitter trend, only notnecessarily with each other. Twitter actually keeps track ofwhat people are talking about and counts keywords.Twitter trends are shown on your Twitter homepage, belowyour favorites, followers, and who you are following, as yousee in Figure 10-1.You can also go to the Twitter search page(http://search.twitter.com) to see the most popular topics ofthe day. You can go to other Web sites, such ashttp://hashtags.org, to search for a particular term and get notonly a numerical count of the topic discussion but also agraphical representation, as shown in Figure 10-2. You canchoose to display trends for right now, today, this week, andthis month.Figure 10-1: Trending topics reflect the most popularconversation topics on Twitter. 296
    • Figure 10-2: Hashtags.org shows numerical and graphicalinformation for trending topics. 297
    • Twitter trends can help you as a marketer because they enableyou to identify any problems that people might have that youcan solve, see what opportunities are coming up, or figure outwhether you want to be part of any conversations. A goodmarketer keeps his or her finger on the pulse of potentialcustomers. Twitter trends are a great way to quickly andeasily monitor that pulse.Monitoring Twitter trendsYou can monitor Twitter trends in a couple of different ways— by keywords and hashtags. Because search engines canindex and search all text, that means they can index andsearch tweets, as well. Services such as Twitter and Googlemake it possible to search for any keywords you might want,whether you look for a brand or company name, an idea, asong, or even a specific word. Some Web sites monitor 298
    • Twitter trends and let you see regular updates to not only thelatest trends but also the latest stats surrounding those trends.Of course, the downside is that you sometimes see wordssuch as could, might, and many trend just because they’re partof normal language usage.Looking for specific keywords can sometimes be a drag.People may talk about a person, but you could end up lookingfor several variations of that person’s name before you finallyfind all the conversations you want. For example, say that youwant to find tweets about George Washington. Do you searchfor George Washington or GeorgeWashington? What aboutlooking for meatless chili recipes? You could look formeatlesschili, meatless chili, or even vegetarian chili andvegetarianchili. Needless to say, variations in wording canmake it very difficult to track trends, which is why people usehashtags, as described next.The Art of the HashtagHashtags allow Twitter users to tag their tweets in a way thatcan help give a bit more context to their tweets or designatethem as being part of a particular conversation currentlyunder way. You can use hashtags — also called#hashtags — to build a temporary community, create abuzz, or start a discussion around a particular topic. Whileyou talk about that issue, other people will start to talk aboutit, too.Understanding tags 299
    • To understand what a hashtag is, you first need to start withwhat a regular tag is. A tag is a classification system, akeyword or keywords given to a piece of information or anitem, such as a file, photo, document, Web site, or blog post.Tags help describe and even summarize all the items in acollection. This collection process allows you to search forand browse only those items that have a particular keyword orkeywords in common.Say that you have to take inventory of your canned goods.You have three cans of green beans, three cans of tomatosoup, two cans of red beans, and two cans of corn chowder.Here’s how you might tag each can: By its main ingredient: Beans, tomatoes, and corn By the main purpose or use of the food: Soup andvegetables By its actual contents: Tomato soup, green beans, and soon By the food’s possible uses: Chili, casseroles, and so on By the color of the food: Red, yellow, and green By the food’s consistency: Liquid and solid By how the food grows: Pod, vine, and stalkThen, when you want to do a search for all yellow foods, youpull out all the cans that have that tag. You can do the same 300
    • procedure to find all foods grown on a vine, all foods that aresoup, or any other way you want to classify your cans.Here’s a more realistic example (although if you’re the kindof person to tag your canned goods, I won’t judge you). Saythat you go on vacation to Washington, D.C., with your kids,Bobby and Susie. You take a vacation photo of your kidsstanding in front of the Lincoln Memorial, so you might tagthe photo with vacation; children; Bobby; Susie,; LincolnMemorial; Washington, D.C. Then, you take another photo ofthe kids in front of the Starbucks in Georgetown, and you tagit with vacationachildren; Bobby; Susie; Washington, D.C.;Starbucks; Georgetown. Then, when you want to view thephotos of your kids, you do a search for any photo taggedwith children, Bobby, or Susie. Every photo you’ve taggedwith those keywords shows up, including the vacation photos,their Little League games, and their birthday parties. Or, ifyou want to view any photo from any vacation, you search forthe vacation tag to bring up all the photos that you took onyour vacations. And if you want to see any photos from anytime you’ve been to Washington, D.C., you search forWashington, D.C.The tag creator defines these tags, so they don’t need tofollow any rhyme or reason. You can create a weird taggingsystem that only you and your closest circle of cannedfood–tagging friends understand. Of course, no one else cansearch or view your items, so you want to use tags that areuseful to other people — or, at least easy to figure out.Thanks to tagging, you can search, group, and browse thesephotos without having to search through all your photos andpull out the ones you want. 301
    • Now, imagine if everyone tagged his or her photos and madethem available for sharing. You can search, browse, and seewhat other people are doing with their photos, which helpsyou determine whether they’re leading more exciting livesthan you. (They’re not; I checked.)You can upload your photos to a photo-sharing site, such asFlickr (www.flickr.com) or Picasa (http://picasa.google.com),and search for a particular tag or group of photos. Say thatyou want to find all photos related to Washington, D.C., orsee what other people did on their vacation. Just type theterms into the Search box and click the Search button, and thesite presents you with all the photos that have those tags. Youcan see how a tagged photo looks on Flickr, in Figure 10-3:All the tags applied to this photo are listed below the Tagsheading on the right.Figure 10-3: Flickr is a photo-sharing site that lets you tagphotos. 302
    • Bookmarking tagging sites such as StumbleUpon(http://stumbleupon.com) allow you to save and tag Web sitesthat you want to share with other people. You can show otherusers what sites you think are interesting and why. Then,when people are searching for a particular Web site, they cango and see what other people have deemed important to knowabout things such as trips to Washington, D.C., or whyanyone would ever make chili with corn in it.Understanding hashtagsThe hashtag allows you to tag your tweets by designatingthem with just one character, the pound sign (#). Becausespace is at a premium in a tweet, you don’t want to waste itwith extra characters such as tag:, by surrounding the tagswith brackets, or by writing your tweets in all capital letters.(Writing a tweet in all capital letters doesn’t add extracharacters, but it is considered shouting.)So, you tag things by placing # right in front of whateverkeywords you’re using. You can find Twitter hashtags forcities, states, countries, current events, brands, sports teams,or anything else you can think of. As discussed in Chapter 2,hashtags are a great way to create groupings and generatepopularity around a particular keyword or topic.The # symbol also carries a lot of meaning around it. It’sbasically a message to other twitterers that you’re talkingabout this topic, and if they want to talk about it with you,they should use this hashtag in all their tweets; otherwise, youmay not know that they’ve tweeted about it (if you are notfollowing them). It may be hard to believe you can put all that 303
    • into one little #, but you can. For example, Figure 10-4 showsa tweet that includes three hashtags.In Figure 10-4, the poster tagged Indianapolis, IND,and traveltip. This tweet is being posted because theuser is experiencing long lines at the IndianapolisInternational Airport, and he wanted to state that this is atravel tip.Figure 10-4: Using hashtags in a tweet.Making the best use of hashtagsYou can’t really use a hashtag in a wrong way. You can taganything you want. The question is, will people follow suit? 304
    • One of the best ways to use a hashtag is to see what otherpeople are talking about and use their tags, rather than createyour own. Otherwise, you run into the problem of having toomany hashtags in a single tweet. You don’t want to wastecharacters by having hashtags that are three variations of oneidea. For example#BlogIndiana #BlogIN #BlogIndiana2010#BlogIN2010would take up too much space on a single tweet (49characters, in fact), so use the most common hashtag andignore the others. Many event organizers decide on thehashtags that they want twitterers (those attending and thosefollowing the event remotely) to use before the event evenbegins and ask people to use those hashtags in their tweets. Ofcourse, you also want to remind people from time to time touse the correct hashtags. Make sure that your hashtags are one word, even ifit’s a two- or three-word idea. If you create a hashtag thatsays #blog Indiana, the word blog is the only wordthat’s actually tagged. If you’re worried that people can’t readthe word, capitalize the first letter of each word:#BlogIndiana, #MichaelJackson,#PortlandOregon. But separate the hashtags if eachword could also stand on its own: For example, you can use#Philadelphia #Phillies or#PhiladelphiaPhillies, but #Coca #Colainstead of #CocaCola would probably not be as useful. 305
    • You can also create your own hashtag if you can’t find anappropriate hashtag created by somebody else. But make surethat your hashtag is both as short as possible and asunderstandable as possible. If you pick #BI10 forBlogIndiana, your followers might be confused. Althoughyou can use BI10 to name a file folder on your own computer,you don’t necessarily want to inflict it on other people. Peoplewill either completely ignore a hard-to-understand hashtag orcomplain about it, which creates the kind of traffic you don’twant.One of the least effective ways to use hashtags is to tagcommon words, such as car, computer, or lunch. Althoughyou can probably get some people to use those kinds of tagswhen talking about your topic, you’ll have a real problemgetting people to follow those tags. Save your hashtag energyto create ones that twitterers will most likely follow. Don’t start a hashtag for your own company orproduct. If you do, you’ll look like you’re trying to create amovement yourself. At worst, other twitterers will accuse youof astroturfing (creating an artificial grassroots movement).At best, you’ll just look desperate and sad.It’s generally expected that hashtags come at the end of atweet, sort of like the second verb in a German sentence, asshown in Figure 10-5. There’s nothing grammatical aboutthem. 306
    • Sometimes, you can work a hashtag into a normal tweet andmake it sound natural and conversational, as shown in Figure10-6.Figure 10-5: Hashtags often fall at the end of a tweet.Figure 10-6: Hashtags can also fall within the text of a tweet. 307
    • Tracking the hashtagSometimes, you need to track hashtags — for example, if youwant to see whether twitterers are mentioning your company,brand, or event. People talk about you and your company,though probably not as much as celebrity deaths or charges ofelection tampering. (While I was writing this book, LeslieNielsen died, Larry King retired, WikiLeaks releasedthousands of United States government secure files, andPresident Obama passed a huge health-care overhaul. So,those events were all major topics of discussion on Twitter.)The following Web sites enable you to track hashtags: Hashtags.org (http://hashtags.org): A site that lets you seenot only what’s trending that day, week, or month, but it alsogives you a graphical representation of the frequency of 308
    • tweets on the topic, who’s using hashtags, and even a count ofhow many times a hashtag is used. You have to follow@hashtags to have your hashtags tracked. Otherwise, theHashtags site’s application doesn’t pick up the hashtags. Happn.in (www.happn.in): Find the trends that are beingwidely talked about in your city. Right now, Happn.in trackscities around the world. If yours is one of them, you can seewhat the top Twitter trends are in your city. This site is greatfor local marketers and businesses that want to stay on top ofwhat’s happening in their city. HashTweeps (www.hashtweeps.com): Type in thehashtag for which you want to search and click the Searchbutton. HashTweeps shows you the people who’ve beentalking about that issue. You can use this site to see who’sbeen talking about a particular problem in your industry, andthen start following these people so that you can join thediscussion. Twitterfall (www.twitterfall.com): A Twitter search sitethat searches for your hashtags and keywords (it can searchfor nonhashtagged items, too). It displays the tweets that itfinds in a cascading waterfall fashion. monitter (www.monitter.com): This site looks like anAdobe AIR application, like TweetDeck, but it operates likeTwitterfall. You can search for several different keywords andkeep them grouped in columns, instead of just running themall in one column. You can even tell monitter to searcharound a specific city if you’re interested in seeing peoplewithin a specific area who are talking about your topic. 309
    • Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com): Twitter’s ownsearch function not only lets you search for keywords andhashtags, but it also keeps track of what’s trending the mostthat day. What the Trend? (www.whatthetrend.com): This sitefollows search trends as well as gives a brief explanation ofwhy a particular topic is trending that day. It also has a paidversion that allows (among many other things) the ability toobtain analytics and reporting. Trendistic (http://trendistic.com): This site trackshashtags, letting you visually select time frames for which itshows the tweets that contain the hashtag you are searchingfor, as you can see in Figure 10-7. TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com): This desktopapplication lets you do searches for people or keywords, andcreate groups of users whom you want to follow.Figure 10-7: Trendistic provides a visual interface to let yousee hashtag trends. 310
    • 311
    • Part IVImplementing Twitter Strategies for Offline MarketingDomination 312
    • In this part . . . 313
    • Marketing experts all agree on one thing: Marketing is allabout integration. You need to combine your offline andonline marketing communication to put your brand right inyour customers’ faces. (Okay, maybe that sounds a littleextreme, but I stand by the concept.)How do you incorporate your offline marketing strategies —such as public relations, brochures, events, and everything inbetween — to push your brand message through Twitter?How do you use Twitter for offline domination? You can getahead of your competition by using Twitter to effectivelydefeat them in front of your customers! I don’t know aboutyou, but defeating competitors sounds pretty good.Ready your pencil and take notes. And while you read thechapters in this part, remember three things: integration,integration, integration. 314
    • Chapter 11Promoting to Attract Sales LeadsIn This Chapter Avoiding interruption marketing Developing your keywords Promoting yourself within your niche Promoting your content with discussionsIf you skipped right to this chapter — and I don’t blame you;it’s my favorite — you’re hopefully already familiar enoughwith Twitter that you can jump right into this topic. If not, goback and read Chapters 1 and 2, which talk about setting upTwitter and getting started. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.If you stuck around or you’re back, I should tell you a littlesecret: Attracting sales leads on Twitter isn’t easy. In fact, itcan be rather difficult. Sure, the technology is easy. Thanks tosome wickedly smart people out there, you can use Twitter,automate and track your tweets, and manage different profilesin a snap. But now you’re dealing with persuasion andmarketing. Here’s another secret: People hate beinginterrupted, and they love conversations.In this chapter, I discuss why interruption marketing doesn’twork on Twitter. I then go on to cover how you can usekeyword searches and discussion to market yourself or your 315
    • company. Included in this discussion is also the topic ofpromoting your followers and unique content by using tweets.Avoiding Interruption Marketing Tactics on TwitterInterruption marketing is the kind of advertising that involvesthe commercial that interrupts your favorite TV show or yourfavorite radio station, the telemarketing call that interruptsyour dinner, or the billboard that interrupts your view of thescenery. But people are so used to seeing interruptionmarketing everywhere, they tune it out, change the channel,or purposely ignore it. So, interruption marketers do it morefrequently and in more places, which people tune out evenmore. And so on and so on.Enter permission-based marketing, in which consumers givemarketers permission to get in touch with them. For example,consumers sign up for their favorite restaurant’s text club ande-mail newsletter. They become fans of a company or producton Facebook. They follow their favorite corporate brand onTwitter.Many Twitter marketers use the old interruption-basedmarketing model, and they can’t understand why they aren’treaping the benefits of followers. But these marketers don’tseem to realize that people are fickle, they hate beinginterrupted, and they absolutely hate being tricked.If you want to succeed on Twitter, be honest and don’t bugpeople. In other words Don’t lie. If you send out a tweet where you link to anaffiliate make-money-fast Web site, but you make it sound 316
    • like you want people to see a cool video they can’t miss, youwill lose the trust of everyone who clicks that link, and wordwill spread about your deception. Don’t spam. Similarly, if you send out nothing butcommercial messages, such as the ones shown in Figure 11-1,Twitter users will unfollow you, block you, and report you asa spammer, and Twitter can shut down your account. If you get tired of spam tweets from people, or youget followed by someone who sends out content that youdon’t want to read, visit that person’s page on Twitter. Clickthe Block This Person button (an option in the Gear buttondrop-down menu) to block that person from ever seeing yourtweets, you seeing his or her tweets, or that person followingyou.To report spammers to Twitter, follow these steps:1. Go to http://twitter.com/spam and follow @spam.@spam automatically follows you back.2. To report a spammer, send @spam a direct message(DM) or tweet that includes the name of the spammer.Twitter checks out the reported spammer and removes theaccount, if necessary. As shown in Figure 11-2, by sending amessage, you can report the spammer and have him or herblocked and removed. 317
    • Figure 11-1: Twitter spam gets very old very quickly.Figure 11-2: Reports sent to @spam help Twitter identifyand remove spammers. 318
    • No spam, pleaseIf you’re the kind of person who wants to send out spamtweets and use dishonest tricks to get people to come to yourWeb site, this book isn’t for you. Although some peopleoppose the commercialization of social media, thatcommercialization is happening. I’m writing this book toshow people the right way to market a product or servicethrough Twitter, which can hopefully be done whilemaintaining the integrity of Twitter, specifically (and socialmedia, in general) before social media becomes asspam-ridden as e-mail.I wrote this book — and this chapter, especially — forpeople who want to use Twitter as a way to support their 319
    • other marketing efforts through the noble art of selling, not for those who want to use it to bludgeon people with oily, shady, get-rich-quick schemes.Anyone can send out hundreds of thousands of spam e-mailsand get one or two people to sign up, making the spamcampaign “worth the effort.” But I hope you don’t want to dothat kind of marketing. Rather, you want to be persuasive andfind people who actually want to buy your product and wholike your company enough to tell their friends about it.I have to warn you: This road isn’t going to be easy. Youneed to have a passion about what you’re selling. You need tolove it. Because that love and passion, not some gimmick ortrick, can capture people’s interest in you and what you haveto offer.To get started, you need to lay the groundwork forpermission-based marketing and figure out how you want totalk about what you do. A good place to lay the groundworkis with keywords, which you can read about in the followingsection.Making the Most of Twitter KeywordsKeywords are the words that people use when they aresearching for something on the Web. They’re the one, two, ormaybe three words that describe the topics prevalent in yourindustry, which help define your business. Customers findyou by using keywords, and whether they know it or not — 320
    • they talk about those keywords, ask questions related to them,or search for them.Developing your business keywordsIf you work in the windshield wiper market, your keywordsmight be clean windshields, thunderstorms, and of course,windshield wipers. If you’re in real estate in Portland,Oregon, you’d have the keywords home sales, mortgage, and#Portland, #Oregon. If you specialize in travel toLiechtenstein, your keywords are vacation and#Liechtenstein. The # is a hashtag that you put in front of alocation or keyword to help people on Twitter find the term insearches, as well as to tell other people. For more abouthashtags, see Chapter 2.To develop your keywords, you need to figure out what it isyou do. Hopefully, you know what you do already, but youneed to figure out how to explain it in a single sentence. Forexample I sell heavy-duty windshield wipers. I sell homes in Portland, Oregon. I help people plan trips to Liechtenstein. 321
    • You’ve probably heard the term elevator pitch, which comesfrom the idea that you’re on an elevator with a potentialclient, and you have about ten seconds to explain what youand your company do. So, you need a single sentence aboutyour business that can fully explain what you do and show theperson what he or she gets out of it by buying from you. Hereare some example elevator pitches: I can reduce your risk of an accident by 20 percent bykeeping your windshield clean with a special windshieldwiper. I help new home owners in Portland save 20 percent ontheir first homes. I can save business travelers 25 percent on their next flightto Liechtenstein.Now, compare the preceding two bulleted lists and find thedifferences. First, the elevator pitches include strongerbenefits: reduce accident risk, save money on a home, or savemoney on a trip. Second, the elevator pitches are veryspecific. They’re not just selling products, selling homes, orplanning vacations; they’re reducing mortality and savingmoney.The benefits don’t have to speak to everyone, and youshouldn’t try to chase down anyone and everyone. Improvingvisibility in the rain might not matter to some people, but topeople such as truck drivers and traveling salespeople,visibility while driving can be lifesaving. Saving 20 percenton a first home isn’t important to anyone who’s already ahomeowner, but a 20-something who just got married and is 322
    • looking to buy a home may see these savings as crucial. Andfor people who don’t want to leave the country for vacation,Liechtenstein is just a country they’ve never heard of. But forfans of the landlocked principality, 25 percent savings canmake them take notice.To develop your elevator pitches — and you may have one ortwo, depending on whom you meet — run through animaginary conversation with a new potential client:You: Hi, I’m Sue, I plan vacations. What do you do?Client: Hi, I’m Vincent. I sell windshield wipers to smalllandlocked countries in Western Europe.You: Fascinating. What’s the biggest problem you face inyour travels, Vince?Client: I never have enough time to plan my sales trips, so Iwait until the last minute, which means I end up paying morethan I wanted.You: Well, I run a small travel agency, and I can savebusiness travelers 25 percent on their next flight to Moscow.Notice the use of the elevator pitch in the preceding dialogue?See how that information all fit in the conversation, nice andneat? By developing that elevator pitch, you can zero in onthe client’s problem and present him with the exact solutionhe needs.Figure 11-3 shows what happens if that same messageappeared on Twitter. 323
    • Figure 11-3: The Twitter equivalent of an elevator pitch.The Twitter exchange in Figure 11-3 illustrates a couple ofimportant points: @MoscowTravelFun responded only to@kyleplacy’s immediate need. She didn’t blast out a lotof tweets, such as Save money on your nextflight to Liechtenstein. VisitLiechtensteinTravels.com for a quote.She participated in regular conversations and just happened tofind @kyleplacy’s message through a search for mykeywords. (Yeah, none of that appears in this exchange, buttrust me. I have a whole back story written for myself and@MoscowTravelFun, involving their eventual meetingand elopement to Belgium, and I’m in talks with a moviestudio for the rights.) Notice that @MoscowTravelFun asked me to DM herfor more information. A DM request helps keep theconversation private and spares their other followers fromseeing every word on Twitter. 324
    • So, if you haven’t done so already, figure out your keywordsand work on your elevator pitch. Determine what you do andwhat your customers want, and then figure out how to tellthem you can help them get what they want.Finding people who are talking about your keywordsAfter you figure out your keywords, you need to figure outwho is talking about them.Twitter searchTwitter has two types of searches: Twitter search bar: The Twitter search bar is located atthe top of the site. You can enter any term, name, or keywordand click Search. Twitter will search for tweets, tweets withlinks, tweets near you, and people associated with the search.Click the different tabs to search each group. For example, ifyou click the People tab, you are presented with a list ofpeople you can follow who are associated with that keyword. Twitter search tool (http://search.twitter.com): Twitterdoesn’t have a link to this search tool, so you have to type theaddress into your browser’s address bar directly. UseTwitter’s search tool to search for keywords and hashtags inpeople’s conversations. The search bar at the top of your profile gives youthe ability to search for Twitter keywords. This may be an 325
    • easier path to take if you are using the Web version ofTwitter. When you find someone who’s talking about akeyword you are targeting (within the Tweets tabs), click theusername, and the person’s profile information will open tothe right on your screen. Check out the user’s past tweets andsee whether he or she is someone worth following. If so, clickthe Follow button, and you’re set. When the user sees youhave started following him or her, that person may choose tocheck out your profile to see whether you’re worth followingback.Twitter trendsYou can use Twitter trends to see what the most importanttopics of discussion are on Twitter at that time. The morepopular the topic, the higher in the Twitter trends list the wordappears, as shown in Figure 11-4.Figure 11-4: Twitter trends (below the Favorites and Listed)show the most popular topics at the moment. 326
    • If you sell a product or service that’s popular at the moment— say, software technical support when a new version ofWindows or Mac OS comes out — you’d be wise to exploreTwitter trends so that you can see who’s talking about theissue and what they’re saying about it. You can pick upcommon threads of discussion and start tailoring your tweetsand blog posts about the topic.Other search toolsI discuss search tools a little more extensively in Chapter 9,but here’s a quick list of some of the most useful keywordsearch tools: Twitterment (www.twitterment.com), TweepSearch(www.tweepsearch.com), and tweepz.com 327
    • (www.tweepz.com) enable you to search user bios for yourkeywords. Nearby Tweets (www.nearbytweets.com) enables you toboth search for twitterers in a chosen location, such asyour hometown, as well as specify keywords. You can usethis search to find locally based customers, which may bereally helpful if your business is local, as in the case of realestate, restaurants, cleaning services, and so on.Use one or more of these search tools to find people who aretalking about your chosen keywords. Follow those people andstart a conversation.Promoting Your Niche by Using TweetsSome forms of traditional advertising allow you to target thepeople most likely to be interested in your product or service.For example: Send a postcard from your landscaping service to peoplewhose homes are of a certain value or located in a specificneighborhood. Send coupons for your restaurant to every home within afive-mile radius. Place an ad in a manufacturer’s trade journal touting yourlatest offering. Send an e-mail newsletter to everyone you’ve donebusiness with over the last three years. 328
    • By using social media — especially Twitter — you can dothis kind of targeting much more easily. In the precedingsections, I talk about how to find those people who may beinterested in your products or services. Now, you need towrite messages that appeal directly to those people.But you have to overcome a major hurdle — everyone isbeing hit with thousands of advertising messages online andoffline every day, according to experts. And the people youwant to reach through Twitter are also being bombarded bypeople just like you wanting to get their attention. To avoidturning off and losing potential customers, try the techniquesdescribed in the following sections.Writing about sales and dealsTweeting about sales and deals is a little tricky. If you have aspecial offer or deal that you want to present to customers,that’s fine. However, as I discuss in Chapter 9, keep yourmessages at a ratio of about 1 marketing message per 10 oreven 15 noncommercial messages. If you send outcommercial tweets more often than that, people will thinkyou’re just trying to spam them and react accordingly(unfollowing you, blocking you, or reporting you to @spam).You need to find that special balance and make sure thatyou’re actually participating in conversations with people.How to tweet about sales and dealsWrite about sales, special offers, deals, and coupons verycarefully so that you keep a balance and avoid goingoverboard (thus getting people to unfollow you, or worse, to 329
    • report you as a spammer). While still sharing details about aspecial offer every 10 to 15 tweets, you can keep a balance inone of two ways: Write a few tweets and write fewer special offers. Withthis approach, it will take you longer to present yourfollowers with all the offers you may have to share. Write a lot of tweets so that you can share the numberof special offers you have to offer in a shorter period oftime.Needless to say, the second choice in the preceding list isyour better option. Write a lot of solid, valuable, useful,personal tweets, and every 10 to 15 tweets you can add amarketing tweet: You don’t want people to think you’re onTwitter only to sell to them. (Even if you actually are onTwitter only for the marketing opportunities, at least try tomake it look like you’re trying to be a real person.)Also, make sure that your messages look natural. Messageslike the one shown in Figure 11-5 look too commercial, sopeople can easily tell you’re advertising.Instead, try to make your messages flow a little morenaturally and conversationally, as shown in Figure 11-6.Figure 11-5: This message looks too commercial. 330
    • Figure 11-6: This message sounds relatively conversational. 331
    • Admittedly, it’s a fine line between being tricky and being,well, market-y. In the section “Avoiding InterruptionMarketing Tactics on Twitter,” earlier in this chapter, I saidthat you shouldn’t lie to people. If you’re tweeting that youbought and sold a foreclosed home in three weeks, make surethat you actually did it. Be truthful. If you didn’t dosomething, don’t make it sound like you did. When you are tweeting, even if it has been ten ormore tweets since you last shared a marketing message, avoidsounding like you have all the answers on how to make easymoney with little or no work or how to cure an incurabledisease. Those are sure ways to end up being treated like aspammer.When to write about sales and dealsTry to write tweets about sales and deals in response tosomeone else’s tweets. I talk about how to find tweets aboutyour keywords in Chapter 9. When you find those tweets,send a personalized response to the user, not a canned one.For example, in response to a tweet by @minipeg1, wherehe says he is trying to decide which shooter marbles to buyfor his upcoming tournament, you could direct the tweet asshown in Figure 11-7.Figure 11-7: Make your Twitter marketing responsespersonal. 332
    • The reply to @minipeg1’s original statement included hisusername, and the response was geared directly to him andhis tweet. This reply is also personal from the sender: I did areview on my blog. So, @minipeg1 knows that I(@kyleplacy) was thinking about him, specifically, andthat he might find checking out this blog useful.As I discuss in the section “Avoiding Interruption MarketingTactics on Twitter,” earlier in this chapter, this interaction isan example of permission-based marketing. @minipeg1gave me permission to contact him by following ME onTwitter.So, I responded appropriately by sending him a link to anarticle that can help him solve his immediate problem, insteadof just sending out tweet after tweet about special offers and 333
    • coupons that may or may not be what he wants (which isinterruption marketing).Writing about your services proactivelyThere is no doubt that you must reply to tweets pertaining toproblems in connection with your products or services.However, this is a rather reactive approach to using Twitter(though it may help you protect and improve your imageamong your customers).Being proactive means keeping an eye on upcoming trendsand events in your industry, creating content to educatepeople about what’s coming, and writing articles related towhat you know, have found out yourself, and can usefullyexplain. (See the section “Promoting Your Content throughDiscussion,” later in this chapter, for more information aboutblogs.)How to write proactivelyIf you know that the Midwest Marble Collection Conventionis coming up in three months, write a couple of quick blogposts, such as Five Marble-Friendly Hotels and Five FavoriteRestaurants for Marble Collectors. Do a recap of last year’stournament and review this year’s entrants. Discuss some ofthe issues people will be talking about at the convention thisyear. You can link to these entries in some of your tweets asthe convention approaches.Additionally, here are a few ways to be proactive in yourspecific industry: 334
    • Keep an eye on the trade journals and the leaders inyour industry. Find out what they’re talking about, anddiscuss those issues on your own blog. Chances are that themajor voices in your industry are looking at the importantissues before they even become issues. Forward the leaders’articles to your followers, in addition to your own articles. Keep up to date in the allied and related industries. Ifyou’re writing about marble manufacturing, you may see anarticle in Glass Blowers Digest about how glass blowers arehaving problems getting their hands on raw materials, or Sandand Aggregate Monthly might include an article about asevere shortage in this year’s sand harvest. You know theseissues will trickle down to the marble-manufacturing industry.Write about these upcoming trends in your blog and promotethem on Twitter.If you keep your ear to the ground for trends in your industryand related industries and share your insights, you’ll becomethe visionary in your industry. Pretty soon, the industryleaders will be contacting you to invite you to coffee so thatthey can pick your brain! Don’t do these two big things: wait until it’s toolate to share a very useful tip (such as reviewing the top fiverestaurants on the next-to-last day of the conference) or donothing at all. Nothing kills proaction like procrastination.When to write proactively 335
    • Figure out when people are getting ready to talk about new orupcoming issues. If you’ve just heard about an issue, writeabout it immediately. Maybe you’re the first to write about it.If you can offer a preview of an upcoming conference orevent, start talking about it at least a month in advance, beforepeople start making travel plans. Whatever you do, start writing about upcomingevents or issues sooner rather than later. You can become thego-to resource for anything related to that issue. And if yourfollowers pass your information on to their followers,hopefully they’ll give you the credit, which can help yougather some new followers.Promoting Your Content through DiscussionThis section deviates from the Twitter topic a little bit andtouches on another area that goes hand in hand with Twitter:blogging. Because Twitter is also called micro-blogging, it’sonly appropriate that I discuss them together.Blogging offers you a great way to allow other people to readyour ideas so that you can establish yourself as an expert inthat industry. You may find blogging especially useful in B2B(business-to-business) sales because you want to establishyourself as a solution to your customers’ problems.I don’t go into the hows or whys of blogging in this book.You can find several good books (such as Blogging ForDummies, 3rd Edition, by Susannah Gardner and Shane 336
    • Birley [published by Wiley]) that can help you get startedwith blogging. Make blogging a part of your Twitter marketingplan. Use your blog to promote ideas and solutions that youknow about. Then use Twitter to promote your blog. Becauseyou’ve already created a network of people in your industry,now you need the content to pass on to them. Remember, themore they see, the more they’ll understand you’re the expertin that area. And when they have a problem, they’re going tocall the expert. People love lists, just love ’em. (That’s why ForDummies books include the Part of Tens, with chapters thatgive top-ten lists.) When you write your blog posts, try tocreate numbered lists — your readers will love it.Don’t believe me? Create your blog post, and send out twodifferent tweets, one with the numbers in the headline (suchas 5 Marble-Friendly Restaurants for#MidMarbCollCon) and one without (for example,Review of Marble-Friendly Restaurantsfor #MidMarbCollCon). Give each tweet its ownseparate shortened URL so that you can track the resultingnumber of followers who click the links. You can see anexample of a list kind of tweet in Figure 11-8. 337
    • Figure 11-8: Lists make for great content that people love toread.When and where to promote: Promoting the right wayYou can find a couple of schools of thought on when andwhere to promote. One says that there’s no wrong way topromote, as long as you don’t overpromote. The othermaintains that you should promote/post only at certain, idealtimes. Whichever school you belong to, follow these steps topromote your business:1. Create and publish your blog post.Make sure that you use your keywords appropriately — in thetitle, inside some hyperlinks, and throughout the text at a ratioof 1 keyword per 100 to 150 words. You don’t need to get 338
    • overly mathematical: Simply avoid overusing keywords andbe natural about the way you write.2. Copy the URL of the new post, switch over toTweetDeck (described in Chapter 5), and paste your URLin the message window. Remember that TweetDeck willautomatically shorten your URL.HootSuite will also allow you to shorten your URL usingtheir ow.ly shortening system.3. Type New post: followed by the headline of your blogpost.Copy and paste the blog post title into TweetDeck. Play a bitmore with the post headline to make it descriptive. You wantto summarize the article in just a few words and keep thewhole tweet to around 110 characters. That will make it easierfor others to retweet it.Tweet about your blog posts at these ideal times: Sunday evenings: It turns out that a lot of people spendSunday evenings on the couch, laptop on their laps or PDA intheir hands, watching TV. They tweet, play on Facebook, andjust cruise the Web. Weekdays in the morning or after lunchtime: Anothertime to tweet is whenever your customers are likely to be infront of the computer. If your customers can use social mediaduring the workday, post your tweet sometime during the day,either in the morning or right after lunch. 339
    • Weekdays after dinnertime: If your customers tend to bein the B2C (business-to-consumer) realm, they probably can’tuse Twitter at work. So, set your blog posts to publish in thelate afternoon, but tweet the new post information afterdinnertime. Near the middle of the week: Closer to the middle of theweek, more people are using Twitter, so if you want tomaximize the exposure of a tweet (or a series of tweets) thatyou could share on any day, save them for Wednesday.The value of thought leadership in B2B salesB2B sales — any sales, actually — are all about solvingproblems. B2B sales differ from B2C (business-to-consumer)sales in that consumers often make impulse purchases, evenfor higher-priced items, whether they solve a problem or not.B2B customers typically don’t make impulse buys. So, youhave to gear your blog posts to solve problems that may arisefor your group of customers (see the section “Writing aboutyour services proactively,” earlier in this chapter) for onesimple reason: search engines.People no longer surf the Internet; they search it. Web userssurfed 12 to 15 years ago when the Internet offered onlythousands of Web sites. You could have a conversation withyour friends about “that site with the dancing baby,” andeveryone knew what you were talking about. Now, thousandsof sites are created every hour. Back then, you could click alink that went from one site to another, to another, beforefinally landing on the page you really wanted. And if youfound something interesting along the way, your life was thebetter for it. 340
    • Nowadays, Web users fire up Google, Yahoo!, or other searchengines to see what they can find. (People use Google.According to a Search Engine Land article, a total of 34,000searches are performed every second on Google. That is 88billion searches every month. So optimize your blogs, Websites, and even tweets for Google.)Search terms and keywords are getting longer and morecomplex. You can no longer search for marbles withoutgetting 10,100,000 possible pages or marble manufacturingwithout getting 4,970,000 pages (most of which are about thebuilding material). Instead, people are searching by inputtingquestions such as how are marbles made? or how do I holdand shoot a marble?This explosive growth seen in the Web both helps and hindersthought leaders when they want to communicate. On thepositive side, you can be specific about very small issueswithin a very small niche and create a lot of content about thatniche. On the negative side, you have to be specific aboutvery small issues within a very small niche and create a lot ofcontent about that niche. However, because many blog postscan run around 300, 200, and (in a few cases) even 100words, you can easily generate this content.Then, when a potential customer has a question — such as“How do they play marbles in Taiwan?” — your blog postthat explains the rules and general play of the game will showup near the top of the search engine results. If your blog postsappear in enough of these searches, you will eventuallybecome recognized as one of the thought leaders for thatniche. 341
    • When you have some free time, create a fewhow-to articles about problems in your industry and postthose articles to your blog. Tweet the links when you postthem (but try not to flood your followers with ten new postswithin minutes). Also, feel free to send the links out againwhen you answer a question or solve a problem for afollower. 342
    • Chapter 12Improving Your Customer ServiceIn This Chapter Finding out how Comcast puts Twitter to work forcustomer service Empowering your customer service department withTwitter Practicing the art of listening with Twitter Using Twitter for small-business customer service Offering useful advice to your customers and followersYou can’t deny that social media has changed everything. Butone particular aspect of the business world that has seen thischange in the face is customer service. Customers can nowspeak more easily with each other and spread the word aboutgood companies, but by the same token, they can also telleach other about bad experiences with great ease. Anycompany that is unable to adjust to this will not even knowwhat hit it and, one by one, will start losing customers.Welcome to the world of Customer Service 2.0, whereTwitter can be one of your most powerful allies. In thischapter, I discuss how to turn Twitter into a tool to help youimprove your customer service.May I Help? Twitter Customer Service from Comcast 343
    • If there’s such a thing as awesome customer serviceon Twitter, the Comcast Cares Digital Team is it. TheComcast Cares Digital Team is the right arm of support forComcast, the huge cable company. (The team starts with BillGerth at @ComcastCares. Go ahead and follow him.He’ll follow you back.) Bill’s job is to provide customerservice to Comcast customers by watching out for them onTwitter.Bill reads tweets that contain the words Comcast,#Comcast, and sometimes Comcrap. When they comeacross his desktop, he responds to each and every one ofthem, as shown in Figure 12-1.Figure 12-1: @ComcastCares responds to every customercomplaint or problem. 344
    • The response from the customer is usually one of pleasantsurprise, followed by a summary of the problem. Thecustomer describes the situation, and the team gets on the job.They can usually solve the customer’s problem — or at leastrefer him or her to the correct department. More often thannot, Bill calls the department himself and arranges to get theproblem fixed.Comcast has been offering Twitter customer care only sinceApril 2008, but seven people are already working on theteam: @ComcastBill, @ComcastBonnie,@ComcastSteve, @ComcastKim,@ComcastSherri, @ComcastMelissa, and@ComcastDete. Together, the team monitors allcomplaints about Comcast and handles problems for thehundreds of thousands of Comcast customers. 345
    • The Digital Care reps can walk disgruntled customers throughtheir problems and help them find solutions, get their accountnumbers and troubleshoot the problems, get phone numbersand call them personally to fix the problems, or in somecases, alert the correct department and have a technician sentout to their homes. And here’s the really cool thing:Regardless of how angry the customer is, the Digital Care forComcast response is always positive, as shown in Figure12-2.Figure 12-2: @ComcastCares responds to all customers thesame way.Needless to say, a lot of people are talking about ComcastCustomer Service. Many magazine articles have been writtenabout Bill and his Digital Care department. Bloggers havewaxed rhapsodic about the attention they received. And social 346
    • media geeks like me tell clients this little bedtime story tohelp them dream of a happy day when they can solve theirclients’ problems in 140 characters or less.@ComcastCares has gotten so popular that manyComcast customers tweet the individuals on the team, insteadof calling the customer service number and waiting forseveral minutes for an operator to help them. Also, some@ComcastCares fans often do some troubleshooting forBill while he’s on vacation.I talk elsewhere in this book about having raving fans andevangelists for a company or brand, and the following thatBill has built provides a perfect example. Comcast has oftenhad a bad reputation for being a giant corporation that doesn’tcare about its customers. But efforts such as the ComcastDigital Team have helped turn that reputation around. Manyjournalists and bloggers say that they notice a hugeimprovement in Comcast responsiveness and care. And theteam has played an important role in that turnaround — in140 characters or less.Empowering Your Customer ServiceComcast’s Digital Care Team is successful in their efforts toprovide great customer service on Twitter for two simplereasons: The employers let them do it. They stuck with it. 347
    • These are the two biggest reasons that any companysuccessfully uses Twitter. Although you need to do manyother things to ensure your Twitter customer service success(and different social media pros tell you different things thatyou need to do), I guarantee that if you don’t have theunderstanding, approval, and backing of your boss, and youdon’t stick with it, you’re guaranteed to fail.If you’re the boss, flip through this book to try to understandthe what, how, and why of using Twitter in your business. Ifyou still don’t get it, just start saying, “Because the book toldme to, because the book told me to,” over and over until youat least understand that you have to do it, whether you get itor not.The following sections help you determine how to best useTwitter for customer service if you run a customer servicedepartment, if you have customer service reps (CSRs)working for you, or if you own a small business. First, I coverwhat Twitter customer service efforts can do for yourbusiness, and then I help you determine how you can useTwitter to improve your customer service.Discovering why you should use Twitter for customer serviceRemember, Twitter is just a tool. It doesn’t give you a wholenew way of doing business — it just provides a new methodof communication. It combines texting, chat, and e-mail. Andif your customer service representatives are already proficientat texting, chat, and e-mail, they’ll be whizzes at Twitter.Adding Twitter to your customer service repertoire makessense for these reasons: 348
    • You save money and training time. Twitter is free. Youcan use it easily. It takes only an hour (at most) to sign up fora Twitter account, download TweetDeck (it’s free fromhttp://tweetdeck.com), and give your customer service repinstructions on how to use TweetDeck and Twitter. You improve customer service output. Say that you havecustomer service people who have a lot of time between calls— you can put them on Twitter duty (twuty?) so that they canhandle customer problems on Twitter in their downtime.You’ve improved your customer service output withoutadding staff. Your customer service reps save time. Think back to thelast time you, as the customer, had to make a customerservice call. How much of that conversation was spentwaiting for the CSR to search for your account information?In a Twitter conversation, you often have a gap between atweet and its response. The other person may be doingsomething else or needed to step away from his or hercomputer. Twitterers expect these gaps. Your CSR couldspend that downtime looking up account information, makingnotes on the customer file, or contacting the appropriatedepartment. You save the customer’s time. How many minutes a yeardo people spend on the phone waiting for “the next availableoperator”? If you have a major emergency — say, the cablewent out, just before the Weird Al Yankovic video marathon— you have to wait on hold. But what if you have a minorproblem that you’re too busy to deal with at the moment? Doyou really want to wait for 20 minutes for a minor problem? 349
    • You improve the customer’s mood. Speaking to a CSRwho helps solve the problem can improve a customer’sdisposition. Lo-o-o-o-o-ng wait times don’t. If you canresolve a customer’s problem in less time than that individualwould have spent waiting to speak to a real person (face toface or on the phone), you’ll end up with a happier customer. You leave a public record of customer service. Thepublic can see the Twitter stream. People are talking aboutyour company and your brand. One of the stories they’refrequently telling is about your customer service or (hopefullynot the) complete lack thereof. When people search for yourcompany, you want the good stories to outweigh the bad ones.And a good story could include a Twitter conversationbetween you and a customer you just helped. You improve your reputation. The people who tweetedabout being unhappy with your business usually turn aroundand tweet that they’re happy again after what your customerservice people did for them. And if they’re popular, thathappy little story may get retweeted a few times, spreadingthat success story beyond just the original customer’sfollowers.So, how would you use Twitter for customer service? Forexample, say you own a company called Your Eye Care, ahigh-performance eyeglasses-frame manufacturer. You sellergonomic glasses to computer programmers, and you findthe following tweet: Really upset today.@youreyecare glasses just broke, and Ihave to use my old glasses to see. The 350
    • conversation shown in Figures 12-3 and 12-4 could easilyensue.The interaction in Figure 12-4 is an example of a greatcustomer service experience for several reasons: In a five-minute Twitter conversation, @YourEyeCarewas able to solve @kyleplacy’s problem. Solving thisproblem could have easily taken a 10- or 15-minute phoneconversation. Also, because @YourEyeCare is able tosolve this particular issue faster, the company is able to dealwith more customer inquiries in the same amount of time,thus improving customer service output. @kyleplacy received an immediate response. He didn’thave to wait for “the next available representative” for tenminutes, so he was hopefully in a much better mood when hereceived the tweet from @YourEyeCare than he wouldhave been talking to a CSR over the phone. This immediateresponse also adds to Your Eye Care’s reputation forproviding prompt service. @YourEyeCare was able to look up the customer’saddress during the downtime of the conversation.@kyleplacy didn’t have to wait on the phone while therep did an address search, and he didn’t have to repeat hisaddress to the rep. The result? A less frustrated customer. This problem-solving session is a public conversation, sopotential customers can find it on search engines and/or see itin their Twitter streams. Anyone following@YourEyeCare can see that the company solved another 351
    • problem. Anyone following @kyleplacy (as can be seenin Figure 12-4) can see his half of the conversation, wonderwhat’s going on, and then search for the conversation.(TweetDeck and other Web-based apps have a function thatlets you follow an entire conversation, even if you aren’tfollowing the parties.) @YourEyeCare got a little branding push out of this.@kyleplacy tweeted his happiness to all his followers.And, depending on how many people follow him, that tweetcould have just reached anywhere from a couple hundred to afew thousand people. For example, if @kyleplacy hasover 17,000 followers, @YourEyeCare just got a free bit ofadvertising to over 17,000 people, including a link to thebusiness’s Web site. And, as every marketer knows, anunsolicited testimonial from a satisfied customer carries a lotmore weight and credibility than a paid advertisement.Figure 12-3: An example of a customer service rep helping acustomer on Twitter. 352
    • Figure 12-4: The customer being helped gradually calmsdown and ends up happy. 353
    • Determining who should use Twitter for customer serviceNot everyone is cut out for customer service. You probablyknow a few people who aren’t. They just don’t have the righttemperament for dealing with people who want to give yourbusiness money. (Of course, they probably don’t work incustomer service, in the first place.)The most obvious place to find a Twitter CSR is in yourcustomer service department. Find out who’s friendly andable to multitask, and who has the aptitude to use thetechnology. You want this person to start using Twitter forcustomer service.I discuss corporate reputation management in more depth inChapter 13, but here are a few tips and rules to remember 354
    • when choosing CSRs to handle your Twitter customerservice: Train your best, friendliest employees in how toproperly use Twitter and social media. Proper use mayinclude not abusing Twitter and other social media networksby using them for personal posts. Of course, you need to be alittle flexible and not go overboard if a CSR makes a personalcomment, but at the same time, your CSR shouldn’t playFacebook games at work. Train your employees in how to communicate with thepublic. Although CSRs usually don’t have a problem withcommunication, keep in mind that people can easily forgetthey’re in public when they’re online. Even if a customer’s ajerk, the CSR can’t be. You can find many stories repeated inblogs and mainstream media when a CSR flies off the virtualhandle at a customer. As rude as a customer might be,company employees must know better because people spreadthe news of an employee meltdown like a virus. Have your employees use their own names, instead ofjust using the company name. Although Bill Gerth is knownas @ComcastCares, employees who work for him usetheir own names. People buy from people they like. And althoughyour CSRs aren’t selling anything, if customers can put afriendly face and name to your company, they’re likely tocontinue to buy from you. 355
    • Act above board in all things, tell the truth, and be fairto your customers. Remember, you provide customer servicethrough Twitter for the public to see. If you say you’re goingto do something, do it. If you fail to deliver on your promises,now everyone knows about both the original problem andyour failure. When you shouldn’t use Twitter for customer service Many of your customers’ problems are ones that you can’t or shouldn’t discuss on Twitter, such as issues with a customer’s account, billing problems, personnel issues, or any kind of information that anybody (customer or staff member) could find embarrassing or in which you would need to release private, personal information. Also, avoid using Twitter if it’s your only foray into social media. If you have only a Web site that you haven’t updated in five years, you don’t have a blog, and your Facebook page is one your 14-year-old nephew set up for you so that you can play Mafia Wars, you don’t want to start out with Twitter. First, update your Web site (and put a blog on it), and made it look like you’ve joined the twenty-first century. If you’re not monitoring the social media realm for your brand or company name, you shouldn’t be on Twitter, either. Otherwise, you miss the important tweets from customers who need your help. You’re better off not having a Twitter presence at all than to miss tweets from people who know 356
    • you’re on there. It’s equivalent to not picking up your office phone during business hours.Responding to public complaints on TwitterSome people in your company may start feeling a littlenervous at this point (usually, they’re in the legaldepartment). You may be thinking, do you really want yourcompany’s screw-ups on the Internet for everyone to see?Don’t worry: Your screw-ups are already online. (Check outhttp://customer-circus.com, www.measuredup.com, andwww.my3cents.com for examples.) Every major and minormistake you make has the potential to show up in a tweet orblog post. The billing department’s error leads to angrytweets, the video of a sleeping cable installer appears onYouTube, and someone will devote an entire blog post to hisbroken eyeglasses.The question isn’t whether people talk about you — becausethey do, and they have a place to do it. The question iswhether you have a way to respond and help resolve theproblem just as publicly as the customers can complain.Don’t assume that you can keep complaints and problemsfrom going public. You have to assume that every gaffe anderror could become a public issue. In many cases, your CSRteam needs to become a mini-crisis response team. How theyrespond determines how far customers’ issues travel. (SeeChapter 13 for more on using Twitter for crisis management.) 357
    • Fix customers’ problems quickly and to theirsatisfaction to make them not only stop complaining but alsomaybe even sing the company’s praises. I can’t count howmany times I’ve seen blog posts about problems withproducts that the bloggers later updated with the resolutionsto the problems, saying they’re now very happy with thecompanies again. Avoid getting into angry debates and discussionson Twitter. Not only does it embarrass you and yourcompany, but it also lives forever on the Internet for anyoneto find. If you find yourself getting testy, take several minutesto cool off (remember the time gap between tweets; no onewill think anything of it), and then get in touch with theperson by phone.Practicing the Art of ListeningYou may remember grade-school lessons about how tocarefully listen to people. CSRs get trained in this skill, too.Listen to the customer: Don’t simply think about what you’regoing to say when he or she stops talking. Focus yourattention on your customer, and don’t get distracted by otherthings going on.You start listening with the first message from a customer.Messages typically come to you on Twitter in two ways: 358
    • The customer knows you’re there and sends you a tweetdirectly in the hopes that you’ll see it and answer it. The customer’s angry and wants everyone to know aboutit, as well as whose fault it is (even if it wasn’t really yours).Either way, you need to respond with a friendly, “What can Ido for you?” or “How can I help you?” Start the conversationoff on a positive note, instead of getting defensive andescalating it into a Twitter shouting match before you evenidentify the problem.Understanding why it’s important to listen on TwitterYou need to listen to your customers on Twitter becausethat’s where people are talking. Twitter has over 170 millionusers worldwide, and it’s the most popular micro-bloggingtool. Although it doesn’t have the same reach as Facebook,it’s still in the mainstream, and millions of people are using it.So, are your customers using Twitter? Take a look at yourideal customer, the person who spends the most money withyour company. Can you identify a pattern among the topspenders for your business? Are they technology users? Arethey social media users?Do a quick Find Friends search on Twitter to figure outwhether you can find any of those ideal customers. (If youcan, be sure to follow them.) If they’re on Twitter, chancesare that more people like them are also twitterers. (SeeChapter 11 for information on how to gather those potentialcustomers.) 359
    • Then, take it a step further. Export your customer database toa Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, LinkedIn, or AOL mail account(create a special account just for this step, if you need to), andthen import it into Twitter so that you can see how many ofyour current customers are using Twitter. (See Chapter 9 formore in-depth instructions on uploading your contact list.) Letyour customers know you’re on Twitter, too, and proactivelyask them whether they need any help or have any questions.Using an RSS feed to track your brandIn Chapter 10, I talk about using certain Web sites anddesktop applications to follow different Twitter trends, topics,and even your brand. By using applications and sites such asTwitter Search, Twitterfall, TweetTabs, and even TweetDeck,you can easily check the pulse on the conversationshappening about you and your brand.But sometimes the tweets about your brand disappear fromthe screen because the application you are using can hold onlyso many tweets, and you can’t recover them easily, if at all.For example, the Twitterfall page holds anywhere from 10 to20 tweets, depending on the size of your browser window,and after those tweets disappear from the screen, they’renearly impossible to recover.In this kind of situation, an RSS reader can really make adifference. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, andyou can use this monitoring tool to keep up with differentcontent feeds. Your Twitter stream on TweetDeck or otherTwitter apps is a type of RSS feed. Using an RSS reader, youcan combine different feeds from different newspapers, blogs,social networks, and even Facebook. 360
    • So, you can convert your Twitter searches for tweets aboutyour brand or company to an RSS feed, which you can accessfrom any RSS reader. (See the next section for more onchoosing an RSS reader.)Using RSS feeds gives you a number of different advantages.You can Be away from your desk. One of the problems withTwitter is that if you step away from it, you can misssomething. You can always create narrow, specific searchesthat don’t get populated very frequently and thus don’t getlost on your regular Twitter feed. But sometimes, you stilllose search results if you have to reboot your computer. AnRSS feed doesn’t depend on your computer being on, so youdon’t have to worry about information getting lost while you(or your computer) are sleeping. Share the feed with other people. If you have otherpeople in your department, send them the URL of the savedfeed, and they can import it into their RSS feed reader. Youcan also easily get to the feed if you often work on more thanone computer. Just keep your RSS feeds in one location in aneasy-to-access spot, such as Google Reader, so that you cansee your feeds anywhere. Easily access old tweets. Even after you read a tweet, theRSS feed still keeps it in place. Just scroll back to the tweetyou’re looking for to display it.Investigating popular RSS readers 361
    • A number of different RSS readers are available, whether youuse a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer, or even just want tokeep it online. Here’s a review of a few of the more popularones: Google Reader (www.google.com/reader): Googlealready owns everything, so why not own an RSS feedreader? As shown in Figure 12-5, you can add feeds to youriGoogle homepage or add them to the separate reader, whichkeeps all your feeds in a single location, showing you only theones that you haven’t read. (Don’t worry, you can still pull upfeed items you’ve already read.) My Yahoo! (http://my.yahoo.com): My Yahoo! is a greatnews aggregator, which is sort of like a newspaper that youbuild. As you can see in Figure 12-6, it’s compact, without alot of wasted space, so you can squeeze more feeds onto onescreen. You can also create tabs (“pages”) for different typesof content. Create tabs for brand mentions, industry news,company updates, or whatever you want. NewsGator (www.newsgator.com): Pull up RSS feeds ona Mac, in Windows, in your Web browser, or on a mobiledevice, or even have feeds sent to your e-mail address. Youcan benefit from this last delivery method if you have a legaldepartment that requires you to save this kind of information.Drop all the e-mails into their own folder after you read them,and you can keep them as long as you need.Figure 12-5: Google Reader enables you to read many itemsin one place. 362
    • Figure 12-6: My Yahoo! aggregates items of all types foryou. 363
    • NewsFox (http://newsfox.mozdev.org): This is a plug-infor your Firefox Web browser. Firefox actually has severalRSS plug-ins, but NewsFox is one of the more popular ones.You can read feeds offline, group your feeds, and subscribe toa new feed with one click. Bloglines (www.bloglines.com): This Web-based readerhas an e-mail-like interface. It stores your feeds on its serverso that you can access them from any computer. Liferea (http://liferea.sourceforge.net): This is aLinux-based RSS reader and one of the easier ones to use.Liferea stores your feeds in its own cache so that you can readthem offline. However, you can read the feeds from only onecomputer.Using Twitter for Customer Service for a Small Business 364
    • If you’re wondering how you, as a small-business owner, canuse Twitter for customer service, read the preceding sectionsin this chapter — but when you read your staff or customerservice representative, substitute you. (I actually tried justreusing those sections, making the replacements for you, butmy editor said no.)As a small-business owner, you have a big limitation, andthat’s time. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re alreadybusy enough trying to prospect for new customers, sell yourproduct or service, keep the books, market the company, andnow do all the other stuff I tell you about in this book.Running your business can be very time consuming, andalthough I can easily say, “Well, you should make time forthis because it’s really important,” you know that everythingyou do is important, so it’s hard to prioritize. Here are a fewthings that you can do to provide excellent customer serviceon Twitter — and social media, in general — and possiblyeven save yourself some time: Recruit your loyal customers. Ask some of your bestcustomers — you know, the ones who refer people to you,who are glad to hear from you, and whom you considerfriends — if they’d be willing to lend their expertise. Maybe acustomer has a problem that other loyal customers may haveexperienced before. If you helped one of your loyal customerswith this problem in the past, when someone else poses thatquestion, that customer can answer it for you. Write blog posts about your customers’ mostfrequently asked questions or most common problems. Ifyou see some of the same issues over and over, write a 365
    • detailed blog post that explains what the problem is, how tofix it, and how to prevent it in the future. Then, write a veryshort tweet about it that includes a URL to the article, andsave that tweet in a word processing file in which you storeyour most commonly used responses. Whenever you get thatquestion, copy and paste that response in a reply, and thensend it to the customer. When you send out commonly used responses thatinclude a shortened URL, be sure to use the link from a URLshortener such as bit.ly (http://bit.ly). (See Chapter 6 for moreinformation about URL shorteners.) Keep track of the numberof times you send this tweet, and then track how many timestwitterers have clicked the link. For a little variety, and if youhave the time, use a different URL each time so that you cansee what kind of traffic patterns each link gets. You may startto see a pattern in click-through rates that can help you figureout a new social media or customer service strategy. Write blog posts about issues that might becomeproblems. If you identify an issue that may become aproblem later on for your customers, write a blog post thataddresses the issue. Don’t cover it up and hope it doesn’tblow up; otherwise, you’ll end up with much bigger problems(and a lot more wasted time). Promote the post to yourcustomers through Twitter, e-mail, and any othercommunication you normally use with them. Try to head offmost of the problems before they become problems. 366
    • Put someone else in charge of customer service. If youhave someone in your business who can also handle this kindof problem, have him or her manage the Twitter side ofcustomer service, while you deal with phone calls andin-person visits. If you don’t currently have anyone else whocan take some of your customer service workload, considerhiring someone to handle some of your customer serviceissues. Try to determine whether you could make up for theexpense by spending all that reclaimed time in getting moresales.Offering Actionable Advice on TwitterCustomer service is more than just a sympathetic ear andvague promises that you’ll take care of the problem. Whenyou use Twitter for customer service, you need to rememberthat your messages are public, so whenever possible, try togive advice that others might also find useful. For example, ifyou give advice on how to fix a computer problem, don’t justput the information in a direct message that only the personwho asked the question sees. Send your recommendation outas a general tweet in case other people have the same problem(now or in the future).Also, don’t just offer commiserations and sympathy to yourcustomers, although you should do that. Be sure to actuallyhelp them solve their problems. Customers would rather havetheir problems fixed than find out that you feel bad for them.If you have the space, do both. If not, fix the problem first,offer well-wishes later. Figure 12-7 shows thisfix-then-sympathize tweet approach.Figure 12-7: Fix the problem and then offer con-dolences. 367
    • Be sure to thank people in your tweets. After you solve theirproblems, thank them for being customers and thank them forusing Twitter. Thanking customers for reaching out to youthrough Twitter also encourages other people to use Twitterin the future, which is good for you!Handling customer issues, concerns, cares, or problemsWhat are some of the issues your customers are typicallygoing to tweet about? You can answer this question prettyeasily by considering what they call and e-mail you aboutnow. Usually, customers have issues because something’sbroken, they don’t know how to work something, they have aquestion about their bill, or they feel they’re not getting thesatisfaction they expected from your product, service, orcompany. 368
    • You can deal with all these issues pretty easily. Ifsomething’s broken, tell customers how you’re going to fix itor explain how they can fix it. If they can’t figure out how touse something, send them a link to a blog post that explainsthe steps they need to follow. If they have a question abouttheir bills, ask them to send you a direct message (you shouldfollow them when you see they’re customers) and get all theimportant details that way (don’t ask them for privateinformation; limit yourself to getting their e-mail address oraccount number). If they aren’t satisfied, find out why andhelp them fix the problem. What shouldn’t you tweet about? Any financial,medical, personal, or legal information can be potentiallyrisky to expose through Twitter, so don’t discuss that kind ofinformation publicly. In other words, don’t tweet bankbalances, test results, credit card information, or the results ofyour client’s parole hearing over Twitter.Remembering to say yesCustomer service is more than just a buzzword — it’s actuallyproviding assistance to customers so that they stay happy. Ican give you a bunch of great advice about how to use Twitterto help serve your customers, how to devise strategies toestablish the greatest reach, and how small businesses can useTwitter to drive success. But none of that advice gets youvery far if you don’t use one simple word: yes. 369
    • Airlines that use Twitter for customer serviceYou can find hundreds of examples of positive customerservice on Twitter. I decided to take a look at how airlineswere using Twitter for customer service. Many of thefeatured companies are not known for their rapid change,but this shows some hope for the future: @JetBlue: @milesbranman let us know what happened,Miles. We’d like to help: http://www.jetblue.com/help/contactus @HawaiianAir: @ShelcieT We try our best to not havedelays but unforeseen situations occur. Check your flightstatus here - http://bit.ly/gA2P17d @SouthwestAir: @mmbrindley Oh, that’s no good. Ifyou can give me the flight number I’ll see if I can reach outto them with your feedback! @DeltaAssist: @DavidLazarus Again my apologies forthe trouble, I appreciate your patience, it should be thereshortly 370
    • @UnitedAirlines: @caper sorry to hear that - can you please send your flt number and we’ll make sure it was reported to be fixed.Basically, if you can’t or won’t fix your customers’ problems,you’re actually better off staying away from Twitter.Remember, angry customers communicate quickly.Twice-angered customers communicate twice as quickly andtwice as loudly. (Don’t believe me? Take a look athttp://customer-circus.com, which started out when BobGarfield, Advertising Age columnist and host of NPR’s OnThe Media, created a Web site called Comcast Must Die,boldly declaring what he thought of the cable giant and whatshould happen to it. Luckily, Comcast took the complaints toheart and turned its customer service around.) If you can’t provide the customer service that yourcustomers have come to expect thanks to the advent of socialmedia, tuck yourself away and try to make yourself asinvisible as possible — because you’re going to gethammered pretty soon. Putting yourself out on Twitter justmakes you that much more vulnerable to angry rants fromcustomers about how poorly your business has treated them.Not to worry. Pretty soon, your company will shut down, andall the angry people will go away. 371
    • Or, you could just provide better customer service. Needhelp? Check out Customer Service For Dummies, 3rd Edition,by Karen Leland and Keith Bailey (published by Wiley). 372
    • Chapter 13Relating to the PublicIn This Chapter Managing your reputation on Twitter Promoting live events on Twitter Setting the proper tonePublic relations is in some ways becoming both easier andmore difficult. It’s more difficult because as more newspapersare consolidating or closing completely, and TV and radiostations are shedding their local stories in favor of the morecheaply produced national ones, people are turning awayfrom traditional media for their news. And as public relationsbecomes more popular and sophisticated, more PR pros arecompeting for fewer column inches and air time.At the same time, the public is starting to get its news andinformation online — from blogs, alternative news sites,YouTube, online TV and radio, and online sites for printnewspapers. Thanks to search engines and social media toolslike Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, you can reach the publicyourself and skip the media middle man.Managing Your ReputationYour reputation is one of the most important factors inrunning a successful business. It’s how your customers andpotential customers perceive you. If you have a reputation for 373
    • bad customer service, people will avoid you. If you have areputation for great value, people will seek you out.How you act online is just as important. Do you provideuseful, helpful information, or are you an Internet troll whoflames everyone who slightly disagrees with you? The helpfulpeople get new business and referrals from clients andsocial-networking friends. Everyone avoids and refuses to dobusiness with the trolls, regardless of the quality of theirproducts or their prices. I know a couple of Internet trolls on different socialnetworks, and unfortunately, they have damaged theirreputations beyond repair. Everyone just rolls his eyeswhenever they show up online, and no one will have anythingto do with them. The problem for these trolls is thatinformation on the Internet lasts forever, and their ramblingspeeches, insults, and diatribes show up whenever someonelooks for them by using a search engine. The general rule for personal reputationmanagement is this: Don’t say anything online that youwouldn’t say in front of your mother or want printed on thefront page of The Wall Street Journal.Following some general guidelines 374
    • The following list provides a few rules to remember when itcomes to managing your corporate reputation: Train your best, friendliest employees in how toproperly use Twitter and other social media. Some peoplejust seem to have a personality for this kind of work and taketo it easily. Also, train those employees in how to communicatewith the public. Not everyone can — or should —communicate with the public. Train your employees in how todeal with the public so that you don’t run into a situationwhere you have to clean up after them when they mismanagea conflict with a customer. Have your employees use their own names, instead ofposing as the company. Using their own names keeps them alittle more honest and friendlier. They may take more care tobe polite if they know that not only their current employer,but also future employers, can see what they do. Act above board in all things, tell the truth, and be fairto your customers. If you don’t, people will talk about it, andyou’ll have to spend too much time trying to repair thedamage (if you can pick up the broken pieces — sometimesyou can’t).Monitoring what other folks are sayingIt can be a tough thing to let go, but a big lesson you need totake to heart is that you are no longer able (nor is it in yourbest interest) to control the message about your company insocial media at large, and Twitter specifically. This may not 375
    • sound like too big of a deal if people are praising you or yourproducts and services. But it may be a tough pill to swallowwhen others are badmouthing you.The following sections deal with what to do (and not do)when people are talking about you and your products,whether they are saying good or bad things about them.Some evangelists are communicating with others on ourbehalf. Should we stop them?Suppose you run across fans who are communicating withothers on your behalf. Should you try to stop them?Absolutely not! These people are your evangelists, yourraving fans, your — and this is important — payingcustomers and repeat business. These people are doing a lotof your PR work for you. They’re answering questions thatnew customers may have, they’re promoting your brand foryou, and they’re working as an extension of your PRdepartment.This may seem like a common-sense question, and acommon-sense answer, but I’ve been asked this many times.You have to resist the urge to control all content that is aboutyou, even if it’s in your favor. If people are talking about you,answering questions for you, or posting information on yourbehalf, you actually want to encourage them to keep doing it.Think about it this way: Not only are you getting some greatpress and marketing, but you’re also getting it for free. Mostmarketing and PR people would give their weight in gold toget this kind of coverage and fan loyalty, so don’t riskdamaging it by trying to control it. 376
    • People are talking badly about us. Should we stop them?Say you discover that people aren’t just talking about you, butthey’re bashing you. Should you step in and try to stop them?Again, the answer is absolutely not! Leave them alone —you’ll only make the problems worse and create a StreisandEffect if you try to hush them up. (The Streisand Effect isnamed for Barbra Streisand, who, citing privacy concerns,sued Pictopia.com for $50 million to have the aerial photo ofher house removed from the publicly available photographcollection of 12,000 California coastal homes. Because of thepublicity surrounding the case, more than 420,000 peoplevisited the site to view the photo.)If you try to stop people from talking badly about you, they’llsimply spread the word of your silencing efforts. Then they’llhave two stories to tell: the original complaint and the story ofyou trying to cover it up. Instead, look at these complaints asan opportunity to resolve the complainer’s problem in apublic forum. By solving the problem publicly, you show offyour customer-service prowess and willingness to addresspeople’s issues with your product or company.“But people will see the complaint on our Web site and thinkwe do a bad job,” is the response I often hear and is thebiggest reason many corporations don’t enter the social mediarealm. I’m not naming any names or departmentskyleplacy: *cough* *LEGAL* *cough*but you need to realize that people are going to talk aboutyou, regardless of whether you have a Web site with acomments section, a Facebook page, or Twitter. 377
    • If anything, you want these people to make complaints onyour Web site. For one thing, they’ll expend all their energyventing their frustrations at you and not to the world ingeneral. They’ll complain and rant, feel that someone hasheard them (make sure that you are actually listening, please),and then go on about their business.“But what about the people who visit the site? Thecomplainers won’t come back to say we resolved theirproblem for them,” the *cough* unnamed department says. Who says you can’t say it yourself? When yourespond to a complaint, do it publicly. Be sure to address thecomplaint in a professional manner, offer a solution, and thenfollow through. Don’t take it private or deal with it via e-mail.The person made a public complaint for everyone else to see,so you need to have a public solution. By solving the problempublicly, you can show off your customer-service prowessand willingness to solve people’s problems.Then, when other people see that you have addressed theproblem, you look like you care about your customers andwill do whatever is necessary to keep them happy. (Note: Itactually helps if you really do care about your customers andwant to keep them happy.)Using Reputation Management Services on TwitterManaging your reputation is crucial, whether it’s in print oronline. Where other people are talking about you is just as 378
    • important, probably more so, than what they’re saying. Someplaces get more traffic than others, some people have a biggersocial media presence than others, and some people havemore influence than others. Short of joining every socialnetwork out there, and reading everything people say in thehopes of finding something about you, you have much easierways to find out who’s saying what.You can do a Twitter search (http://search.twitter.com) and aGoogle blog search (http://blogsearch.google.com) a fewtimes a day, every day, or you can monitor your reputationthrough a free or paid automated service, as described in thefollowing sections.Free reputation management servicesYou can find several free reputation management servicesonline. If you’re a small business or an entrepreneur, theseservices will usually give you what you need. But if you’re alarger corporation, or an entrepreneur who has a lot ofaccounts and brands to monitor, you may want to considerone of the paid ones (which I discuss in the next section).If you’re looking for a free service, check out one of thefollowing reputation management services: Tweet Scan (www.tweetscan.com): This service e-mailsyou whenever people use your keywords, company name, orbrand in their tweets or even their bios. It scans Twitter,Identi.ca, StatusNet, and several other micro-blogging sites.You can view the results of your search directly on TweetScan (as shown in Figure 13-1) or choose to receivenotifications by e-mail or RSS feed. 379
    • Twitalyzer (www.twitalyzer.com): This Web appevaluates your activity and gives you a score in terms of yourinfluence and clout on Twitter, the quality of your tweets,how much you retweet other people’s tweets, and even therate at which you tweet. You can also have access to trendsand reports by connecting Twitalyzer with your Twitteraccount.A particularly useful feature (found in the paid versions) isthe click numbers from links, which tells you how manypeople clicked a particular URL in a tweet. (Note that youneed to use the bit.ly [http://bit.ly] URL shortener for thisfeature to work.) Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts): Go to theGoogle Alerts site; enter your company name, brand, or otherindustry keywords in the Search Terms text box; and save itas an Everything alert type. You then receive dailynotifications of all news articles, Web sites, blogs, videos, andgroups that mention your keywords. HowSociable (http://howsociable.com): Enter your brandor company name in the text box and click the MeasureVisibility button to see how many times (if at all) it appears asa search result on Google, in a blog, or on Flickr, Facebook,or MySpace.Figure 13-1: Tweet Scan search results help you monitorcomments about your products. 380
    • Paid reputation management servicesAlthough you can find very good free reputation managementservices, they sometimes can’t handle the more in-depthreporting that a corporation or an agency that deals withmultiple accounts needs. You can use these services to seewho’s asking and answering questions about your products,who’s complaining, and who’s praising you. Then help thecomplainers, answer the questioners, and give a little love tothe people who are praising you.Some of the best reputation management services that youcan buy include the following: Radian6 (www.radian6.com): A social media–monitoringprogram geared toward ad agencies and businesses thatmanage multiple brands and clients. Radian6 is a better 381
    • choice for larger companies and brands because it’s a verytime-consuming and complicated program that may need oneor two people to look after it full time. As shown in Figure13-2, you can get reports on the effectiveness of your efforts. Vocus (www.vocus.com): This Web-based PR suite letsyou manage and monitor communications with journalists,government officials, and other key audiences like thoughtleaders and industry big shots.Figure 13-2: Get in-depth reporting with Radian6.Promoting Live Events on TwitterYou promote live events just like you deal with every otheraspect of social media marketing and public relations. Youhave a product (an event) that you want people to buy (with 382
    • their time and possibly the price of a ticket). You need topromote it to get people to come to it, and then to payattention to it while it’s going on.Promoting your eventTwitter offers you one more tool in your promotional toolbox.If you already work with newspapers, radio and TV stations,and other media outlets, you’re more than ready to tackleTwitter to promote your events.First, read the section in Chapter 9 about creating your ownviral marketing campaign. Some of those same ideas apply topromoting your event on Twitter. When you’re promoting anevent on Twitter, use the following tactics: Create a clear, easy-to-remember slogan. For example,Roll into the Midwest Marble CollectingConvention, July 16–18, 2010. Use Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.com) to manage yourevent. Eventbrite is one of the better systems to manageevents, sell tickets, and create a Web site for your eventinformation. You can promote the event through Twitter,Facebook, and other social tools. The event attendees can alsopublish the fact that they are attending your event. Eventbritealso gives you seamless access to Facebook and LinkedIn topublish your event. Put shared items on your site and allow others to do thesame. Share pictures and videos from last year’s conventionand ask others to post their own pictures and videos from the 383
    • event. Offer buttons on your site to make it easy for others toshare items through e-mail and by embedding them on theirblogs. Upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, and othervideo-sharing sites. Create a publication schedule. Instead ofuploading all your videos at the same time, trickle them outevery week or two so that you can build anticipation. Sendout links to the videos through Twitter, your blog, your e-mailnewsletter, and anything else you can find. Encourage people to follow you, and send out anoccasional reminder tweet that you’re going to be livetweeting (as described in the next section) and liveblogging during the event. Encourage the attendees to tweetduring the event, too. Remind everyone about the use of apreselected hashtag, to make it easy to follow all tweets aboutthe event. With the help of Eventbrite, you can also send masse-mails to the attendees with hashtag and tweetinginformation.Live tweeting your eventLive tweeting is basically just tweeting while you’re at anevent or game, or even just watching TV and tweeting aboutwhat you see, hear, and think. Be sure to use hashtags so that people who aremonitoring those topics can easily find your tweets about theevent. Your hashtags also remind other twitterers to use the 384
    • same keywords when they talk about the event. You can seean example of a hashtag-based conversation about an event inFigure 13-3.The weird tag #NWITweetup in Figure 13-3 is short forNorthwest Indiana Tweetup. Spelling out the entire hashtag— #NorthwestIndianaTweetup — would take up 23characters, too much space in a single tweet. So, theorganizers of the convention established #NWITweetup asthe hashtag to use when tweeting about the event.Figure 13-3: Live tweets related to the Northwest IndianaTweetup #NWITweetup. 385
    • Establish what hashtags you plan to use beforethese events. Then communicate those hashtags to theattendees and online attendees so that everyone uses the sametags, thus avoiding any confusion. If the organizers aremonitoring #NWITweetup, but a few people are using#northwesttweet, the event’s Twitter stream will missthe #northwesttweet tweets.Monitoring live tweets at an eventI talk about different ways to monitor keyword-baseddiscussions in Chapter 9, but here are some techniques thatare particularly helpful for monitoring live tweets at eventsand seminars: Use a Twitter search site such as Twitterfall(www.twitterfall.com) or Twitter’s search feature(http://search.twitter.com), or use a desktop app such asTweetDeck. Set the app to search for chosen keywords andhashtags. Project the screen of tweets onto a centrally locatedwall at the event so that people can follow along. At breakout sessions in a conference, use hashtags topost questions and items for discussion during thepresentation. You can suggest a session-specific hashtag inaddition to the conference hashtag, so it’s easier to follow thetweets that pertain to the session. 386
    • Encourage Twitter usage by giving priority totweeted questions (just don’t ignore the people who don’tcarry a PDA or have a wireless laptop). You can monitorthe event or session hashtags to hear from people whocouldn’t come to the event and are watching it online. Encourage people to tweet about the big ideas theyhear about at the convention. Using hashtags can creatediscussion among people who have not attended theconference or people who might not otherwise be interestedin attending. Post photos from the event at Twitpic(www.twitpic.com) by using a cell phone, or a digitalcamera and wireless laptop. When you send in a photo toTwitpic, it generates its own URL for that photo and sends itto the general Twitter stream.Setting the Proper Tone in Your Twitter CommunicationsWhen e-mail first came out, people quickly realized that youcan’t convey emotions and underlying meaning easily.Because you can’t hear the tone of the sender’s voice in ane-mail, you tend to read your own emotions into the message,rather than try to figure out what the other person meant.Now, imagine trying to do that with a 140-character message.Sure, you can use emoticons such as ;-) and :) to let thereader know you’re making a joke or you’re happy. But ifyou’re marketing on Twitter, you should be certain that what 387
    • you are about to tweet does not lend itself to confusion beforeusing emoticons in it. Conveying the wrong tone in a tweetcan ruin your credibility and make you look unprofessional.Maintaining a professional toneIf you are using Twitter for marketing, you have to takeseveral things into consideration. I have discussed theimportance of balancing your tweets so that you don’toverwhelm (and lose) your followers as a result of posting toomany marketing tweets.I have also mentioned that you should attempt to be casualand personal in your tweets, as a way to interact with yourpotential customers on a one-to-one basis. This includesproviding your followers with useful information, even if itdoesn’t translate into a sale. Keep your cool and avoid the news Try to avoid angry outbursts on Twitter because they might end up making the news. In early 2009, a major dustup occurred between a (Canadian) National Post reporter and a marketing professional after the reporter made an angry phone call because he felt the marketer had snubbed him on a story he was working on. So, she tweeted her frustration, without naming the reporter, and he saw it. The two held a rather public, profanity-laden airing of the grievances on Twitter. Or, at least, the reporter did — the marketer maintained her cool and never rose to the reporter’s bait. The exchange made the international news and was 388
    • discussed ad nauseam on many tech and gossip blogs. The reporter was embarrassed enough to delete his tweets from his Twitter page as a result. Use a professional tone in all your tweets, whether they’re messages to all 5,000 of your followers or direct messages to your friends. Keep in mind that twitterers can very easily forward messages on to others — that’s the magic of Twitter — and you can find these forwarded messages on search engines.However, whether you are tweeting about a discount orsharing useful information about your niche to benefit yourfollowers, always maintain a professional tone. Here are somethoughts to help you be professional while you are personalon Twitter: Don’t do something on Twitter you wouldn’t do inperson. If you think about it, Twitter is a very personalmedium. This lets you approach potential customers in uniqueways. But ask yourself if you would make fun of a funnyaccent by a customer. Most likely you wouldn’t, so don’tmock other Twitter users about their typos, broken links, oranything they may find offensive. Simply put, don’t dosomething on Twitter that you wouldn’t do in person. Always read carefully and look for the information inthe tweets about your products or company. Buried belowa nasty complaint by an upset customer may be anopportunity to improve your product, your service, and your 389
    • company’s image. Make the most of it, by being attentive andreading carefully, showing empathy and understanding. Avoid making negative remarks about interactionswith customers. Even if you just had the worst exchange inhistory with a customer, don’t tweet something like “Just gotoff the phone with the most annoying customer! I hate thisjob!” If you decide to tweet about your exchange, look for apositive spin: “Just assisted another customer on the phone.”Keeping it real: Transparency and authenticityWhile you spend time in the social networking realm, youhear the words transparency and authenticity a lot. Here’swhat these terms mean within the context of a social network: Transparency: Being clear and forthright in yourcommunications. Social media and marketing professionalBeth Harte differentiated transparency from being translucent(clear professional communication, but no personalinformation) and opaque (one-way conversations, usingtypical PR and marketing techniques).In your tweets, updates, and blog posts, reveal as muchinformation as you feel you need to. Don’t hide behind thecorporate veil on Twitter. As long as you aren’t breaking anylaws or rules, or doing anything illegal, people expecttransparency. And if you don’t deliver it, they’ll stopfollowing you, at best. At worst, they’ll tell the whole worldthat you are a fake.For example, suppose that your company’s latest softwarerelease has some serious flaws, and people begin tweeting 390
    • complaints and asking what you’re going to do about it. Thenontransparent company would send out meaninglessmessages that say, “Thank you for bringing the problem toour attention. We’ll let you know when we’ve resolved theissue.” The transparent company would tweet, “We’ve heardabout the latest bug. Two of our developers are working on it,and they’ll have a fix in 24 hours or less.”One of the masters at transparency is Zappos.com, an onlineshoe store. In Figure 13-4, you can see an exchange betweena customer who is experiencing an issue with his order and acustomer service representative from Zappos.com writingfrom @Zappos_Service. Authenticity: Being truthful and honest. Don’t set up fakeaccounts under fake names. Don’t make stuff up. Don’t lie. Ifyou have to keep things a secret for corporate security, you’rebetter off saying so than lying about it.For example, say that you want to launch a new product andcreate some buzz about it on Twitter. The inauthenticcompany would create five Twitter accounts, all with fakenames; amass as many followers as possible; and then startpumping out different tweets from each account as a way totrick people into thinking a lot of folks are interested in theproduct. The authentic company would set up a singleaccount, follow the advice in Chapter 9, and list thecompany’s information in the account’s bio.Figure 13-4: Complaints from customers are opportunities tomake your brand shine. 391
    • Doing Media Relations with TwitterOf course, no chapter on public relations is complete withouttalking about media relations, providing information and storyideas to journalists to help them do their job. And in an effortto keep up with the rest of the world, many journalists arealso using Twitter and other social media tools, which meansyour PR efforts can also reach them. In fact, MediaOnTwitter(www.mediaontwitter.com) has a resource for all journalistswho are using Twitter. You can use it to follow certainjournalists and send them your story ideas, as shown in Figure13-5.Does this mean that journalists have embraced Twitter astheir only source of story ideas? That they’re sitting in frontof their computers, staring eagerly at TweetDeck, hopingsomeone will send them their next story idea before deadline? 392
    • No, it doesn’t. Journalists are using Twitter like everyoneelse. They’re communicating with friends and colleagues,finding interesting articles to read, and following people whomight have something important to say.Figure 13-5: MediaOnTwitter lists all journalists usingTwitter. These journalists are not waiting for you to tellthem how they can “get followers fast” or how they can makemoney in their sleep, or waiting for yet one more pitch onwhy your poly-resin marbles will revolutionize the world ofmarble manufacturing. So, if you don’t want to get 393
    • unfollowed, blocked, or reported as spam, don’t do any ofthose things.Pitching a story to journalistsYou want to treat journalists like customers, and treat themthe way I tell you about in Chapter 9. Communicate withthem as regular people first. Don’t bombard them withcommercial messages or press releases. Provide informationthat is of value so that they see you as a resource.Prior to the Internet, this is how you used to pitch a story to ajournalist:1. Write a generic press release.2. Send it to every editor and journalist on your PR list,and tell the client you sent a release to over 200 mediapeople. Brag about the fact that you got ink and air timein a few different outlets.Try not to think about the fact that 97 percent of the recipientstrashed your release the first time they saw it, because itdidn’t appeal to them.3. Repeat these steps. 394
    • Pampers Mommy Blogger Day Paine PR developed a campaign for Pampers in which they utilized Mommy bloggers to tell unique and compelling stories about the brand’s dedication to families across the world. Paine PR planned and facilitated a Mommy Blogger Day at the Pampers headquarters. The Mommy bloggers were given a behind-the-scenes look into the hard work and passion that the company puts into its brand. According to their case study (www.painepr.com/ client-partners/client-case-studies), the bloggers were given a tour of Procter & Gamble archives, dinner for group bonding, interactive Q&As with several key executives, lunch with Pampers Parenting Network members, and an interactive session with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stem. The event was hugely successful for Pampers. It generated more than 60 positive posts on the attendees’ Web sites, bloggers became brand ambassadors for the products, and huge content development appeared through sites like Twitter and the bloggers. The power was given to the content creators instead of the company, and success ensued.Here’s how you pitch a story to a journalist now:1. Research each journalist you would like to see writingabout your company, your product, or you. 395
    • Find out what they write about, read their last few stories, anddetermine whether your story idea would appeal to them.2. Do not send them a press release. Instead, write themindividual, personalized e-mails that explain why youthink the story would be a good fit for them. Tell them ifthey would like some background information to refer toyour Web site and/or offer to send them a press release.For example, “I read your story a couple of months ago aboutthe Milwaukee Marble Championships, and I was wonderingwhether you would be interested in doing a story about theMidwest Marble Collecting Convention.”3. If they ask for more information, send them what theyasked for.4. Repeat these steps as needed until you get the coverageyou desired.5. Pat yourself on the back for not wasting your time andenergy on the other 182 journalists who never would haveresponded in the first place.Remind yourself that by not bugging journalists withsomething that doesn’t affect them, you’re more likely to geta good response from them when you do send themsomething with this approach.Finding someone to write about your product 396
    • Very few traditional journalists write about products. Theyjust don’t do product reviews. However, plenty of people canwrite about your product: bloggers.Blogging has become the latest way for people to find newsand information, as well as become newsmakers and thoughtleaders themselves. Rather than beating their heads againstold media walls, people have established themselves asleaders and experts in a particular niche or industry, withsome great success.I’ve talked before about how Twitter — all social media, infact — is about sharing. Another word for this isuser-generated content (UGC), where the readers and theWeb-site visitors, not the journalists, create the content. Whatyou may find interesting is that traditional media is becomingless and less trusted by the general public. According to the2010 The State of the News Media report, 70 percent of newsaudiences feel overwhelmed rather than informed by theamount of news and information they see. Instead ofconsuming the many sources of news, audiences are now lesstrusting and overwhelmed. You can find the report here:www.stateofthemedia.org/2010/overview_major_trends.phpThis means that UGC has become a great source for certaintypes of information that people find valuable because thepeople get to choose what to read. I’m not saying thatbloggers are going to replace mainstream media for importantnews and current events. But some bloggers are filling a nichewith reviews of certain types of products. 397
    • A lot of these bloggers are called Mommy bloggers becausethey are moms who write about family life and occasionallyreview products for kids and families. These bloggerssometimes have a readership of just a few thousand peopleper month, but the manufacturers understand that a positivereview from a blogger with a small audience that actuallycares about this person’s opinion is often more effective andprofitable than a review from a newspaper writer with asubstantially larger audience.The manufacturer also understands that a review on a blogwill stay online forever, easily found by search engines,which adds to its online presence. A newspaper is recycled orwrapped around old fish by the end of the day, a TV show isforgotten before the credits roll, and a trade journal is usuallyburied under a whole pile of other journals, put there bysomeone who promises to get to them when he or she has thetime.So, if you want to get your product reviewed by thesebloggers, first go back and read the previous section on howto pitch to journalists. Then, wherever you see the wordjournalist, replace it with blogger.Keep in mind that I think of bloggers as journalists — maybenot professional journalists, but citizen journalists. Someanimosity and jealousy still exist between the dead-tree andbroadcast journalists and the new electronic media, and I’llavoid that whole discussion except to say that good, crediblebloggers are quickly becoming an accepted source of newsand information as well as mainstream media.Using virtual press centers 398
    • If you’re in media relations, you need to set up your blog tofunction as your press center. Post all press releases to yourblog for a couple of reasons: It helps with search engine placement. It lets you easily refer people to updated information.Then, rather than e-mailing or faxing press releases, you canpost them on your blog and send out notifications via Twitter.Use a product like GroupTweet (www.grouptweet.com) andcreate a group of journalists on Twitter to send a tweet only tothem without sending it out to everyone else.Using Twitter for crisis communicationsCrisis communication is basically regular PR, but people tendto use more expletives during the event. During anemergency, whether it’s a public health scare or a productrecall, or your CEO just absconded with millions of dollars,this is a time when controlling the message is important, andtiming is crucial.You can’t just send out a press release, do a few interviewswith the mainstream media, and assume that you’ve doneyour job. People are talking with each other about what’sgoing on, and these opinions are making it into the generalconversation.Although you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to stifle theconversation, you can be a big part of it, and you can try tosteer it in a positive (or at least less negative) direction. 399
    • The Air Force and rumor control A witness reported the crash of Air Force C-17 — the president’s plane! CNN picked up on the story, splashing the news and images all over the news network. Seventeen minutes later, the Air Force used Twitter to counter that the story was not true. An hour later, CNN retracted the story from the network. The Air Force used Twitter as a communication medium to offer a quick response. A couple of days later, there really was an F-22 crash. The Air Force had to balance the need for quickly reporting the incident with the importance of alerting the families of the crash victims. The key to victory in quick crisis control is issuing statements and not being silent. The rumor mill can spread through the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and social networking can be a wonderful place to spread information but can also be detrimental to crisis control and a brand.Here are a few steps you can take during a crisis to monitorand communicate with Twitter: 400
    • 1. Set up a laptop running TweetDeck or Twitterfall.comwith an LCD projector to show the message windows onthe wall for employees responding to the crisis to see. Ifit’s just you, skip the projector.2. Make sure that all staff members responding to thecrisis have their own Twitter accounts and followers.You should have set this up way beforehand. Be sure tofollow people in your particular industry or community. Ifyou have staff using private Twitter accounts to communicateinternally, make sure that you have at least one account that’spublic.3. Establish #hashtags about the incident.Make sure that all employees tweeting about the crisis usethem. Let the media and concerned parties know about them.4. When you find a piece of information that’s wrong,correct it and refer people to the source for correctinformation.5. Post media updates to your blog, and send out tweetswhen they’re up.6. Answer questions on Twitter, and refer people to yourblog for additional information.Remember it is important to track and watch content beingshared on Twitter in order to keep up-to-date with monitoringof different crises. 401
    • Chapter 14Building Thought Leadership on TwitterIn This Chapter Discovering why you should be a thought leader Writing an effective Twitter bio Becoming a thought leader in your industryBeing a thought leader means that you’re recognized byothers as having innovative ideas. People are interested inwhat you have to say. They follow your tweets, read yourblog posts, and buy your books. You get invited to speak atindustry events — and often get paid to do it.Being a thought leader doesn’t mean that you’re going to befamous. You might be vertically famous: You’re thedominant name in your industry, the rock star of your niche,the one name that everyone whispers in hushed toneswhenever you’re at a conference. But you’re just anotherregular person whenever you go to the store, and yourspouse’s friends just smile politely and say “that’s nice”whenever you try to explain what you do.In the social media world, these Web celebrities are calledcewebrities. (This term comes across better in writing —when you say cewebrities out loud, it sounds like baby talk.)Each industry has cewebrities and thought leaders. Take anyindustry (it could be the poultry-production business, politicalpolling, or carbide-tipped saw-blade manufacturing), and you 402
    • can find people who have earned the respect and envy of theircolleagues.You too can become a cewebrity! It all starts on Twitter andwith your blog. Don’t limit your thought leadership to just Twitterand building a blog. While you grow your leadership efforts,be sure to write and develop white papers, ebooks, Webinars,special reports, and maybe even podcasts.The Big Deal about Thought LeadershipSo, why should you become a thought leader? Does it helpwith your career? Do you make more money as a thoughtleader? Take a look at your own industry. Who are thethought leaders? Take a look at Twitter. Who are the thoughtleaders on Twitter? Who writes the articles in the tradejournals or blogs about the issues week after week? Who’s thekeynote speaker at your trade conference?If you aren’t sure, ask people who have been in the industryfor a while. Ask them whom you should be paying attentionto, and subscribe to those thought leaders’ newsletters, readtheir blogs, and attend their speaking events. The moreimportant thing you could do is check to see whether they areusing Twitter. It’s a great way to keep track of the contentthat the individual thought leaders are sharing. And then dowhat those thought leaders do. 403
    • If a thought leader writes an article about a newmarble-manufacturing technique, write an article about it, too.Be sure to give proper credit and even link to the blog thatgave you the idea to write your article, but make sure that youoffer your opinion about the technique and maybe even theauthor (politely and diplomatically, of course).Or, say that you sell high-end audio-video components, andSony comes out with a brand-new 70-inch, 1080p, flat-panel,LCD HDTV. You want to review it on your blog and thenpush the post out to your Twitter followers.When people do online searches for the latestmarble-manufacturing technique or flat-panel TV, your blogmay come up as one of the top search results. If not, you canuse Twitter to promote your content and bring people in.When more people come in, more people will recognize youas an expert in that field. When more people accept yourexpertise, even more people will come to your blog and addyou on Twitter because of your expertise, and so on.When more and more people accept your expertise in an area,you become a thought leader for that industry. In turn, youwill see a massive increase in Twitter followers and theirusage of your content.Being a thought leader can help your careerAsk yourself this question: Assuming that you can affordanyone, if you have to make a hiring decision betweensomeone who’s relatively unknown in an industry versussomeone who’s widely regarded as a leader in the industry,whom are you going to pick? 404
    • A smart employer will always pick the person who’sobviously well-versed in the issues the company is facing.Such people know more about the industry, continuallyeducate and improve themselves, and in general, makethemselves more valuable to the organization. (Of course, notevery employer is that smart, so if you miss out on a jobopportunity despite what I tell you, you didn’t want to workfor that company anyway. Trust me.)Depending on what your goal is, here are some ways you canmake yourself a thought leader: You’re looking for a job with a certain company. Doyour research to find out what issues the company is facing,as well as whether those issues are company-specific orindustry-related. Blog and tweet about them from a “howwould I solve this” or “things to avoid” point of view. Then,while you go through the hiring process, point the hiringmanagers to your blog as an example of the kind of work youdo; your blog can show the managers that you know yourstuff. Then when you go to work for the company, continue towrite about these problems online, and grow your blog andTwitter following. Not only will you help your employer bygiving the company more exposure and enhancing itsreputation, but your competitors will also soon start payingattention to you, too. And competitors tend to pay their rivals’desirable employees a lot to get those employees to jump overto their company. (I’m just sayin’ . . . ) 405
    • Before you start blogging in your new job, makesure to familiarize yourself with any policies your newemployer may have about staff blogging. You don’t want tojoin the ranks of employees who have become job casualtiesbecause they broke the rules. You’re working as an entrepreneur. Follow the samemodel discussed in the preceding bullet, but use it to showclients that you know what you’re doing. Review journalarticles and news articles about your industry (and yourclient’s industry). Write case studies about clients you’vealready helped. If you find you’re answering the samequestions via e-mail over and over, turn the answers into blogposts. You’re trying to build a public-speaking career. Don’tlimit your blog to just the written word. Also post videos onyour blog (also called vlogs), excerpts of speeches you’vegiven, or a video presentation of your regular blog post. (Butif you are recording a video of you speaking, just make surethat you’re putting out your best work. If you uh and um yourway through your vlog, potential clients may think that’s whatthey’ll get when you’re onstage, so they’ll pass on you forthis year’s keynote speech.) LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) is an important toolthat you can use to help develop your thought leadership. On 406
    • LinkedIn, you can connect with people in your company,your industry (through its Groups feature), or from yourprofessional past.Answer questions in the LinkedIn Answers section andparticipate in discussions in the groups you belong to: In bothplaces, feel free to refer people to your blog and articles (justdon’t be spammy). LinkedIn provides a great way to reachpeople in your industry and help you continue to build yourcredibility.Being a thought leader can help increase your salesThe best salespeople don’t sell products; they solve problems.A client has a problem (the need to develop a marketingstrategy for Twitter, for example), and he or she is going tobuy from whoever solves that problem (that would be you,after you are done reading this book).But you obviously can’t call your customers on a daily basisto find out their latest problems. In some cases, they may noteven know. But when they figure it out, they probably won’tcall you to see whether you have a solution. Instead,customers will head over to Google and start looking for away to solve their problems. So, what will they find? Sometrade journal or newspaper articles? An out-of-date Web site?Your competitor’s blog?If you’re doing your job well, your blog will appear near thetop of their search results. This obviously means that you areapplying a fair share of search engine optimization. Givenhow broad this topic is, I recommend you find out about it by 407
    • reading Search Engine Optimization For Dummies, 4thEdition, by Peter Kent (published by Wiley).Having your blog appear at the top of the results in a searchengine also depends on your writing. When you’re writingabout a specialized topic, you have a good chance of landinga top spot in what’s called a long-tail search. In terms ofsearches and search results, a long-tail search is the kind ofsearch that not too many people make: Those people aredetermined to find an answer to a very specific question, andthose are the folks you want finding you. If you rank at thetop of enough long-tail searches, you start to see some realtraffic to your blog.Now, here’s the kicker: Your solutions and your postsshouldn’t mention your brand or company.“But,” you may wonder, “how are the customers supposed toknow that my product can help them?” Customers will figureout that they should use your product because you’re going tocome across as someone who knows what you’re talkingabout (which is the case, of course!). You write about aproblem that they have and show that you know how to solveit. You create the solution and explain how it works. In turn,you will share the finding on Twitter, which will drive moretraffic to your Web site and build your Twitter brand.For example, say that you sell high-volume digital printing.Your biggest competitor isn’t another digital printer — it’sthe traditional ink-and-paper printers. Your post on printingpostcards doesn’t have to offer every solution. You can writeabout how digital printing can solve the need for high-volumeprinting in a convenient and affordable way. You just don’t 408
    • want to include statements such as “our digital printer” or “wesell digital printing.” Your customers are smart enough tofigure out for themselves that you sell digital printing,especially after they read your Twitter bio (which I discuss inthe following section).The Importance of Your Twitter BioThought leadership starts with one of the first things newfollowers find out about you: your Twitter bio. (See, I madethat sentence all dramatic with the colon, but you probablyalready knew what the section was about because it has thatreally big heading right above it.)You can use your bio to explain yourself in 160 characters,which is 20 more characters than Twitter allows in regulartweets. Your bio gives you the chance to tell the world whoyou are, what you do, and what you like.Writing the right bioThe right kind of bio conveys one or two basic ideas so thatpeople who see it understand what you do. Don’t make themistake of trying to cram as much stuff into the bio as youcan. Just give a basic idea about who you are and what youdo. Or, if you’re creating an account for your business, talkabout what your company is and what it does.Here are a few examples of good bios. The first group ofexamples say what the person does, which is useful in thecase of consultants and other people who offer their services;it helps Twitter users who read the bio to easily figure outhow/if the person can help solve their problems. 409
    • Obsessed with social communication.Author of Twitter Marketing for Dummiesand Brandswag founder/CEO.Humor writer, copywriter, professionalblogger, and social media guy.Passionate about small businessmarketing, networking, and socialmedia.I run an Indian art advisory based inDelhi. I would qualify as an amateurbike restorer, natural-born traveler,and professional socks collector.The next group of bios also provides good examples, showingwhat the company does. As in the case with personal Twitteraccounts, providing this information helps those who read thebio to better understand how the company can assist themwith their needs.Remember everything using Windows, Mac,Web, iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre,Windows Mobile, and more . . .Year-round, professional Equity dinnertheater with Broadway musicals, plays,children’s shows, and concerts. 410
    • Start, Grow, and Track your Campaigns —Web marketing software for everyone,made by ### Co.### Tape is the original elastictherapeutic tape used by professionalathletes and medical practitioners.Supports and offers instant painrelief.The last example even lists a benefit to the user in instant painrelief. But they all say what the people or businesses do, whatdrives them, and on a personal level, what interests them. If you choose to include benefits to potentialcustomers in your Twitter bio, don’t confuse a feature with abenefit. A feature is what something does; a benefit is whatthe customer gets from it.For example, a feature would be: “Our windshield wiper ismade from heavy-duty polymers that outlast all other wipersin the industry.” This is fairly irrelevant to most customers.How does it help them? That is where the benefit comes in:“Our wiper lasts three times as long as other wipers, whichmeans that you save $30 per year in wiper purchases.” 411
    • Short is better than long. Just because you have160 characters to write your bio doesn’t mean that you needto use all of them. If you can do it in 100, leave it at that. Youguessed it: The first bio I listed (“Obsessed with socialcommunication . . .”) is mine, as you can see in Figure 14-1.Figure 14-1: With bios, short is better than long. My bio isonly 102 characters long.Avoiding the wrong bioThe wrong Twitter bio is actually a missing one. At the veryleast, people will think you don’t want anyone to know thatmuch about you. At worst, they’ll think you’re a spammer 412
    • who couldn’t be bothered to make a bio for a throwawayaccount that’ll be gone in five days. And somewhere in themiddle, other Twitter users will think you’re just someonewho tried Twitter for a few days before giving up. If you’re worried about anonymity, consider thefollowing thoughts before you worry unnecessarily: You’re already on the Internet. You don’t have anyonline anonymity. Don’t believe me? Google your name, city,and state to see what results you get. In some cases, you mayeven get your phone number and address. If you’re onFacebook or other social networks, depending on yourprivacy preferences in each of them, your information may ormay not be visible among the search results. You don’t have to include personal details aboutyourself. You’re only as visible as you want to be. If youwant some privacy, list your state but not your hometown. Ifyou want to localize your presence so that potential customersknow you are based close to them (not a bad idea, if you askme), include your city or town, in addition to the state. You can always protect your updates. However, I don’trecommend protecting your updates for marketing purposes.You can’t build a following if you hide your updates frompeople. You’ll find protecting updates useful only if you keepyour small circle of friends closed to the rest of the outsideworld. 413
    • You create a not-very-good bio if you try to cram in as muchinformation as you can so that you can tell everyone who youare. A too-wordy bio might sayFather,husband,son,Internetmarketer,public speaker,businesswriter,soccer fan,lover of goth deathpoetry,collector of funny hats,fan ofMinor League BaseballThis isn’t a horrible bio because it does let your newfollowers know what you do. But the list is cluttered — itcrams in as many words as it can by leaving out some spaces,doesn’t lend itself to readability, and tries to be all things toall people.Remember, you’re a marketer. If you want people to knowabout your company or product, talk about it. If you have apersonal account, talk about that side of you — specifically,your marketing efforts.Finally, don’t list yourself as something anyone else can layclaim to. For example, a lot of people call themselves Twitterexperts or social media experts after only having a fewhundred hours of practice using Twitter or simply having anaccount on Facebook. A big mistake in writing a bio involves using it forspam. A spam bio makes all these great and fantastic claimsabout the product or service, and about how you can make 414
    • money fast. The following are examples of bios that will labelyou as a spammer, and people won’t follow you:Hi cutie I spend my time exercisereading my email but mostly playingwith whipped cream more on my bio linkMake Money Social Media Consultant,Twitter Make Money Guru, SEOconsultant, TwitterFastCash.comPresident, Real Estate Specialist,Equity Investor, Entrepreneurhttp://www.####.com/hop/#####Code ClickHere For The Best Videos How To MakeMoney Online!GET YOUR FREE BEAR MARKETING SYSTEMTHIS HAS 6STREAMS OF INCOME ALL BEINGPROMOTED WITH A SNGLE WEB ADDRESS GO TOMY WEB URL ABOVE AND GET YOUR FREESYSTEM 2DAYGreetings friends. When I have a largeenuf following I will reveal many newways to make money online for Free!Visit my Blog for details :)The one thing these bios (except for the first one) have incommon is money making. They’re blatant sales pitches thatread like the worst spam you can find in your e-mail Inbox,such as ways to buy little blue pills, Internet stocks, and cheap 415
    • counterfeit watches. Twitterers usually block people whohave these kinds of bios and report them to @spam.Becoming a B2B Thought LeaderIn short, being a business-to-business (B2B) thought leader isabout providing value. Provide valuable content, ideas, andsolutions to your Twitter followers, your customers, and yourcolleagues.Pretty easy, huh?Not so fast. Becoming a B2B thought leader requires time andeffort. You have to provide valuable content on a regularbasis. You have to speak at industry events wheneverpossible. You have to write blog posts and articles. And thenyou have to promote it all on Twitter. But you’ll probablyfind the whole process pretty easy, after you get the hang ofit.Sharing your contentSharing content is the name of the game in developingthought leadership. Believe it or not, the goal is to give awayyour information and your ideas. Why? Because people willthink that if you’re giving away this much, you must have somuch more brewing beneath the surface (just make sure thatyou actually do). As a result, people are more likely to hireyou or buy from you because they want some of your magicmojo — or, at least, the solution to their problems.You can share your content in two ways: by hand orautomatically. 416
    • I discuss how to share your content by hand in more detail inChapter 11. For now, just follow these basic steps to manuallyshare your content, such as a blog post:1. Create and publish your content.2. Copy the content’s URL and switch to HootSuite(described in Chapter 5). Paste your URL in the ShortenURL text box, as shown in Figure 14-2, and click theShrink button.Figure 14-2: With HootSuite, you can conveniently shareyour content.Alternatively, copy the post’s URL and go to your favoriteURL-shortener Web site. Shorten your URL, and then switch 417
    • over to your favorite Twitter app and paste the shortenedURL in the message window.3. Create a new tweet and type New post: followed by theheadline of your content.Copy and paste the headline if you have to. Make sure thatthe whole tweet is around 110 characters long so that peoplecan retweet it.Using tweets to share your blog posts or other content isn’tactually hard, but it can get tedious, especially if you have tenother things pulling you in different directions when you’resupposed to be promoting yourself. In that case, you maywant to use the automated method. I recommend using automated tweets only if you’resimply automating what you’d do by hand if you had moretime or patience. I don’t recommend automating tweets forspamming or sending out junk over and over.To send automated tweets to share your blog posts or othercontent, follow these steps:1. Create a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed.All blogging platforms natively offer RSS feeds as a way foryou to syndicate the content you post on your blog. You canalso set up an RSS feed with Google FeedBurner(www.feedburner.com) for free. 418
    • 2. Set up an account with Twitterfeed athttp://twitterfeed.com.You can either register your e-mail and a password, or useOpenID if you already have an account. OpenID consists of a login name and password thatyou’ve created elsewhere, but that you can use on over 50,000different sites. You may find OpenID especially usefulbecause you don’t have to remember a lot of differentpasswords. You can get an OpenID at http://openid.net.3. Authenticate yourself with Twitter.You can authenticate yourself through the use of your Twitterusername and password, or you can use the OAuth process, asshown in Figure 14-3.OAuth works by sending you to Twitter from another Website (Twitterfeed in this case). You authenticate yourself inTwitter if you aren’t signed in at the time and allow (or deny)access to the application so that it can connect to your Twitteraccount. Although Twitterfeed is a trustworthy service, theadvantage of using OAuth is that you don’t have to share yourpassword with Twitterfeed.Figure 14-3: Authenti-cating yourself with Twitter viaOAuth is a safe and easy process. 419
    • Allowing Twitterfeed to connect to your Twitter accountmakes it possible for it to automatically post on your Twitteraccount, pulling content from your blog through your blog’sRSS feed. Other Web apps still ask for your Twitterpassword. Most of them are honest and don’t do anythingnasty to your Twitter account, but a couple (none that I haverecommended) have been known to hack a person’s accountfor nefarious purposes.4. Adjust your Twitterfeed settings. 420
    • Twitterfeed offers a number of options to let you tweak yourautomated posts, as shown in Figure 14-4:• Update Frequency: How often you want to haveTwitterfeed pull content from your blog’s RSS feed and howmany new updates you want it to pull each time.• Post Content: Whether you want to include the title and thefirst few characters of each post (title and description), thetitle only, or the description only.• Post Link: Lets you choose among a large list of URLshorteners.• Post Sorting: Lets you choose the order in which posts getsorted, with pubdate being the best option (based onpublication date).• Post Prefix: Allows you to add a prefix such as New post:in front of all posts added to Twitter. You don’t need a postprefix, but you can add one if you want.• Post Suffix: The same idea as the post prefix, but at the endof all posts added to Twitter.• Post Filter: Lets you add keywords to be used toauto-approve new posts.5. Click the Continuing to Step 2 button.You will be taken to an available services page and then click“all done.” 421
    • Now, you just have to focus on creating your content.Twitterfeed helps with the rest.Figure 14-4: Twitterfeed lets you adjust the settings for eachfeed.Sharing others’ valuable contentI talk about retweeting in Chapters 2 through 4 — it’s just away to forward someone else’s message to your ownfollowers. You just click the Retweet button on a person’savatar in your favorite Twitter application or on the Twittersite.The rules for retweeting are the same as the rules forproviding thought leadership: Provide value. Retweet articlesand posts that are related to your industry, but don’t retweetsilly or personal stuff. If someone you follow mentions thathe’s going to dinner with his mom, you don’t need to retweetthat message. But if that person writes a blog post about thefive ways your industry can improve financially, retweet it. 422
    • When you retweet, not only do other thoughtleaders reach a new audience, but they also see that you thinkenough of them to retweet their work. Do it often enough, andthey may do the same thing for you, too. If another thoughtleader is popular enough, you can reach a much biggeraudience than you’ve been able to find so far.Collaboration is keyYou can develop and improve your own thought leadershipby working with other thought leaders. Ask them to writeguest posts for your blog, and ask whether you can do thesame for them. Cite and link to each other’s posts and articles.Draw inspiration from their work, and write helpfulcommentary (or polite-but-thorough counterarguments) abouttheir posts. If these thought leaders are more established thanyou, and you start appearing in their posts or as a guest writeron their blogs, some of their credibility transfers over to you.Their followers will assume that if the thought leaders likeyou, they should like you, too. You can gain new readers andfollowers who are also interested in what you have to say,simply because the original thought leaders believe you’resomeone they can work with. 423
    • Part VThe Part of TensIn this part . . .Here are ten reasons why you can’t skip the Part of Tenschapters: 424
    • 1. You’re already used to 140 characters. Why stop there?2. The opinions of millions of Twitter users helped developthis part.3. You can easily tear out these chapters and hang the pageson your wall.4. You must know what you can’t do on Twitter (whichChapter 16 explains).5. Bill Gates did it. You should, too.6. Chapter 17 gives you a list of the top ten professionals youshould follow on Twitter.7. Chapter 18 gives you a list of the top applications to usewhile driving, changing the radio station, and talking on yourearpiece.8. Did I mention the top ten professionals and thought leaderson Twitter?9. The best things come in groups of ten. Well, except maybefor donuts.10. Ten is an awesome number. If you put the “one”sideways, it looks like someone is winking at you. 425
    • Chapter 15Ten Do’s on TwitterIn This Chapter Behaving yourself and having fun Using pictures to connect with followers Planning your Twitter time Putting your username on your business cardsThis chapter lists the top ten best practices to use when you’remarketing yourself and your product(s) on Twitter.Do Be HonestYou’re honest in your life, in general, right? Honesty is kingwhen it comes to using Twitter for marketing purposes. Thisconcept can relate more to the public-relations side ofbusiness, but never lie when it comes to sharing content onTwitter.People come to respect you for being honest when you useTwitter. When they respect you, they can help drive traffic toyour Web site by sharing your content, and that simple step isan important key to success on Twitter.Do Have a Sense of Humor 426
    • Humor goes a long way when sharing content on Twitter. Ifyour followers find a certain comment funny, they mayretweet and share that content with their followers. The entireidea of using Twitter for marketing is to get the people whoalready follow you to share your content with the people whofollow them. That’s viral marketing at its finest.If you’re having trouble being funny in 140 characters or less,find a couple of quotes from comedians, such as JerrySeinfeld or Jim Gaffigan, and tweet them out to the masses.These quote tweets can help you share valued content andpromote your funny side. You don’t need to be funny to use afunny person’s content. Also, make sure that you add thename of the comedian or person being quoted. You may be wondering why (as a serious businessowner/marketer) you are sharing comedic content to themasses. Quote tweets that have to do with humor tend to beretweeted more often. It’s important to keep trying differentstrategies to grow your follower base. This is just one way tokeep your followers more enthralled with your content.Do Interact with Your FollowersStart interacting with your followers before you ever try toask them to share your content. I talk about the concept ofasking how you can help others before they help you inChapter 8. The same concept applies when you are interactingwith your followers, your tribe. Interaction means that youhave genuine conversations with individuals. 427
    • Do Use TwitPicTwitPic is a service that allows you to share pictures fromyour mobile devices directly with Twitter. You can find moreinformation about the service at www.twitpic.com. UsingTwitPic while you promote through Twitter can help you liveup to the idea of transparency and show some type ofpersonality through your business.If you want to build brand awareness and create a brandidentity through Twitter, you need to connect with people onlevels they don’t expect. Share a picture of your kids (ormaybe your pets if you aren’t comfortable showing yourchildren in such a public forum), and you may have apotential client connect with you because he or she wants toask about your children or has the same breed of dog. Youcan use these pictures as another touch point in the world ofsocial-media marketing and Twitter. Keep in mind that too much of something is nevera good thing. Make the pictures you post memorable. Don’t,for example, take a picture of a random dog in the street andsay, “Oh, he’s cute!” You’re just going to annoy people. Forexample, you may want to start by posting a few pictures ofyourself and your family from your recent vacation and moveon from there.Do Tweet on a Regular Basis 428
    • A long-standing rule says that you should try to tweet at leastfive times a day. You could tweet in the morning, duringlunch, and in the evening. This number doesn’t include the@replies or direct messages that you should send based onwho connects with you throughout the day.If you don’t tweet on a regular basis, you’re going to sink intoobscurity in the Twitter world, and people will forget you.Stay visible so that people take notice and startcommunicating with you.Do Use a Profile PictureUse your personal picture in your Twitter profile. This pictureshows the face behind the brand. Use your logo as yourTwitter icon only if you have a business account (forexample, @YourMindFrame).People want to know faces, not logos, because it makes youseem a little more human on a technology-driven tool. If youdon’t have a decent picture that you can use as a profilepicture, consider having a professional (or, at least, a goodamateur) photographer take your photo.If you want to use a personal profile as a business account, anice way to show that is to place your business logo besideyour face for your profile picture.Do Fun Stuff Every DayContent on the Internet can get boring or repetitive after awhile. The same concept applies to movies and TV — youcan watch documentaries for only so long before you want to 429
    • see a good comedy or action thriller. I give plenty of adviceabout sharing relevant and great content throughout the book,but remember that it’s also important to share fun stuffoccasionally.Do Stick to a ScheduleIn Chapter 5, I talk about the importance of time managementwhen using Twitter. That little piece of advice is monumentalwhen you use Twitter as a marketing strategy. To besuccessful in marketing on Twitter, you need to avoidbecoming overwhelmed. The only way to prevent beingoverwhelmed is to ration and manage the time you spend onTwitter. Keep to your schedule, and don’t stray from it.Your Twitter success depends on it!Do Say Thank YouUsing common courtesy, such as saying please and thankyou, is a pretty simple concept, but you might be surprisedhow often people don’t use it in the online world. If someonefrom your Twitterati decides to share your content, make surethat you thank him or her for sharing. People share content onTwitter for two reasons — they want cewebrities or Twitteratito notice them, or they really liked your content. Whicheverreason applies, thank them for sharing your content.Do Add Your Twitter Name to Your Business Card 430
    • One of the more successful strategies to integrating Twitterinto your daily life involves adding your Twitter name to yourbusiness card. Not everyone knows what your Twitter name iswhen it appears on your business card, but many do. And youneed to connect with people on multiple levels because themore times you connect with individuals, the better thechance of them remembering you and what you do. (Gone arethe days where you could meet a person once and he or shewould remember you for a lifetime. Well, did those days trulyever exist?)When people connect with you on Twitter because they sawyour username on a business card, that connection is ten timesmore valuable than just randomly connecting through Twitteritself because you now have more than one way tocommunicate with those individuals. 431
    • Chapter 16Ten Don’ts on TwitterIn This Chapter Making the human connection on Twitter Keeping your Twitter life manageable Remembering your marketing strategy Using a Twitter appThis chapter lists the top ten pitfalls, mistakes, and practicesto avoid when you’re using Twitter to market yourself andyour product(s). Take note! This is some of the mostimportant content in the book!Don’t Auto-DMI discuss the pros and cons of auto-DMs in Chapter 7, but it’simportant enough to mention the concept again. Neverhard-sell an individual on your product or services throughautomatic direct messaging.No user in his or her right mind likes to receive an automaticand unhuman message selling your product or service. Youcan send a simple auto-DM of “thank you for following,” butI recommend that you send all DMs personally, notautomatically.Don’t Say It on Twitter When It’s Better Said in Person 432
    • It’s extremely important to avoid having simple or privateconversations through the main Twitter feed. For example, ifyou want to ask a friend if he would like to attend a party, thatquestion is best asked through DM (direct messaging). Aconversation between two people should be made through theTwitter feed only if it adds value to the rest of the group. (Ifknowing that a person is attending a party with someone elseprovides value to you, you probably should find a hobby.)Figure 16-1 shows an example of an exchange of a simpleconversation between two people that’s not giving anysubstance to the group.Figure 16-1: These twitterers should have exchanged theirmessages in a DM, in person, over the phone, or by textmessage. 433
    • You can best discuss something as simple as asking whethersomeone is going to an event through text messaging, e-mail,direct messaging on Twitter, or a phone call. No one wantshis or her Twitter feed taken over by your one-on-oneconversations.Don’t Gather Too Many Followers Too FastIf you browse through the people following you on Twitter(your Twitter tribe), you may find individuals who arefollowing a huge amount of people compared to the numberof people following them. These people simply follow asmany twitterers as possible without gaining their acceptanceand getting them to follow back. Start slowly — create a coregroup of people you’re following who return the favor byfollowing you. You can broadcast a message to as many people aspossible, but shouting your message out to a group of peopleisn’t the point of Twitter. You’re trying to create relationshipswith individuals who have a trusting group of followers andcan help spread a message.Don’t Forget Your Marketing StrategyNever, ever forget the strategy that you’ve been developing.Following your strategy can lead to the success of yourTwitter marketing campaign. 434
    • You can stray from your strategy every now and again, butremember to come back to your original plan. Your strategyis the lifeblood of your Twitter marketing.Don’t Follow for the Sake of FollowingEstablish a clear strategy when it comes to followingindividuals who follow you. Many people add everyone whofollows them. You can use this approach if you want to keepup on everyone who’s following you on Twitter.Or, you may want to add the people who converse with youon a daily basis to the list of people you follow. If theyrespond to tweets or retweet some of your content, make surethat you’re following them before their next tweets. This isimportant because they may want to thank you through directmessage or start an important conversation. If you aren’tfollowing the users back, they can’t direct message you.Don’t Use the Web PlatformEven though Twitter redesigned its Web site to make thingseasier to use, don’t use it. Although casual users don’t have aproblem using the Web site, you need more robust features tosucceed with your marketing strategy on Twitter.Rather than working through www.twitter.com, use a Twitterapp, such as TweetDeck, the Seesmic desktop application, orHootSuite, because they all have features that are better suitedto using Twitter productively. See Chapter 5 for more aboutusing Twitter apps.Don’t Create Too Many Accounts 435
    • Don’t create a Twitter account for absolutely every function,event, or marketing campaign you’re doing for your business.Create one personal account and one business account. Youmay need to create an account for a product (for example, thee-mail marketing company ExactTarget created@ExactTarget for business customer service), but don’ttry to create an account for every single marketing strategyand campaign.If you overdose on accounts, you can become overwhelmedand can’t compete in the marketing and consumer world ofTwitter.Don’t Give a Hard SellHard selling is the ability to sell your product or servicewithout asking anything about the individual with whomyou’re communicating. You should do no hard selling onTwitter. By using Twitter, you can create content-richrelationships with people, and then slowly start sending themcontent connected to your product or service.If you tweet or direct message only about your products,you’re doomed to fail. Nobody wants to hear a hard sell aboutyour products. People want to know how you can benefitthem, not how they can buy, buy, buy from you.Don’t Ignore OthersDo you enjoy walking up to someone and speaking, only tobe ignored by that individual? Of course not. Nobody likesbeing ignored. Extend that idea to Twitter: When someone 436
    • responds to you on Twitter, make sure that you return thefavor.When people communicate with you by replying, retweeting,or sending out a message, thank them or reply to them inkind. If you communicate, instead of ignoring people, they’remuch more likely to reply, retweet, and send out your content.Don’t Have an Uneven Following/Follower RatioKeep track of how many people you’re following and howmany people are following you back on Twitter. If you’refollowing a large number of people compared to the numberof people following you back, it suggests that you’re justtrying to gain a huge amount of followers, rather than actuallycommunicating.For example, if you’re following 64,000 people and have only4,500 following you back, it gives the impression that youaren’t genuine in your use of Twitter because you’reconstantly trying to add followers and not creating greatcontent. Try to keep the following-to-follower ratio nearlyeven. 437
    • Chapter 17Ten Thought Leaders on TwitterIn This Chapter Talking to the Internet-marketing experts Finding out about the latest social-media research and tools Getting advice on how to run a businessThousands of people can provide value to you as anindividual and provide support to your business on Twitter.However, a few individuals tend to stand out among the restwhen it comes to interaction, the content that they share, andthe number of followers. You can help your Twittermarketing plan by following the thought leaders I feature inthis chapter and seeing how they successfully use Twitter’sviral marketing power. The individuals listed in this chapter are thoughtleaders in specific industries on the Web. They can help youtake the dive into the online marketing environment! Theinformation that they share is driven toward helping peoplebetter use technology, social media, the Internet, and Twitter.Plenty of people who use Twitter might offer you more valuecompared to other users, so you simply have to find thoseindividuals. To search for the thought leaders of Twitter, seeChapter 8. 438
    • Jay BaerTwitter username: @jaybaerWeb site: www.convinceandconvert.comJay Baer may not have as many followers as some of theother individuals in this chapter, but he has exceptionalcontent when it comes to Internet marketing and publicrelations. If you want to find out about brand crisismanagement and brand identity, you need to follow Jay.The best thing about Jay is that he’s responsive and he helpspeople out when it comes to using the tools of the Internet. Besure to track him down and start a Twitter conversation withhim. You won’t regret it.Chris BroganTwitter username: @chrisbroganWeb site: www.chrisbrogan.comYou might want to follow Chris Brogan for plenty of reasonsother than the sheer number of followers he has and hisfollowing ratio. Chris shares great content and isn’t afraid totalk about the personal side of life in his tweets.He also can discuss concepts and ideas pertaining tomarketing on the Internet in a way that makes you feel likeyou’re having a one-on-one conversation with him. 439
    • He shares extremely valuable content in relation to marketingthrough social media and offers his personal thoughts on theonline world of business.Jason FallsTwitter username: @jasonfallsWeb site: www.socialmediaexplorer.comJason Falls is the founder and CEO of Social Media Explorer,an online communications and social media marketing firm.Jason is an excellent speaker and creates content thatindividuals who may not be well versed in the Internetmarketing world can easily understand.You can find in-depth content on Jason’s Web site — and youcan’t find better online content about corporate-levelsocial-media use.Pete CashmoreTwitter username: @petecashmoreWeb site: www.mashable.comSome say Pete Cashmore is the father of Internet social medianews through his Web site Mashable.com. Pete is CEO andfounder of the Web site and has built a social media empireby reporting on technology changes throughout the last threeyears. It has been said that he is the Arianna Huffington of thesocial media elite. 440
    • Pete provides value in the Twitter world by providingup-to-date news on the changes in the social media world. Ifyou want to keep up on the trends, follow Pete.Jeremiah OwyangTwitter username: @jowyangWeb site: www.web-strategist.com/blogAside from the fact that he is a partner and head of customerstrategy at the Altimeter Group, I recommend followingJeremiah Owyang because he shares great content. You can’tfind a better dissector of great content (both his own andothers) than Jeremiah.If you want to stay up to date on the facts of the Web — andsocial media, specifically — you won’t be let down byJeremiah’s content.Katie PaineTwitter username: @kdpaineWeb site: www.measuresofsuccess.comKatie Paine is the queen of measurement and valuing returnon investment (ROI) in the world of social media when youare using online tools, such as Twitter. She’s a kind ofrevolutionary in the world of public relations and onlinemarketing. So, her content is bleeding edge andbusiness-altering (in a positive way). 441
    • She lives up to that name every day by creating great contenton Twitter and her blog, which has to do with ROI in socialmedia.Brian SolisTwitter username: @briansolisWeb site: www.briansolis.comThe social media world has been whispering that Brian Solisis one of the most enlightened individuals on the scenebecause of his ability to create tools and sites that change theway people use social media, both for time and businessmanagement. He’s the principal of a company calledFutureWorks and has written books about Internet marketing,including his new book Engage. Engage provides a deepreview of the evolution of new media and how to integratenew technology and methodologies into your everydayactivity. After you master the art of Twitter, this book is foryou!Scott StrattenTwitter username: @unmarketingWeb site: www.un-marketing.comI can give you one huge reason to follow Scott Stratten onTwitter — engagement. The amount of updates that Scottcreates shows his level of engagement with the individualswho are following him. 442
    • If you can find a more beloved Twitter user than Scott, pleaselet everyone know. He helps individuals by sharing contentthat allows them to make the best use of Twitter and othersocial-media sites.Gary VaynerchukTwitter username: @garyveeWeb site: www.garyvaynerchuk.comGary Vaynerchuk is the founder of Wine Library TV, aworld-renowned Internet-marketing genius, and a brilliantspeaker. If that isn’t enough to convince you to follow him,he talks to almost everyone who responds to him. If you hadto chat with as many followers as he has, you might feel alittle overwhelmed. But Gary Vaynerchuk takes it in stride.Be sure to check out his Web site, and if you need inspiration(or maybe a kick in the pants), watch one of his videos.Carrie WilkersonTwitter username: @barefoot_execWeb site: www.blogbarefoot.comYou can’t find an individual better at encouraging andempowering people to succeed than Carrie Wilkerson, theBarefoot Executive. She may be the happiest and mostcontent Twitter user, and she shares great content as well! 443
    • You can gain in-depth knowledge of how to run a businesssuccessfully and have a purpose behind running the company.Carrie openly shares a ton of information that is extremelyimportant in the world of marketing and communications. 444
    • Chapter 18Ten Tools for Twitter ProductivityIn This Chapter Keeping track of your Twitter activity Using your time on Twitter efficiently Finding Twitter conversations you care aboutWhile you slowly work through the ins and outs of usingTwitter to drive business and increase your brand awareness,how do you manage all the followers, replies, groups, friends,and direct messages? You can find hundreds of productivitytools available to help you out. I mention some of the toolsdescribed in this chapter elsewhere in this book, but others arenew. Dive into the top ten tools to use for Twitter productivityand do some business!bit.lyhttp://bit.lyIn the world of tiny URLs that allow you to track clicks andconversations, bit.ly reigns supreme. The Web site andsidebar application are easy to use, but they both pack quitethe punch when managing conversations over a specificplatform. Plus, the pro accounts offer increased analytics andtracking capabilities that are far superior to any otherURL-shortener site. 445
    • So, why should you use bit.ly? You need to be able to shortenlong URLs from blog posts or Web sites that have greatcontent that you want to tweet to your followers. bit.ly givesyou the capability to shorten, share, and track the URLs.You can very easily view your links in real time and trackinformation sharing while it happens, which I have to admit,is really awesome!HootSuitehttp://hootsuite.comTweetDeck (which I talk about in the section “TweetDeck,”later in this chapter) allows you to organize and managefollowers, and HootSuite is just as powerful when it comes tothe world of Twitter productivity. HootSuite lets you managemultiple Twitter accounts, add multiple editors of the sameaccount, preschedule your tweets, track influencers in yournetwork with Klout, measure clicks on shortened URLs, andmanage all your social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn,WordPress, and so on) in its dashboard. If you’re looking fora tool to help you stay productive throughout your day andnot be held hostage by the time-suck police, HootSuite iswhere you should turn.HootSuite enables you to view clicks and see where eachclick originated based on the region of the world. It also letsyou view your more popular tweets, as well as how manyclicks you’ve received over a given time period.By far the most valuable option in HootSuite is the capabilityto prepost tweets (meaning write tweets in advance) to 446
    • publish throughout the day. You may find the prepost featurevaluable when it comes to managing your time.Nearby Tweetswww.nearbytweets.comNearby Tweets is a tool for those twitterers who want toconnect to individuals in their general location. NearbyTweets is a Web site that allows you to search for people onTwitter based on geography. After you search for a location, amap shows the location and an automatic feed populates theimage. You can watch in real time as tweets are sent fromBaltimore, MD, or Indianapolis, IN. You can use the searchresults to build customer relationships and monitor whatcustomers are saying in real time.SocialToowww.socialtoo.comSocialToo is an overall management tool for yourrelationships on social-networking sites such as Twitter,Facebook, and MySpace. It is your companion on the socialWeb! The Web site and profile service gives you the tools toautofollow and track specific information about each personthat follows you, and you can also get daily stats surroundingnew follows and unfollows (much like Qwitter, which isdescribed in Chapter 8). Overall, the tool can really bebeneficial when it comes to measuring stats and timeproductivity. It also enables you to share surveys to find outmore about the people who are following you. 447
    • Oh, and Jesse Stay created SocialToo. (Jesse is, by far, one ofthe coolest users on Twitter.)TweetDeckhttp://tweetdeck.comYou can’t find a better tool out there for managing andorganizing your Twitterati than TweetDeck. You can useTweetDeck directly from your desktop, and it managesfollowers, friends, replies, direct messages, multiple socialprofiles, groups, and any other Twitter feature you couldpossibly imagine. TweetDeck allows you to create groups thatcan cater to any type of subject. For example, if you want topull a feed from Twitter that has to do with Barney andchildren’s stories, you can do just that by using TweetDeck.You can also download TweetDeck to your iPhone and use itwhen you’re away from your desktop. You can easily use andmanage this program. Built off the Adobe AIR platform, it’syour direct link to everything for your Twitter profile.TweetMetricswww.twitter-friends.comTweetMetrics (formally called TwitterFriends) enables you totrack and dissect the important network behind your Twitterprofile: your followers. The Web site calls this network therelevant net. By searching stats on your username throughTweetMetrics, you get the top ten people who communicatewith you the most. Who’s your biggest fan on Twitter?TweetMetrics can tell you. 448
    • The tool also gives you average stats, such as replies receivedper day, replies sent per day, how many tweets you send perday, your Twitter Rank (which is a breakdown of where you“numerically rank” among Twitter users) in the world ofTweetMetrics, your retweet quotient, your link quotient, theoverlap of outgoing/incoming messages, and the size of yourfollower network.TweetMetrics is a valuable tool when you want a bird’s-eyeview of your Twitter profile and your Twitter usage.twhirlwww.twhirl.orgtwhirl is social-networking desktop software designed by thepeople who brought you Seesmic. The twhirl application isbuilt in the same realm as Twitterrific, TweetDeck, andHootSuite (all discussed elsewhere in this chapter). You canrun twhirl on both Windows and Mac platforms. If you’refamiliar with sites such as FriendFeed and Seesmic, you maywant to use twhirl because of how each site operates. twhirllets you connect to multiple Twitter and Seesmic accounts.You can let twhirl run in the background while you work, andit gives you random pop-up windows that display newmessages. twhirl has a couple of other cool features worthmentioning for this productivity chapter, such as enabling youto post messages to multiple profiles on other socialnetworking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace. You alsohave the ability to share images via TwitPic and Twitterretweet timelines. You can also record a video by using a 449
    • Web cam and recording directly on twhirl, and then share thevideo on the video side of Seesmic, http://video.seesmic.com.Twilertwww.twilert.comTwilert is the tool for the paranoid person in all of us. Twilertlets you receive regular e-mail updates about tweets thatcontain the name of your brand, product, or service, or anykeyword you could possibly want to find. You can set up theservice extremely easily, and you can use it to stay on top ofthe conversations surrounding your specific keyword.You can also use the service at http://search.twitter.com tosearch for keywords being used on Twitter, but Twilert givesyou a more consistent feed from the world of Twitter. Youcan experience keywords being updated on a live basis.Twitter Graderwww.twittergrader.comHubSpot (www.hubspot.com), the people who brought youWebsite Grader (www.websitegrader.com), realized thatTwitter users needed to track and rank users based on certaincriteria on Twitter. Twitter Grader was the answer to thatneed. The site allows you to track and measure your (andothers’) relative Twitter power. The calculation is based on acombination of different factors, including your number offollowers, the power of your followers, and the number ofupdates, clicks, and retweets. 450
    • The Web site offers you a completely egotistical look at theworld of Twitter, but it can give you some valuable tips in theareas of top tweets, content you should share, followers youshould add, and how you can use Twitter more productively.Twitterrifichttp://twitterrific.comTwitterrific is similar to TweetDeck (which you can readabout in the section “TweetDeck,” earlier in this chapter), butit’s designed for use on a Mac. Twitterrific has an excellentuser interface, and it is small enough not to hoard your entirecomputer screen. It gives you the same type of capabilities asTweetDeck, but it offers more keyboard shortcuts for the Macuser. The application is designed to let you view as much oras little information as you want when you use Twitterrific onyour desktop.You can also download Twitterrific to the iPhone as anapplication. 451
    • Part VIAppendixesIn this part . . .Inside Appendix A, you can find a brain trust of knowledgefrom dozens of Twitter marketing professionals. Over thecourse of writing this book, I collected their ideas throughTwitter. If you want insight from some of the best minds onTwitter, turn the page. Go ahead.In Appendix B, I list more great sites and applications thatyou can use to make your marketing life on Twitter easier. 452
    • Appendix AGreat Twitter Marketing Ideas in 140 Characters or LessIn This Appendix Marketing and building your brand Building relationships through Twitter Talking to your followers Retweeting and sharing Gathering followers and following others Using Twitter wiselyThe one thing that keeps my love for Twitter growing in leapsand bounds is the people I interact with. Twitter is amind-trust of brilliant people from all over the globededicated to one thing: sharing great content.I asked the world of Twitter to share some thoughts on how touse Twitter as a marketing tool. Many marketing expertsreplied by tweet, so all the advice in this appendix comes toyou in nuggets of 140 characters or less.Marketing@DavidSpinks If you’re not seeing results, it’s probably notTwitter’s fault; it’s how you’re using it. That’s ok. 453
    • @BeerFoxTM Have you written a lot? Tweet the titles of allarticles you have written, and each URL, so your followerscan easily find them.<Anonymous> Marketing is about promoting what yourexpertise is & how that is advantageous to someone else.Now get tweeting that!@watsonk2 Tweet 80% content your readers will find helpfuland 20% self-promotion. A good mix will get you farther than100% promotion.<Anonymous> Find the perfect balance between the quantityof your tweet and the quality.<Anonymous> If business has taught you anything, it is thatyou have to pick a niche. Apply that to Twitter.@Arsene333 Think of Twitter as your own public relationscampaign.@KevinEikenberry The 3 Twitter Marketing Ps to usingtwitter effectively: be provocative, provide value, and most ofall, be personable.<Anonymous> Since becoming a Twitter user, a link in eachtweet back to my Web site has increased traffic.@whalehunters Understand your business purposes forspending time and energy on Twitter.@taskwum Content is king. 454
    • <Anonymous> Employ a content lure strategy. You pointusers to help with content in exchange for influence.@tushin Don’t overplan or overtest. Just do it and see how itworks.@VisitFingerLake Watch, learn, and listen — then jump onin. You can’t understand social media until you use it.<Anonymous> Twitter marketing is cheap, easy, andeffective. If you can’t do it alone, get some help.@MrBusinessGolf The best market to be in is the market youcreate.@coffee_online If it smells of marketing, then you’re goingto convince no one. That includes spraying fake camouflagescent to cover your tracks.@socialjulie Good marketers can focus on intricacies with ashort lens and can then strategize with a long lens and with astrong ROI filter.@makeseriously If all of your links point back to you,chances are I am going to ignore you.@JasonFalls Don’t think Twitter can’t be used for something.You can sell, broadcast, activate, converse, and share.<Anonymous> Provide value and I will watch for more. . . . 455
    • @socialjulie Marketing on Twitter is really a stripped-downtype of marketing. It’s authentic communication; no otherapproach will work.@bradpiercephd “If you make people think they’re thinking,they’ll love you.”@joshmiles Want to recruit your employees or coworkers totweet? First take a minute (in person) to explain what to doand why they should do it.@MattMacbeth Tip: Learn how 2 twitter by following &learning from a “Twitter mentor”; there R folks who R goodat this — pay attention 2 them.Promoting Your Brand@DunnMich Twitter about how you’re promoting yourbusiness, or how you’re getting paid; give followerssomething they can use!@TimPiazza When you trend, trying to follow your brand islike riding in the front of a roller coaster. Every momentthrills and scares.<Anonymous> You are the brand!!! Nothing else. You’reselling yourself as a person and showing that you are worthyof being followed.@Alonis DO NOT PUSH YOUR PRODUCT. There, in 25characters. 456
    • @azvibe Don’t use Twitter if all you’re going to do ispromote the latest and greatest or ask for help for yourbusiness. Be yourself!!@bnyquist Don’t constantly change your avatar as it’s one ofthe main consistencies in your online branding.@brianspaeth If you murder someone, don’t tweet about it.Bad for the brand.<Anonymous> Putting a real name and face on your identityallows customers to associate with your brand on a personallevel.@photogeneve If you are a business, don’t always try topromote! Share things you find interesting, and others mighttoo.Building Relationships@divinewrite Help people.<Anonymous> Be the first to share. Get an RSS feed oftopical news for your industry and post a link as soon asbreaking news hits the search engines.<Anonymous> Use Twitter as way to grow your networks onother social media channels. It can be the hub of your socialmedia wheel, each channel a spoke.@mooshinindy Be yourself on Twitter. People will eitherlove you or hate you for it but at least it’s you. 457
    • @appellatelaw If someone you know has good news, but istoo modest to tweet about it, you might consider tweetingabout it yourself.<Anonymous> Like in Shakespeare the more interestingcharacters are rounded, not flat or static. So be well rounded.<Anonymous> Don’t be all over the place. Be known as thego-to page for a topic, and as a reliable source for informationon that topic.@jennielees Pay it forward — giving is as good as getting,and social capital is invaluable. It’s not all about youanymore.@Chadrichards Identify, engage, respond, repeat. ;)@JillHarding Simply be genuine and share useful informationas in time it will come back to you.@chuckgose Broadcasting is great for TV. Not for Twitter.Participation is a two-way street. Get to know your groupsand they will get to know you.@fleurdeleigh Be mindful that your horse precedes your cart.Relationships are key.@gambitfauri BROADCASTING is one thing. LISTENINGis a major thing and REACTING is the real thing.<Anonymous> Have fun. Meet people. Share ideas. Theyvisit your Web site. 458
    • @augie_malson Develop/build relationships with your(potential followers).@PhillipM If you can’t have a vested, genuine interest inyour followers, then you are in the wrong business.@yougonetwork Build relationships through interaction andremember quality of content over quantity will get you theright followers.@unmarketing Take 5 min daily to reply/retweet others,nothing about you.@LindsayManfredi Twitter should be aboutrelationship-building and trust. Use it wisely and people willget that. Please don’t try to sell to me.@Fleurdeleigh It is important to remember that there arepeople behind the accounts. Be personable!<Anonymous> Be shockingly honest. Usually at least oneperson connects with that.@sarahrobinson Always remember you were a beginner oncetoo.@donschindler Be a friend. Be a resource. Be yourself.@askfrasco Twitter is a give-and-take relationship. You haveto contribute yourself in order to have others contribute toyou. 459
    • @socialarts Find something that you care about, and make ityour goal to share that passion with followers, withoutexpecting ANYTHING in return.Engaging in Conversation@calamity7373 Create a dialogue with your followers; don’tjust push promotions about your brand in their face.@virtualewit Twitter is a conversation. Take some time tolisten to what is going on and respond; don’t just talk atpeople.<Anonymous> Don’t just talk about your product; talk aboutyour area of expertise.@hatmandu Don’t just use auto-follow tools to spam legionsof people — instead, create individual conversations.@followthecolson Twitter is not a scripted dialog. It is anopen conversation between you, your followers, and yourpotential followers.<Anonymous> Make sure you’re able to talk to the peoplewho follow you. Make sure you’re on when they’re on, andfree to chat.<Anonymous> DON’T BE STUCK UP! Talk to the peoplewho took time to mention you, follow you, and/or DM you.@roundpeg Focus on building conversations andrelationships and the followers will come. 460
    • <Anonymous> Remember that Twitter is aboutcommunicating, not marketing.<Anonymous> Listen. Listen. Listen. And engage inconversations. Do not spam.<Anonymous> Tweet about other people’s stuff.@krisplantrich Don’t be a tweet hog! 15 tweets in a row getsirritating.@AlaneAnderson Don’t be the JERK at the party that justwants to sell.@briancarter Tweet funny stuff in funique (fun+unique)ways. Funky ways work too. Funquee.@authorlisalogan Don’t answer “What are you doing?”Instead, reply, retweet, and respect (by following back thosewho follow you).@jennypratt Be bold. Have an opinion. Talk to strangers andhave fun!<Anonymous> When tweeting, you don’t need to make it allabout you.<Anonymous> Staying on message in Twitter is dangerous.Learn to adapt and listen to what they are telling you aboutyour service/product.@tonymarshall Remember that it’s called “tweeting,” not“squawking.” 461
    • @smquaseb Twitter is an ongoing conversation youparticipate in. It isn’t about how much info you can shove out;it is about communicating.@blakenquist Don’t talk AT people. Talk TO people.@JustShireen Talk. Interact. Respond. It should be aconversation, not a sales pitch.Retweeting@makingcjc Learn how to RT (retweet). It not only helps youstay active, but lets people know what you’re interested in.@mayhemstudios “Retweet” is a powerful tool on Twitter; ithelps to build your brand, following, trust & be seen as anexpert in your field.@KristieKreation Don’t just retweet; post links and postquotes!! Make sure you carry on conversations so othersknow a little about you.@SandyDfromNJ Twitter is a great place to clarify yourvision, mission & message. Are you being retweeted?@MacksMind Speak simple. Share your passion. RT the bestwords of others.@ForwardSteps Remember to leave 20 or so characters freeat the end of tweets for news that you’d like others to RT.@briancarter Expertise, sex, news, controversy, and humorget retweeted. Making fun of yourself is my favorite. 462
    • Following and Followers@bradjward Don’t get caught up in the numbers game. 100relevant followers on Twitter is worth more than 1,000followers any day of the week.@sarahebuckner It drives me crazy when people don’t postfor a few hours, then post 9 times in a row. If they do that alot, I unfollow.<Anonymous> First — get followers. Second — keepfollowers. Sounds easy, right? It’s actually not. It takespatience and hard work.@Arsene333 Before you click Send, ask yourself “Would Ifollow this person solely based on this one tweet?” If yes,clink Send.@jecates Following thousands of people hoping to get theirattention is more likely to get you blocked than followed.@greenphare Listen, think, then react. Don’t tweet justbecause. Many followings don’t mean you are a “superstar.”@ericblonde Be a person to follow — not just a Twitteraccount.@Aislinnye Make friends with your followers and tweet themas you’d like them to tweet you.@claymabbitt With every tweet, you’re either giving people areason to retweet or you’re giving them a reason to unfollow. 463
    • @lookwebdesign Twitter is as good as the people you follow.Using Twitter Wisely@krisplantrich All tweets are read — not just your brandingor marketing ones. Be careful what you tweet!<Anonymous> Keep your business and personal life separate.Would you like to see someone you were considering to dowork for you drinking on a boat?<Anonymous> Twitter works best when integrated. Use it tosupplement blogging and other social media efforts.@unmarketing Twitter is a conversation about your business/industry, whether you’re there or not. Your choice.@wowbroadcasting Add the Twitter icon to your Web site.@karamartens Twitter is a great equalizer. CEOs, gurus, andregular joes all have to make the best of 140 charac.@jennypratt Twitter bios rule. If say something interestingabout yourself in 140 characters imagine what you can dowith stuff you really care about. 464
    • Appendix BThe Best Twitter Applications and Support SitesIn This Appendix BeTweeted CoTweet Digsby monitter SocialOomph TrackThis Twimailer TwitHawk Twitoria TwitPic Twitter Toolbar TwitterFoxTake it from me, Twitter applications can really make Twitterfun and easy to use. In this appendix, I present you with a list 465
    • of the top Twitter applications that you can use to help you goabout your daily Twitter routine.BeTweetedwww.betweeted.comYou can think of BeTweeted as an advertising network. It isan application that allows Twitter users to get involved bysharing companies’ content. The advertisers pay to have theircontent tweeted, and bloggers can use the tool to gainsubscribers. It’s an interesting tool that could help you buildawareness for your product or service but also help you makesome money on the side.CoTweetwww.cotweet.comCoTweet is a Web application that allows you to managecorporate Twitter accounts through a single CoTweet login.This is a great tool for businesses with more than a couple ofemployees using Twitter at one time. With CoTweet, you canmonitor keywords and different trending topics on Twitter, aswell as assign tweets and on-duty notifications for youremployees. It’s an awesome tool.Digsbywww.digsby.comDigsby isn’t a Twitter-based application, but you can still useit to make Twitter a more enjoyable experience. It’s a 466
    • social-networking tool that alerts you of events, such as whenyou receive new messages, and it gives you a live newsfeed(like Facebook does) about what your followers (on allnetworking sites) are up to. You can keep track of everythingyour followers are doing at all times. You can also trackwhere specific people are located (geographically) at anygiven time! Awesome!monitterwww.monitter.commonitter is a great Twitter tool that allows you to monitor theTwitter world for when twitterers use a set of keywords sothat you can watch what people are saying about yourproduct, service, or idea. I am really talking about a topicalkeyword that describes what your business does. What areyou the best at? You enter three words into each of thesquares on the Web site, and monitter starts feeding yourkeywords into the main tracking feed on the site. monitter letsyou quickly and easily follow and respond to keywords.SocialOomphwww.socialoomph.comSocialOomph is a Web-based application that allows the userto manage multiple social-media accounts from one login.The value of SocialOomph comes from the ability toautomatically find followers, preschedule DMs to yourclients, manage multiple accounts, purge DMs from youraccount, and manage Facebook. SocialOomph is hands downone of the better automation management applications. While 467
    • it’s not great for managing content, the tool is brilliant atautomating processes at Twitter.TrackThiswww.usetrackthis.comThis is a genius application! You no longer have to wonderwhether Grandma sent your birthday present in time. Thisapplication allows you to track shipments of your postalpackages. Direct messages are sent directly to your Twitteraccount to update the status report on your packages.Twimailerwww.twimailer.comTwimailer is an application that allows you to siphon all thatannoying e-mail from Twitter into one main stream account.If you want to organize the e-mail you receive from Twitter,Twimailer is the way to go!TwitHawkwww.twithawk.comTwitHawk is a real-time targeted marketing engine thatallows you to search Twitter on a chosen topic (or keyword)and either autoreplies to that person or generates a list ofmatches for you to respond or reject. The point of thisapplication is to hit the conversation while it is happening andthen follow up. Make sure that you are being sincere whenusing the tool. Do not spam. 468
    • You can also link track (or track links to the layman) with anaverage cost of around $0.02, with a max of $0.05 per tweet.The people over at TwitHawk are feeling blessed and arecurrently offering ten free tweets for signing up.Twitoriawww.twitoria.comI’m a huge fan of Twitoria because it helps me clean up myfollower list every now and again. You don’t want to beoverrun by people who don’t use Twitter! You type in yourTwitter username and select a length of time from thedrop-down list, and Twitoria sorts who you’re followingbased on how long it’s been since each person tweeted. UseTwitoria if you want to cut down your follower count.TwitPicwww.twitpic.comTwitPic is an application that allows you to share yourfavorite pictures on Twitter. For example, you can useTwitPic to introduce your new product to your network offollowers.You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone, throughthe TwitPic application programming interface, or through thesite itself. Some popular Twitter clients also have built-insupport for TwitPic.TwitPic allows you to add pictures to Twitter easily. So, whatdoes adding pictures do for you? It creates a more valuable 469
    • experience for your customers. They want to know what youare doing on a daily basis. By sharing pictures throughTwitPic, your customers can see a visual representation ofwhat you are doing!Twitter Toolbarwww.thetwittertoolbar.comThe Twitter Toolbar is a handy and easy-to-use shortcut/quick-links toolbar that brings Twitter so close, it’s only oneclick away. With the Twitter Toolbar, you have access to alarge variety of highly requested tools and resources. And —just as important — the Twitter Toolbar is absolutely free touse!TwitterFoxhttp://twitterfox.netTwitterFox is the Echofon for Firefox (the Web browser)extension that notifies you of your friends’ tweets on Twitter.The Firefox extension adds a tiny icon to the Firefox statusbar that notifies you when your friends update their tweets. Italso has a cool, small text input that you can use to updateyour tweets from your browser. This may be overkill if youuse Twitterrific or TweetDeck, but you may think it’s perfectif you love Firefox and Web browsing! 470
    • To access the cheat sheet specifically for this book, go towww.dummies.com/cheatsheet/twittermarketing.Find out "HOW" at Dummies.com 471