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  1. 1. Twitter Marketing ForDummies®Visit 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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 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
  16. 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
  17. 17. Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 RiverStreet, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201)748-6008, or online at 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,, 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
  18. 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 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax317-572-4002.For technical support, please visit 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
  19. 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 and is a regularcontributor to the Personal Branding Blog, 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
  20. 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 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
  21. 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 ( 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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 or e-mailme at 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 32
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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 ( 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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 ( 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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: (, 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, youcan see how Twitter is a critical component of thispromotional campaign. Business-to-business marketing: Duct Tape Marketing( 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
  46. 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
  47. 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
  48. 48. But you no longer have absolute control over what gets saidabout them. 49
  49. 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
  50. 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 Click the yellow Sign Up > button on the right. 51
  51. 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
  52. 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, 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
  53. 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
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. 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
  57. 57. Figure 2-4: Twitter makes it easy for you to follow peopleyou already know. 58
  58. 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
  59. 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: 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
  60. 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
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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 tab allows you to select a background design theme,change to a customized background image, and change yourdesign colors. Check out Themeleon ( 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
  68. 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
  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. 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
  73. 73. links. One of my favorites is 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
  74. 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
  75. 75. overwhelmed with the amount of content being produced andnow is the time to use Listorious ( 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
  76. 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 ( 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
  77. 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
  78. 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 ( 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 ( 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
  79. 79. twhirl ( 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 (which in turn lets youupdate your status on several other social networking sites,such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn). DestroyTwitter ( 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 ( This client works like otherdesktop apps, but it has different themes available. Spaz alsohas a mobile version available for the Palm Pre. Twitterrific ( 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
  80. 80. Part IIBuilding and Implementing Your Twitter Marketing RoadMap 81
  81. 81. In this part . . . 82
  82. 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
  83. 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
  84. 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
  85. 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
  86. 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
  87. 87. directly. As you can see in Figure 3-1, you can do a search byusing Twitterment ( and NearbyTweets ( 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
  88. 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, the longer URL 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
  89. 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 (, 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
  90. 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
  91. 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
  92. 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
  93. 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
  94. 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: shows a list of Japanese politicianswho use Twitter to share content. 95
  95. 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, NearbyTweets (, and Twitterment( Though Twitter’s search, Nearby Tweets, andTwitterment are excellent options to help you unearthprospects, new and improved Twitter search tools keep 96
  96. 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