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How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business

Twitter

Can Twitter actually help my business or is it a complete waste of my valuable time? This was the very question I asked myself only a few months back.

Perhaps you’ve pondered the same?

When people I respected started singing the praises of Twitter, I decided to give it a go. At first I just didn’t get it. However, after a short while I was shocked at the level of access to high profile individuals I was able to achieve.

This article reveals how bestselling authors and business professionals use Twitter to grow their businesses and reveals ideas you can employ to achieve Twitter success.

In fact, I used Twitter (and LinkedIn) to source much of what you see here!

First, What is Twitter Again?

“Twitter is instant messaging made available to the public,” stated talk show host and author Hugh Hewitt.

I think that’s a fair starting point. I’ve heard others call Twitter a micro-blogging platform.

Here’s what you need to know. According to the State of the Twittersphere report, each day 5 to 10 thousand new people join Twitter. Current estimates of total users top out around 5 million. That’s a lot of opportunity.

Twitter allows you to post updates (called Tweets) as often as you want (and limited to 140 characters). When you follow other people on Twitter, you see their tweets. When they follow you, they see your tweets.

It’s a constant stream of communication. The good news is you can turn it on or off as often as you like. Twitter also keeps a public record of all updates, which can be mined with Twitter Search.

Why High-Profile People Use Twitter

Twitter is not just a fad. When very high profile folks begin evangelizing Twitter, it’s worth closer examination. Here’s what some of those gurus told me:

Duct Tape Marketing founder John Jantsch identified three big advantages of Twitter, “(1) I get great insight when I ask questions, (2) let’s face it, I get traffic and (3) people on Twitter spread my thoughts to new places.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com said, “We’ve found that Twitter has been a great way for us to connect on a more personal level with our employees and customers. We use it to help build our brand, not drive direct sales. It’d be like asking how does providing a telephone number for customer service translate into new business when they are mostly non-sales-related calls. In the long term, Twitter helps drive repeat customers and word of mouth, but we’re not looking to it as a way of driving immediate sales.”

Bestselling author David Meerman Scott said, “I have personally connected with hundreds of people I otherwise wouldn’t have, and I booked an interview on NPR and a big daily newspaper using Twitter.”

Copyblogger’s own Brian Clark said, “Twitter Search is an amazing way to see what people are saying about your products or services. For example, I’ll do searches for Thesis Theme and people will be asking questions about our WordPress Theme. I’ll use the reply function to answer the question, which has led to direct sales. Plus, my answer creates awareness of Thesis for others that follow me. It’s a form of constructive promotion.”

Be sure to check out this Business Week article that surveyed 18 CEOs and how they’re using Twitter to help their businesses.

Practical Ways Twitter Can Help Your Business

This is where it gets interesting. A lot of people are doing some very innovate things with Twitter. Here’s some of their stories.

The Twitter Plan

Cindy King, an international sales specialist, saw a huge boost in business inquires by implementing a strategic Twitter plan.

“Following the right people on Twitter was key. There are some people very gifted at building relationships on Twitter. As I followed these online community builders, I realized that some of them are also excellent direct response copywriters. They get their Twitter followers to take action,” said King.

“Light bulbs went off, and I spent a weekend putting together a tweet marketing plan and entered in 6 weeks worth of tweets, 5 a day, using TweetLater. I used a mindmap, created categories, varied times on tweets and used BUDurls so I could track results and improve my tweet plan the next time around. That was a month ago,” explained King.

When King finds a spare minute between projects, she logs into Twitter and watches what folks are talking about. When she Tweets, about 90 percent of the time she presents useful information and resources to her followers. The remaining tweets are surveys and questions. Following this strategy, King saw an 800 percent increase in inquiries about her business after she setup her Twitter campaign.

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One Response to “How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business”

  1. Putting Twitter to the test….

    “A Father Teaching Kids To Invest And Give Back!”
    Skins Footwear Interchangeable Shoes/Shareholder

    http://www.twitter.com/tonysearight
    http://www.twitter.com/skinsftwearfan
    http://www.twitter.com/skinsshoes

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