What Every Marketer Should Know About Twitter

By Cliff Guy

Love it or hate it – at the moment you simply cannot and should not ignore it. Twitter.com is the latest social networking craze to sweep the internet, based on mini-blogs from those who can’t resist sharing the finer detail of the activities of their day.

For marketers, Twitter represents 3 important opportunities:

  • Firstly, the opportunity to disseminate information about your business and your brand, quickly and widely.
  • Secondly, the opportunity to drive traffic to your website .
  • Thirdly, the opportunity to tap into conversations and feedback on your products and services and monitor brand reputation – invaluable marketing research.

In order to take advantage of these 3 significant opportunities, marketers need to know how to build Twitter into their communications mix, alongside their use of other social networks and their core email marketing channel.

Top tips for integrating Twitter into your marketing

A recent blog post on the anythinggoesmarketing blog provided an excellent list of top tips for integrating Twitter into your email marketing mix, particularly for B2B firms. With some extra tips thrown in for good measure, here’s a great summary of what you need to be doing:

1. If you haven’t already, create a Twitter account for your company. If you don’t, someone else might!

2. Link to your Twitter profile from your corporate website – this is an ‘official’ way of confirming identity.

3. Cross link from your Twitter profile page, to the page on your corporate site that links to Twitter – this will confirm that your Twitter account is official

4. Add a link to your company’s Twitter account to all your email marketing templates. Consider adding a link in the email footer to items such as your event invitations or email newsletters.

5. Link to a form landing page from your company Twitter account. For example if you have a Twitter post such as “New white paper on how to increase ROI”. Upon clicking on the link to the white paper, direct “Tweeple” (twitter people) to a landing page where you capture their email address. In this way you’re converting your Twitter followers into opted-in email subscribers.

6. Use Twitter content in your email newsletters. For example, create a feature called “Twitter Q/A”. In this section, address questions/comments that came up on Twitter and what the response was.

7. Post links to your email newsletter articles on Twitter. Instead of including one tweet that says: “Check out the latest newsletter” and links back to your main newsletter page, consider seeding individual articles on Twitter over a period of time (say a week). You can use a tool like Brightkit to pre-schedule your twits in advance. Companies should make each tweet count and make the content as interesting as possible.

8. Ensure that all email newsletter article authors have their Twitter account listed on the email. This allows recipients to continue the conversation after they read the article.

9. Provide instructions in your emails about how subscribers can follow conversations about your company on Twitter. For example, if you are promoting an event in your email, let subscribers know that they can tweet about the event using the hashtag character #. For example #myevent. You would replace “myevent” with the name of the event.

10. Ask email subscribers for their Twitter ID when they sign up. Experiment with an optional field on a few key web registration forms and see how this affects your conversion rate. I recommend mentioning that you will follow the person if they provide their Twitter ID.

11. On your email preference page, indicate to those who may want to unsubscribe that they can still follow you on Twitter. While you may have lost the person from your email list, you keep them in your community. This is the strength of Twitter and how it can be leveraged to enhance your existing marketing efforts.

12. Add a link in your emails and/or on your website that allows email subscribers and web visitors to easily tweet about an article, event or promotion. All you need to do is link to Twitter with the following URL: http://twitter.com/home?status= and add in a message under 140 characters after the “=” sign.

13. Conduct Twitter interviews and use this as content for your email marketing. This type of “Twitterview” could be with a customer, partner, company exec (or any other employee), or industry thought leader. What makes Twitter great is that these types of interviews are easy to do and you can use email to promote these as “live events” as well.

The buzzword is ‘Twitter’ but email is still the killer marketing tool. Read more..

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