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Since 2006, forward-thinking companies like Apple, JetBlue, Whole Foods, and GM have discovered the instant benefits of leveraging social media site Twitter to reach consumers directly, build their brand, and increase their sales. Some companies have whole teams of specialists whose only job is to respond to the tweets of consumers.

In this revised and updated edition of Twitter Power, online marketing guru Joel Comm explores the latest trends in how businesses and marketers can integrate Twitter into their existing marketing strategies to build a loyal following among Twitter members, expand awareness of their product or service, and even handle negative publicity due to angry or disappointed customers.

  • Updated with thirty percent new material, including all the latest business applications for Twitter
  • Includes new, recent case studies of companies at the forefront of the Twitter movement
  • Helps you develop your own social networking strategy to meet your specific business needs

Twitter Power is a must-have resource for any business leader who wants to keep up with the social media movement.

Twitter Tips from the Author
Driving Followers to the Mall

Look through my timeline, and you’ll see lots of different kinds of tweets. You’ll see links to my blog posts. You’ll see replies to my followers. You’ll see my opinions on politics, gaming, and social media. You’ll even see the odd quote that I’ve thrown in for fun and to spark some comments.

What you won’t see are tweets that tell people they should be buying my products. That’s not what I use Twitter for. I prefer to use it to build a brand and a community. In time, that will bring me more loyal customers and more sales overall. I can already see it happening in the number of visitors to my blog and the type of comments those visitors leave. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Twitter to drive direct sales.

You can, but you have to follow a number of simple rules:

Don’t do it too often. A special offer once a week is plenty. More than that, and you’ll start to look like a commercial Twitter timeline rather than a personal one. That will reduce the number of your users.

Make the offers really special. Time-limited offers and discount coupons make followers feel that they’re being rewarded for reading your tweets. Being part of an exclusive club is a powerful motivator to keep reading.

Keep the offers targeted. People will follow you for all sorts of reasons. They might have seen your Twitter URL on your blog. They might have seen a reply to you in someone else’s timeline. Or they could have read one of your re-tweeted messages to name just three.

They’ll stick around because they find your tweets interesting and entertaining.

With a group of followers that could be quite varied, the temptation might be to make offers for any products you can think of. If someone offers you an interesting-looking joint venture, you might want to mention it on Twitter, offer a discount code, and see if anyone bites. You could do that, and some people might bite. However, if your keep your offers closely-targeted to your specialized subject—whatever that subject might be—you’ll continue to come across as an expert, and because your trust levels on that topic will be higher, your conversion rates should be higher too.

Don’t link to a sales page without a special offer. Although Twitterers understand that companies are using the site for branding and marketing, they don’t want to feel that they’re being pushed into buying. If the tweets are interesting and entertaining, then followers will be happy to read them.

In fact, they’ll enjoy them and they’ll see the company as having its finger on the pulse, as a firm that feels that it’s part of their community and that knows how to follow the community’s rules. Companies that are seen to view followers as nothing more than walking moneybags, though, aren’t going to pick up followers. They’re actually more likely to lose followers who were once customers.

Link directly to a sales page without making the follower feel that they’re receiving special treatment, and you create the impression that you really want to sell, not tweet.

Usually, the best way to drive followers to buying pages is to use the strategies we’ve seen already: Create entertaining tweets, and throw in occasional special offers that appear to reward followers while avoiding the appearance of a hard sale—or even that you’re marketing.

There is one exception though. A number of timelines have turned up on Twitter that take exactly the opposite approach. They’re a bit like Darren Rowse’s Twitterfeed account: They provide just one type of tweet and followers know exactly what they’re getting.

In this case, they’re getting nothing but special offers. Once in a while, MomsWhoSave (@MomsWhoSave) will toss in a personal tweet. But it’s mostly discounts and coupon codes for its 8,375 followers.

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ISBN-10:  0470563362
ISBN-13:  978-0470563366
Author:  Joel Comm
Genre:  Business & Investing, Computers & Internet
Publisher:  Wiley
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review by . September 15, 2010
Twitter has become one of the most prominent social networks, but it's much more than that. In the right hands it becomes a powerful business and advertising tool. Its apparent simplicity belies a rich and powerful architecture that is immensely flexible and capable of addressing a variety of personal and professional needs. It can help a small business connect with new customers and send a word out about its products. It can also help a well established business manage relations with its customers …
review by . September 09, 2010
Twitter has become one of the most prominent social networks, but it's much more than that. In the right hands it becomes a powerful business and advertising tool. Its apparent simplicity belies a rich and powerful architecture that is immensely flexible and capable of addressing a variety of personal and professional needs. It can help a small business connect with new customers and send a word out about its products. It can also help a well established business manage relations with its customers …
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