Monday, December 1, 2008

Using Twitter as an Effective Business Tool

Many large, nationally known businesses use Twitter as a marketing tool.  Even CNN has it's own twitter account.  Twitter has also recently sparked a lot of interest with the indie sect of the business world.  With everyone jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, how can you find your niche and use it successfully?

  1. Don't follow 100s of people and unfollow them when they don't follow you back.  And especially don't keep trying to follow me to trick me into hitting follow.  If you are following 500 people and 20 are following you, I won't follow you and neither will most people.  No matter how many times you delete and refollow me.
  2. Fellow Etsians and other small business owners are great to follow in that they are a wealth of information about marketing, Etsy, supply sources, and other tips and tricks.  They are also potential customers since they have Etsy accounts and most sellers are buyers as well.
  3. That said, using Twitter to it's maximum capacity means getting non-Etsians to follow you.  These are brand new customers and probably new to Etsy as well.  The so called "mommy bloggers" are great to follow.  They will re-tweet your message and maybe even feature you on a blog.
  4. Use hash tags.  You must follow hashtags for them to work.  Hash tags are using a pound sign before the key term so other users can search for that term easily.  Popular ones right now are #christmas and #gifts.
  5. Go to http://search.twitter.com to see the most popular searches.  If you can fit those terms in your tweets try to as much as you can.  If you are tweeting about a new item and a popular term is "christmas", mention that it can be a Christmas gift in your tweet.  
  6. Be personable, but not personal.  I mention that I have three kids.  I won't mention their names, interests, post pictures.  I don't mention every detail of my life or my schedule.  I might mention I'm headed to pick up supplies.  Or ask for a good recipe for dinner.  That gets my followers interacting with me, but doesn't get too personal or controversial.  
  7. I use tr.im to...well...trim URLs and it gives a few stats.  It has a handy feature in that you paste the URL and a box on the next screen has the trimmed URL and you can enter text before and after it and send it right to Twitter.  
  8. Please don't bombard with item after item from your shop.  Spread them out during the day.
  9. I check my hit count at craftcult  before posting a new link.  After about 5 minutes I compare how many clicks I got through tr.im and how many hits I've increased on craftcult to get a general idea if people are looking around my shop or just clicking that link and closing the window.  This isn't a very reliable way to get stats, but it's better than what Etsy has...none.  
  10. I feel like I should end this on ten just to keep it neat.  I don't really have another tip so number 10 is....follow me!