Monday, August 03, 2009

Tips on Using Twitter to Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Are you already tired of Twitter? Do you think it’s just a fad? Well think again because the popularity of Twitter is growing at an alarming rate.
I’m always trying to think about how marketers can better leverage the social media technologies that are out there and then share them with you. As you read these, you need to think about your end goals. Many of these may not be worth it to you and your company but they’re good to keep in mind.

I’ve already written a post on tips for using Twitter and email marketing but I wanted to take this to another level. This is not a post on the basics of Twitter. If you want some basic tips on Twitter, check out Twitter 101 or Hubspot’s How To guide. I was inspired by those bright people over at Radian6 who showed me some of the untapped potential of Twitter. This led me to research the ways that marketers are leveraging Twitter to improve their engagement with their target audiences. Most of these tips are dead simple so enjoy and use them well.

Taking Your Marketing to the Next Level With Twitter

  • Link to Your Twitter Testimonials. If you go to Radian6’s home page, they’ve included a banner that says “See what they are saying about us on Twitter”. imageWhat they’ve done is used the Twitter “favorite” feature to mark the posts where people have made positive comments about them and then featured this prominently on their home page as well as on confirmation pages. This is simple, yet brilliant. They’ve leveraged Twitter to show both Twitter and non-Twitter users what real people are saying about them. You could probably create an RSS feed from this URL as well and then display this content in real time on your blog or website.

  • Socializing Your Landing Pages. On his reside blog, Philip Nelson describes how Eloqua includes a number of Twitter links below the main call to action to continue the conversation via Twitter and other social media outlets and to leverage tools like Twitter to further promote your marketing materials. It also includes links to prominent Eloqua Tweeps that will help build your Twitter brand.


  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. If you’re looking to make your company seem more real to prospects and customers, Twitter is perfect for this. However, words can only say so much. If you’re at an event, have a cool employee get together or doing a live webinar, all you need to do to make your Twitter account come alive is a camera phone and a Twitpic account.

    Once you sign up at Twitpic, you’ll get an email address that you can email your pics to from your phone. The subject in your email is the message that will appear with a link to the pic. It’s that easy. Doing this in real time helps employees, customers and prospects feel like they are right there with you. Barefoot_exec provides an excellent example:

  • Change Your Twitter Home Page Pic. This idea literally jumped out at me when I went to Dunkin Donuts Twitter page.

    image Look at the size of that drink! You know that they’ll change the iced drink to hot chocolate come the fall. That is a good use of Twitter for your marketing efforts. Think about how you can time the changes to your pictures to promote events or product launches.

  • Combine the Power of Twitter and StumbleUpon. The new URL shortener makes it easy to shorten and track long URLs but goes well beyond that. By using this service, you can point people to your blog posts and events and have readers further promote it by indicating to the StumbleUpon community that they like it. In addition, this service makes it easy to promote a page on both Twitter and Facebook at the same time as well as allowing you to schedule when the Tweet should be published if it’s specific to an event or if you want to Tweet and have a life.

  • Direct the Conversation #1 Using Hashtags. People are going to start talking about you on Twitter and you have little control over this conversation. However, there are a few tricks and tools you can use to direct the Twitter stream. For example, if you have an event, promotion, theme etc… create a hashtag for it (what is a hashtag?). Here is a great example of how Dunkin Donuts created a contest and used a hashtag to focus the conversation and engage its customers. To win a prize, their Twitter followers had to write about a bold moment in their lives. By using the hashtag, #FrznCapp, tweeps could monitor the conversation using the Twitter search tool:

    In a recent webinar, Marketing Experiments had a great idea of including a slide at the beginning of the presentation that included the Twitter hashtag for the webinar and provided two ways to monitor and contribute to the presentation: Using or To take this further, include the hashtag in the event invites and reminders on your emails, landing pages, tweets and your other marketing channels.
  • Direct the Conversation #2 Using Unique Twitter Accounts. With my wife in the final stages of her pregnancy we’re seeing a lot of movies (while we still can). At the end of a preview its typical to see a URL for the movie site. I was a bit dumb founded when I saw “Follow us on Twitter”. Movies are jumping into the Twittersphere – check out:

    image Think about an upcoming event or a new product release – would it make sense to create a unique Twitter account? There are many possibilities here but you need to think about how you would support that Twitter account.

  • Tracking Twitter as a Source of Web Traffic. Make sure that you can clearly track the source of traffic to your website from Twitter. This goes beyond tracking Twitter at the aggregate level. When someone fills out a form or purchases a product, you should be able to trace this back to the link you tweeted about. This can be done in a few ways. We typically use query strings to track other channels as well as paid search and banner ads.

  • Forcing User to Promote You on Twitter. This is something that will definitely not work for everyone but I thought it was unique. When I “upgraded” to the new HooteSuite Twitter platform, it forced me to tweet about why I liked HooteSuite before I could complete the upgrade process.

  • Creating Surveys for Twitter Followers. Use a tool like PollDaddy to engage your Twitter followers. You can use this information for a future campaign and share the results with your followers. This of course assumes that you have developed a strong following. Don’t be afraid to tweet about the survey more than once. Some of your followers may not have seen your tweet the first time.

  • Cross Promote Across Your Social Media Sites. This tip may be obvious but it’s certainly not done enough. Don’t look at your social media sites in silos. If there is a good conversation going on in your LinkedIn group, direct tweeps to it. If you’ve posted a bunch of pictures on your Facebook fan page or videos on your YouTube page, use Twitter to promote it.

    The opposite works as well. Use your blog to promote an offer that is exclusively through Twitter. Twitter can also be used to direct customers to content and/or discussions in a customer only portal. Just ensure you warn your followers as you don’t want to alienate those that can’t access the content. The possibilities here are endless but it’s time to start to brainstorm on how to leverage all of your social media channels to get the most out of them that will achieve your marketing goals.
I hope this post gave you some new ideas. Please let me know if you have any others.

Chad H




Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin