Larry BraunerYou may have tried without success to use Twitter as a marketing channel. Many marketers struggle with Twitter for one reason or another. It’s often because of where their Twitter leads.

Let me explain.

Spamming

Spammers often follow myriads of random people on Twitter hoping that enough of them will follow back like sheep, or that they’ll click through the spammer’s profile link to view his or her offer.

However, too many marketers with good intentions adopt a similar strategy. They follow large numbers of targeted people but expect them to follow back without providing ample reason for them to reciprocate.

Getting and Staying Followed

People often ask me how I was able to get tens of thousands of followers. They’re hoping that I can point them to some magical system that will generate as many followers for them as I have.

I don’t use those types of systems nor do I recommend that you use them either. At best they match you up with large numbers of unresponsive followers.

Part of any outreach strategy includes following the people whom you would like following you. Life would be simple if each person you chose to follow reciprocated and followed you back.

While some Twitter users will follow back everybody, most of the ones who are desirable to connect with will be selective. They will follow you back only if they like what you’ve been tweeting or if they like you.

Unless your name is Oprah Winfrey, people will probably size you up based on some combination of your …

  • Username - Avoid the use of underscores (_) and numerals (0-9) if at all possible.
  • Name - Your real name is usually best.
  • Picture - Use a professional looking head shot or company logo.
  • Background - Use a layout that’s interesting and tasteful.
  • Location - Nothing dorky please!
  • One Line Bio - Mix professional and personal details. People search on profiles, so use carefully selected keywords.
  • More Info URL - Point to content that’s helpful and makes a good impression.
  • Privacy Settings - Don’t make your profile private if you want people to follow you. Marketers aren’t supposed to be secret agents.
  • Follower Count - It pretty much is what it is.
  • Follower Ratio - If you follow many more than follow you, you might look like a spammer. If you follow too few, you look unapproachable or like you don’t value two-way communication.
  • Tweet Count - All other things being equal, the more the better but again, it is what it is. Just make sure you post a half dozen representative tweets before you start following people. Fewer than that can be a big turnoff.
  • Tweets - You are what you tweet. What you tweet will be the single biggest success factor in your Twitter career. Refer to Tons of Great Twitter Resources or The Twitter Power System Review.
  • Retweets - Some Twitter users like to connect with people who are somewhat likely retweet their tweets.
  • Tweet Frequency - Some don’t like to follow people who tweet too often, as it tends to fill up their “timeline”.
  • Date of Last Tweet - If you stay away too long, your followers will start giving you the axe.
  • Personal Recommendations - It certainly helps to have fans to promote you, especially on what’s come to be known as #followfriday or #ff, which is actually every Friday.

With such a long list of criteria, it’s a wonder anybody gets followed or followed back. Fortunately people are looking for reasons to follow as much as to reject, and a reasonable effort on your part can be effective enough.

Web Marketing Strategy

As a marketer, the quality of your content off Twitter is as important as the quality of your tweets on Twitter.

You will use your “more info URL” and a portion of your tweets to reference your content, and your content will determine your marketing success with Twitter — and other social media initiatives as well.

It is this to which I refer when I ask, “Where does your Twitter lead people?”

Your Twitter, social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, blog and website all link together to create a web marketing strategy that builds your image, your community and ultimately your business.

Well written, produced, and placed content and skillful search engine optimization and social media marketing both on and off Twitter will enable you to achieve your key objectives.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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As a top Twitter business user, I was sent an advance copy of the Twitter Power System for my review. Here are my observations.

The Twitter Power System is a very comprehensive set of videos, e-books, resources and tools.

New users learn how to set up an account and all the basics they need to get going. Experienced users learn how to craft powerful tweets, how to create viral tweets — and everything in-between.

Twitter Power System Content

Thirteen videos in the Twitter Power System learning center provide a total of three hours and 32 minutes of instruction:

  1. Account Setup - for new and even experienced Twitter users
  2. Twitter Basics - a how-to guide with the essentials for newbies
  3. Account Automation - using SocialToo and Tweet Later, two automation tools I love, and some important caveats
  4. Targeting Your Followers - how to target and use techniques such as sampling and testing
  5. Managing Your Followers - using FriendOrFollow, My Tweeple and Twitter Karma to manage followers.
  6. Tracking Your Twitter Links - how to use Cligs to shorten and track your Twitter links
  7. “Crafting” Your Tweets - the four elements of a tweet and how they all work together
  8. Finding Information to Share - using Google Alerts and other tools to discover useful information you can share
  9. Post on Autopilot - create your own content automation tool using Google Alerts, Cligs and Twitter Feed
  10. How to Use Twhirl - a desktop client such as Twhirl can offer greater convenience and capabilities than accessing Twitter directly from the Twitter.com domain.
  11. How to Use TweetDeck - ditto for TweetDeck.
  12. The Bigger Picture - a Twitter review that ties everything together
  13. Retweet System - creating viral tweets that can be retweeted easily with only two mouse clicks

E-workbooks such as the Getting Started Quickly Guide, Harness The Power of Twitter and the Twitter Power Tools Guide contain a total of 205 pages that serve to complement and reinforce the video presentations.

They discuss many useful strategies and the third-party tools that facilitate the implementation of those strategies.

There’s also a 54-minute podcast, Twitter Unwrapped, to download and enjoy on your computer or iPod. This interview with James Rivers, the founder of the Twitter Power System provides an excellent audio overview of the system.

Twitter Power System Thumbs-Up

I myself have written Twitter articles and spent much time studying and compiling Twitter resources for my article, Tons of Great Twitter Resources. Knowing much about the Twitter content available online, I can enthusiastically recommend the Twitter Power System to you.

I’d like to see greater detail in the varying approaches to meeting different business needs. I’d also like to see case studies. Nevertheless, the Twitter Power System is the best training venue I’ve seen so far.

I’m very impressed by the content and the quality of the videos, and I’ve already picked up ideas from them that are helping me to refine and improve my Twitter methodology.

You can follow me @larrybrauner.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web.

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In past posts we’ve discussed what Twitter is and looked at some ways you can use Twitter.

In the current post I provide a Twitter resource meta list to help you explore a wide range of business and social topics in substantial depth.

I expect to add to this meta list periodically, so do watch for my tweets @larrybrauner or check back here from time to time.

Mainstreaming of Twitter

This, our appetizer, addresses two important questions:

  1. Is Twitter a serious social media venue for mainstream users?
  2. Is Twitter useful for businesses, or is it just for fun?

I hope the following presentations will persuade you that Twitter is a viable business and social tool.

Twitter Ideas and Tips

This, the main course, looks at how to use Twitter effectively.

Twitter Tools and Resources

Our meal wouldn’t be complete without delicious side dishes prepared to perfection by expert chefs.

My Interview on Blog Talk Radio

I was interviewed on the Blog Talk Radio Profiles of Success by @staceychadwell. To listen, click here.

I’m @larrybrauner on Twitter looking forward to your tweets.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web.

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Importance of List Building

Reach and frequency are basic advertising metrics. Reach refers to the quantity of people your message reaches, while frequency refers to the number of times on average each person is reached.

It is frequency that builds trust and drives your message home. Advertising without frequency is hardly ever effective. Marketers are relying more and more on list building to repeatedly reach people in their target market and achieve desired frequency levels in their marketing campaigns.

List building possibilities are endless. Last week we discussed list building using Ning social networks. Today we turn our attention to Twitter, possibly the fastest and simplest way to build a list.

Building Your Following on Twitter

As I stated in Brand Yourself and Market on Twitter:

Twitter may very well be the hottest online social media venue today. It’s a social network, micro-blog, instant messenger, mobile communications tool and giant party — all rolled into one site.

Creating a following on Twitter is easy, even for someone new to online social networking and social media sites. Here are three remarkably simple steps to get you started:

  1. Twitter Training - I used to recommend Bill Hibbler’s Affiliate University. Bill’s Affiliate University was dissolved, so I refer you to the Twitter articles and resources in Tons of Twitter Tools, Tips and Resources. If you’re looking for a complete step-by-step Twitter course, the Twitter Power System is your best choice. You can read about it in Twitter Power System Review.
  2. Build Your Reach Instantly - Here is a cool trick you can use to quickly get some very influential followers. Start with the top 50 Twitter users based on reach listed at twinfluence.com, one of my favorite Twitter tools. You will notice that the majority of those listed have as many “friends” as they have “followers”. They are the ones you should follow. They will almost certainly follow you back and increase your reach.
  3. Manage Your Connections - Once you have completed Step 2, many people you don’t know will start following you, and for the most part you’ll want to follow them all back. You can manage your Twitter connections using Twitter Karma, another of my favorite Twitter tools. After some time has passed, you’ll notice that many of the people you’ve been following become inactive — they haven’t “tweeted” in months. Stop following them in order to improve your ratio of followers to friends, a measure of your Twitter influence.

I applied this method myself about a month ago, and now about a hundred Twitter users begin following me each week.

When I “tweet” a link, roughly one to two percent of my followers click to see what the link is about. Isn’t that how any list is supposed to work?

This approach is easy, and it’s free.

Respect your followers and they’ll keep following you. Spam them, and they’ll stop following you in an instant.

That’s all there is to it. Please leave a comment. ;-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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