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by Becky O.

Twitter is an ever evolving social media outlet that I don’t (or should I say “didn’t”) know a lot about. I spent the better part of the day researching Twitter: what makes it successful, who’s on Twitter, what are they saying, and most applicable to me right now, how can Twitter be an advantageous marketing strategy.

I learned a lot of interesting things about Twitter in general, but I also read quite a few blogs and articles more specific to marketing. The majority of people emphasized one over-riding concept: promote others, not yourself.

They said this by encouraging users to tweet for networking purposes, to engage in conversation with followers, and to offer advice.
@dariasteigman said, “The smart way to market on Twitter: Don’t. Instead, provide value to others. People do business with people they know, like, and respect, and Twitter is a terrific tool for building these relationships.”

A few other key things I learned:

Don’t be afraid to retweet. This could lead to a whole new list of followers.
Be creative, but not at the risk of losing clarity.
Engage in conversation.
Follow influencers in your industry.

As I read through articles and blogs about Twitter as a marketing device, I came upon several resources about Facebook as well. Should Facebook be used for business? I found articles arguing that Facebook is a waste of time for small businesses due to the ever-changing aspect of Facebook.

I also found conflicting advice as to how often a small business should tweet. Some bloggers said just a few times a day and others said as often as you have something to say, up to 20 times per day. Personally, I think that just a couple times a day does the job, so that you don’t annoy followers with useless words. Some say to keep business, business and don’t mix it with pleasure. Others say that no one will respect you as a business if you aren’t personal and include more than just a sales pitch. How do you balance the two?

“Twitter is a social media tool. Keep it social. Provide value. Don’t just sell yourself. Be human. Be useful,” said @samuraivt.

It looks like marketing on Twitter is about networking and building relationships. Now how do we build those relationships effectively?

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