It’s a question that has been coming up quite a lot lately. Since Twitter’s launch many years ago the micro blogging website has gone through significant growth and undergone some major changes. While the company still struggles with ways to make money, the site itself is still as popular as ever. But how do marketers take advantage of this unique channel?
The number one trick with Twitter is to understand who your audience is, where to find them, how they can find you, and why they should follow you. Here are a few tips on how you can get started in using Twitter to engage with your community.

  • Focus on Your Target Market – The first step is to understand who your target audience is. Are they going to use Twitter at all? If so, what will they be using Twitter for?
    Having the answer to these questions will help you get started and keep you focused as you devise a solid plan.
  • Acquire Twitter followers – Now that you know who you will be engaging with, you need to get out there and start acquiring followers. A good place to start is the people in your industry that have large spheres of influence. They’ll have large groups of followers that you can follow to start the engagement. Of course, if you have the budget, you can always run advertising on Twitter to help grow your followers quickly. However, do be sure to target those ads appropriately so that you are gaining the right audience.The larger your audience, the more likely you’ll find potential clients from your twitter marketing efforts. The key is to be patient. You aren’t going to get thousands of followers overnight. In fact it may take a year or so to even reach one thousand. The trick is to attract followers that are excited about your business or product, and will benefit from your tweets.
  • Engage with Your Twitter Followers – Effective Twitter marketing is all about engagement. Don’t talk at them, talk with them. Start discussions, ad value to conversations and share information. Retweet what your audience has to say. Respond to questions, ask questions, and engage in the conversations that are going on within your industry.
  • Build Authority – One of the bets parts of Twitter is how quickly you can build your authority in an industry. With some selective following and sharing and commenting on important industry information, you can quickly build your personal or business profile in the twittersphere.
  • Marketing without Marketing – Twitter is not aimed to be an obvious advertising platform. So don’t get caught in the trap of becoming impatient and then spamming your followers with a constant barrage of marketing messages. You’ll find your efforts in building your community will work better when you don’t sell directly.
  • Be Captivating – You’ve got 140 characters to get your point across.. so dig deep and make sure you’re using your most persuasive writing skills to capture your audience’s attention. You need to make sure your content stands out from the clutter.
  • Be Consistent – More often than not, small business owners go at hyperspeed for 2 weeks, tweeting 100’s of times a day and then get distracted because they don’t get immediate results. The key with twitter is to be consistent. It’s rarely an instant ROI marketing channel – so take your time and keep focused on the long term bigger picture.

Twitter is not a set and forget marketing strategy, so don’t think it’ll be a silver bullet to your marketing needs. With a well planned and strategic approach, it can really help you build your business.

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About the Author: Jennifer Mathews