Although I have been hearing that Twitter is the next big thing for quite some time, it has been only 4 months since I actually started getting really serious about using it.
I have taken some time to experiment with Twitter and although I have horribly failed in many things that I tried (such as making 10 sales everyday :D), I have found many different ways which are effective on Twitter.
Now, in 5-6 months I have over 20,000 followers. But to be honest, a lot of it relates to using automated software in order to increase followers. However, a good portion of my followers are very active and always reply to my tweets. Some of them even visit the majority of the links that I post, which is quite surprising to see.
But this post is not about how I racked up 20,000 followers in 4 months, it is about how you can use Twitter as a very effective tool for your online marketing efforts. Here are some important points:
1. If you just run affiliate offers, you will get banned: This has happened to me before. Constantly running affiliate offers will make your followers block you and will get Twitter staff breathing down your neck. They blocked my account for 2 months just because of blatant advertising, so do not do it.
2. No trust, no cash: If you do not take time to build trust, no one will follow you or buy from you. You can earn your followers trust by posting non-commercial links, chatting with them and telling them about yourself. The key idea here is to interact. Once they know you, they will buy from you, assuming that the affiliate offers are worthwhile.
3. Great for building lists: Post an ad on Twitter the right way and you can have 10-20 people sign up on your mailing lists for free. I am still testing it out and getting people to sign up has been quite easy. The key here is to give them an initial offer they cannot refuse.
4. No one likes spam-robots: There are many bot generated accounts on Twitter designed to spam and promote offers. The sad part is, they get banned very quickly. The lesson here is simple: Do not try to emulate a bot in any way or you will lose your account. This means, do not overly utilize RSS feeds, affiliate offers and do not blatantly repeat your messages.
5. The brutal truth: 99% of Twitter marketers fail because they are spamming. They say hi to you and then direct you to their affiliate offers. This is NOT the way to utilize Twitter. The 1% who are making a lot of money do it by being discreet about their offers. You will never see them blatantly advertise. The people making money on Twitter are those who talk to others, tweet out useful links and then, only sparingly, send out an affiliate offer.
The conclusion is simple. Twitter is not for everyone. If you cannot take out 30 minutes everyday to have a real conversation with your followers, you do not deserve to market on Twitter. Twitter marketing needs a lot of interaction as well as consistency. If you are persistent, you can make it huge on Twitter!
Finally, if you feel this post helped you in any way, follow me on twitter by clicking here: http://www.twitter.com/yasirkhan