Twitter is sometimes referred to as a “micro-blogging” system. With 140 or less characters one can send messages informing about various events. Using Twitter for website promotion is not a new idea since social media have become an indispensable part of current online marketing.
But when talking about your promotion campaign, the success of your Twitter messages (tweets) depends on whether anyone pays attention to what you say. Top twitterers have huge crowds of followers that hang on every word. Often, followers can bring you more attention by re-tweeting your messages—that is, sending out your message to their followers.
If you choose to become an active twitterer to promote your website, follow these simple guidelines.
• Share useful things. Recommend web links, point out neat tools, and pass out snippets of advice. Respect your followers and don’t use your Twitter account for constant selling and relentless self-promotion, because this is what will definitely turn everyone off.
• Festina lente… or take it slow. Don’t start twittering madly until you get the feel of the system – define what works and what doesn’t. To get a better feel, follow other twitterers. Use the Twitter search tool (http://twitter.com) to find tweets relevant to you (your business name, your area of expertise, your website topic), and see what other people think and say about it.
• Solicit opinions. Ask other people to interact with you. If you don’t know what to start with, learn the examples below. This is what top twittering companies do to get more attention:
– offer advance copies of a book to review;
– ask about problems with current products;
– run a promotion where people chime in with stories or suggestions.
The key is to involve the Twitter community before you have something to sell. People are very likely to appreciate that, give good feedback, and maybe even help spread the word. But if you start twittering too late, everyone realizes you’re not serious about the Twitter community.
• Respond to other people. Comment on someone else’s tweet, or re-tweet something someone else said that overlaps with your site’s subject area. This way, you’re not just shouting from the rooftops. You’re actually engaging with other people.
• And finally, show the human side. It’s not all about your cause, business, or professional aspirations. When people follow a twitterer, they expect to get a personal touch. So use Twitter to share comments that explain the real-life side of what you do. The most important rule here is to say something that’s relevant to other twitterers. That way, others may notice your comments, follow up on them, and help bring your words to a wider audience.
Note, Twitter can be quite a tricky medium. It takes time—perhaps a few weeks—to absorb the rhythm and flow of tweets. The biggest mistake new twitterers make is to launch a feed, use it as a place to vent random or low-content thought and then wonder why no one’s paying attention. But if you tweet useful, insightful messages, you can gradually attract more attention to yourself, your brand, and your website.