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Friday, May 08, 2009

Twitter for Business by Frank Furness

Twitter, the latest tool to take the internet by storm is growing massively each day, so what is Twitter and how does it work?

Twitter is a free online micro-blogging application which gives you the ability to send out short messages (up to 140 characters) called “tweets” to people who are following you on Twitter.

You can send tweets either through your computer or by using your cell phone via a text message.

These tweets/messages can be about anything you want and they can include links, as well.

What makes social marketing so popular and applications like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook dominate the internet? Simply put, it is the feeling of community. Thanks to the internet, our sense of community can include people from anywhere in the world bringing us into the global community.

From a business perspective, social sites provide an opportunity to get in front of potential customers and influence buying decisions because online social networkers are three times more likely to trust their online community of peers over other advertising methods when making purchasing decisions. As we all know, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising and finding new business.

Here are some basics you'll need to know before you start tweeting:
· When setting up your account, add a professional photo and your own background.
· Either have your name, a keyword relating to your business or your business name as you Twitter name
· A follower is someone who is watching your updates.
· Following refers to the act of you following other people.
· The @ symbol is placed before a users name within the tweet to reply to another user, and this will show up in the main twitter stream
· The # (hashtag) is used to help you sort by topic. For example you can use #survivor to tweet with other Survivor fans.
· Direct messages go only to the user you are messaging
· Set up account and welcome message: Next you'll need to look for people to follow. If you are really in this to gain business referrals, I strongly suggest you don't follow every person on twitter.

Once you are following people, you'll see that people will begin to follow you back and you'll even see people following you that you didn't follow first.

Now that you're building your list of followers, you need to start tweeting on a regular basis. I would suggest tweeting relevant information that will enhance people’s lives or help them be more productive or improve business. Nothing irks me more than seeing inane useless information.
I predict that in the future, tweeters giving relevant helpful information or helpful links or tips are the ones who are going to see the biggest growth.

Here are some helpful ways in which Twitter can boost your online business.
· Twitter generates traffic to your site because you can send messages that include links. Include relevant links to promote products or services.
· If you need to hire anyone to do anything for you, from designing a logo to optimising your website you can do so easily on Twitter by sending a tweet out to ask if they know of anyone.
· It is easy to find new, potential customers by using Twitter's search function. Search Twitter for your target keywords and you will find related tweets. Follow the Twitter users that are talking about relevant topics and you may be able to offer your product or services to them in the future.
· With Twitter, you can connect with other people in your niche. This is helpful for building business relationships that will enhance your future networking efforts.
· It is a great feedback tool. Ask your followers to comment on your website, products or anything new that you may be promoting.

Here are some ways that I am using Twitter:
· I am sending regular tweets to promote my 160 videos on YouTube. i.e. discover how to ask great sales questions
and please leave your rating and comments
This then takes them to my YouTube channel where I generate income as I am a YouTube partner.
In my videos I also send them to a squeeze page with a ‘onetime’ offer that gets them to buy a product or sign up for my newsletter

· Promote a free giveaway in a tweet. Once again this will take them to a relevant ‘onetime’ offer squeeze page and then get them to sign up for my newsletter before giving them the free products. This is one of the methods I have used to build up a subscriber list of 25,000

If you really want to maximize the potential with Twitter, you should make sure to take advantage of any plug-ins or sites that support Twitter.

Here are three, and attached below is the download link to hundreds more
· Squidoo allows you to input your Twitter account info into your Squidoo account and then it can automatically post updates to your Twitter account when you create or update Squidoo lenses.
· Facebook has an application called Twitter; it automatically updates your Facebook status when you make a Twitter post.
· The other tool is a free WordPress plug-in called TweetMyBlog that allows you to create a two-way connection from your blogs to Twitter. TweetMyBlog allows you to use a widget on your WordPress blogs that will display your current Twitter feed. That way all visitors to your blog can look at the widget and see a running feed of your latest Twitter posts. If they click on that they will be brought to your Twitter page.

In addition, when you make a new post to your blog, TweetMyBlog will automatically make a post to your Twitter page with a link to your latest blog post. Imagine the extra exposure you can receive by using these tools that help people see more of what you are doing.

Here is my gift to you, a resource list withpiles of Twitter tools and resources. You will also see my strategy of the ‘onetime’ offer leading to the signup page for my newsletter before getting the resources list – plus many other free EBooks.

Get it at

Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in technology, sales and customer service. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 48 countries.

Frank is the author of bestselling books ‘Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders’ and ‘
How to Find New Clients and Business’

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