Twitter is big – really big – in fact, it’s literally huge. The micro-blogging phenomenon now claims to have over 150 million users worldwide including celebrities, sports people, news sites, blue chip companies and members of the general public. Although the number of live users is a great deal smaller than this 150 million, there is still a massive potential market to be tapped in every popular niche. If you haven’t heard of Twitter, where have you been for three years?
So what can Twitter offer your online business?
Luckily for you, the business potential Twitter offers for affiliates is also huge. Many affiliate marketers are using their Twitter pages to drive huge traffic to their sales pages (which they can then convert to nice, juicy sales) – they are taking their share of that huge membership and so can you. With Twitter you can reach hundreds or even thousands of people at a time with your messages, and build large communities focused entirely around your product and website -email lists were previously the best way to create an easily accessible list of potential customers but Twitter has come in and taken its place. Twitter is now the easiest way to access many people with minimal effort and build a visible brand loyalty on the web. All you have to do is post short and regular posts linking to your web page and the response level can be very large – this all depends however, like most other marketing media, on whether your campaign is run effectively throughout.
It is therefore not an easy marketing strategy to incorporate successfully alongside traditional outlets for affiliate promotion (I’m talking PPC, article marketing, SEO etc.) – creating a Twitter feed people are willing to sign up sign up to, but which is also trying to constantly make them spend money, is a very difficult thing to do. I know people who have put a great deal of effort into building a Twitter following and eventually given up because it just wasn’t happening for them. Fortunately I have discovered many of their inherent mistakes and this article is able to show you a few things you should really avoid with Twitter marketing. The article also outlines how exactly to start using a Twitter campaign as a central promotion tool for your business, as well as some of the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for affiliate marketing on Twitter.
Getting started on Twitter
The first step then using Twitter is obviously to set up an account – this is nice and easy and you just need a name, password, email- all the usual stuff basically. One thing I will say is that unless you already have some brand awareness built up, don’t make your Twitter profile sound too corporate – you should, at this stage, be creating an impression of somebody interesting and in the know, not an giving your readers an obvious sales pitch. Give yourself a real personality – just think who you would rather follow, a normal person of ‘@bigaffiliatemoneygrabbingcorporation? Okay, an extreme example, but you know what I mean. These kinds of feeds turn people off straight away so make sure you have something interesting or useful to say in order to build up your followers – just like the big companies aren’t always directly promoting their product, neither should you.
Follow other Tweeters
You should then start to follow a few different people – this can be friends, family, favourite celebrities or any of the weird and wonderful selection of people you’ll find on Twitter. Also sign up to the best feeds in your own niche, and probably also in affiliate marketing (because you obviously have some interest), to help you make an impression in your industry. By doing this people will start to check out your own feeds and if they are interesting enough might even subscribe – people are always interested to see whose following them so it’s an easy way to get some immediate exposure.
Creating your posts
Obviously if you’re aiming for exposure you need something for potential customers to be exposed to. As I said the early goal is to be as interesting, witty, useful, relevant, up to date, intelligent etc. as possible – this might mean presenting a controversial opinion on a relevant topic for example. This particular method has brought me some success because it really gets discussions going and gets greater exposure to your twitter page. The more that’s happening and the more you involve your readers the better your results will be. If you can also provide value to your followers then they will keep coming back to read and check out what you have to say. I even try to tailor my content specifically for Twitter by offering free quizzes and other interactive exercises – these are easy to set up if you just do a quick Google search.
Introducing promotional tweets into your campaign
After a while, once you have a reasonable following, you can start to incorporate the odd promotional tweet into your campaign. Don’t oversell yourself but just intrigue somebody with a conversational but also preselling introduction to whatever your site content is about. As I say, if your content is great then people won’t mind being sent there – just don’t push your valuable followers straight to one of those awful, unrealistic get rich quick schemes for example. You also need to avoid going into this stage of the process too early – if you don’t have enough followers, or your fan base is growing, just be patient. This may take a few months of regularly tweeting but you will only appear as an affiliate marketer, rather than an expert in the niche, if you do go in to early with sales promotion. In fact I think my content really sells the product itself so I wouldn’t say I use any sales promotion on Twitter, only website promotion.
Don’t think backlinks
I will also point out here that Twitter is not an SEO tool. The links you give in tweets are all ‘no follow’ meaning they cannot be picked up by the search engines – therefore they do not serve as backlinks for traditional SEO purposes. This change was put in place back in 2009 to avoid spammers polluting the Twitter world – depending on how you look at this, and how you have planned your marketing strategy, this small tweak can be either beneficial or a huge turn off. For me it is a good thing because two of my niches especially are the kind that would have quickly been overrun by backlink opportunists- in the others I just use articles like this for my backlinks, which, coincidentally, are often republished by those of my Twitter follows who read them!
So basically you need to use Twitter simply at first as an exposure building, and then as a traffic building, tool. Once you have your loyal band of followers you can start to get to know people, start open discussions and, most importantly, get people to your website – you can have a truly interactive web community external to your site and driving visitors your way, simply because you are an interesting person. In this way Twitter can be a hugely rewarding experience, especially if you offer something of true value, because your users are often very thankful and also friendly. In this way I have found Twitter has added a real personal touch to the world of affiliate marketing and for me this can only be a good thing.