What Is Twitter Good For?

A couple of people have asked me the question ‘What is Twitter good for?’ In this article I’ll explain my position on Twitter, why I think Twitter can be a useful marketing tool and where Twitter could fit in your marketing strategies.

Twitter and your marketing strategies

I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you have a blog or website that you want to promote.  Your goal probably is to get more visitors to your site so they can subscribe / learn from you / buy products from your site.

In other words, you have a goal to get traffic to your site.

Getting traffic to your website

There are two broad strategies when it comes to traffic generation.

  • People find your site
  • You find people and tell them about your site

Option 1 usually comes about from people searching on Google and finding your site listed in the search results.  To be successful you need to do lots of keyword research, produce topical content, and generate backlinks and increase your page rank.  Whilst it may be easy to rank for some long tail terms quickly, to do well for some of the major search terms can take time.  Alternatively, people find you via word of mouth – other bloggers talk about you etc.  This usually takes a while to occur.

For many new bloggers, option 2 is the best option to drive traffic to your site.  You find people who fit your target market, have a conversation with them and let them know about your site.

And this is where twitter, Facebook and other social media sites are useful.

Is Twitter a good marketing tool?

In previous posts, I’ve written about How To Get More Twitter Followers.  My Twitter strategy revolves around finding people who fit my target market, interacting with them on Twitter and developing a relationship with them, and providing them with information and content from my site.  The aim of this strategy is to encourage people to visit my site.

I believe Twitter is a good marketing tool because a) it’s free to use, and b) you can search by a range or criteria.

I search in a number of ways, but usually it involves one of two strategies:

  • Searching by relevant keywords i.e. internet marketing, SEO etc
  • Searching for followers of another Twitter user.

By using these searches I’m able to find people to follow who fit my target market.  A reasonable percentage of these people will also follow me back.  They’ll see my Tweets and my Twitter activity.

The search abilities within Twitter are huge, and make it a very powerful tool for finding people in your target niche.

The Human Touch

The important thing about Twitter is to make sure you interact with people! I try and login to Twitter two or three times a day to Tweet and join in the conversation with people.  Sometimes I’ll ask a question, other times I’ll RT interesting content.  The important thing is for your followers to see that you’re a real person, and aren’t just automating things.

I’ve also found Twitter useful to get ideas for my blog.  I’ll ask people what topics they want covered, or what software they use for a certain task.  This gets a good conversation going amongst my followers.

Don’t make all your Tweets about affiliate products or get rich quick schemes.  Make sure there’s a good balance of Tweets that don’t have links compared to those that do.  My strategy is to direct most of my links in messages on Twitter back to my blog.  I also re-Tweet a lot of other Tweets about new blog posts on other blogs, so I’m actively promoting other people’s content, not just my own.

So What Is Twitter Good For?

In my opinion, Twitter is good for two purposes.

Firstly, it’s a great tool for connecting with people who have similar interests.  I’ve found new friends from all over the world who have similar interests to me, and I’ve discovered a range of new blogs that I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for my Twitter connections.

Secondly, it’s useful to build up a following.  It enables you to find a group of people who fit your target demographic, and interact with them. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll find that some of your followers will visit your web site or blog and become regular readers.

So what do you think about Twitter?  Do you use it much? What do you think Twitter is good for?

Share your ideas and experience below.

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Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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2 Responses to What Is Twitter Good For?
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allan Ward, Allan Ward. Allan Ward said: Blog Business Plan What Is Twitter Good For?: A couple of people have asked me the question ‘What is Twitt… http://bit.ly/dwYgCE […]

  2. Susan Redmon
    July 6, 2010 | 2:49 am

    Allan, thanks for the tips!

    I’ve found it helps to focus on reaching out within my niche as you suggest. Building a few good relationships … as opposed to trying to have tens of thousands of followers who are not engaged … will yield social proof for what you’re doing.

    Have a great day,
    Susan Redmon recently posted..Peter Drucker- The Father of Management TheoryMy Profile

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