Your Twitter Strategy

I’m sure you’ve all heard about Twitter.  It’s one of the fastest growing social networking sites and provides huge opportunities for internet marketers.

But ask any group of Twitter users about how Twitter should be used, and you’ll get a range of different responses.

Some people prefer to use Twitter like Facebook – follow a select group of friends, tweet about the things you’re doing, have a lot of conversations etc.  These people will follow people they’re interested in, but this consists of mainly friends and celebrities.

At the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Twitter users whose main goal is to build the biggest list they can.  They’ll frequently follow anyone they can, and use a largely impersonal approach.  Their goal is to build a big list, and Tweet links to their own sites or affiliate sites so they can make money.  To these people it’s a numbers game – get enough follows and you’ll make money even with a small click through rate.

These are two extremes – don’t forget there’s so many options and variations in between these two examples.

You also have the Twitter celebrities like @JohncMayer and @Oprah.  They follow very few people (only those they want to follow), but have a massive amount of people following them.

I’ve summarized these options in the matrix below.  You can go for a high relationship / high touch Twitter strategy where you follow and interact with a low number of people, but on a deep and personal level, or you can go for a low relationship / low touch strategy where you follow a lot of people and try and automate your Twitter activities to the level you feel comfortable with.

Twitter Strategies

Twitter Matrix -Deep relationships or large lists?

Many Different Ways To Tweet

So, there are many different ways to Tweet – which one is right for you?

I’m a big believer in deciding on your objectives before before you commit to a strategy.  Let’s look at your Twitter objectives.

  1. Do you want to use Twitter to promote any of your online activities? For some people the answer is ‘no’.  they only want to use Twitter to keep in touch with friends.
  2. Should you have different Twitter accounts? If the answer to ‘1’ was ‘yes’, then do you need to consider multiple Twitter accounts – maybe one for your personal Tweets, another for your internet business etc.  I know some people who have multiple Twitter accounts – one for each niche they’re involved in.  If you want to target multiple (unrelated) niches, you’ll need to set up different Twitter accounts.
  3. How personal do you want Twitter to be? If you’ve been on Twitter for a while you’ll know how hard it can be to keep track of people’s tweets.  I’ve read some articles that say that once you follow more that 150 people it gets too hard to keep on top of everything.  There are some Twitter interfaces that make it easier to filter tweets, but the reality is that once you start following a large number of people, keeping it personal can be difficult.  This could be a good reason to at least keep separate personal and business accounts on Twitter.
  4. What keywords are relevant? Do your keyword research for each niche you’re targeting. If possible, select a Twitter username that reflects your niche and target market.  Take time to set up your bio using the relevant keywords etc to ensure you give a good description of what you do.
  5. What will you tweet? Quite frankly, I don’t care about what you had for breakfast (unless you’re @JohnCMayer!!).  You need to think about the content you will tweet about, and decide on what will be interesting to your target audience.  Spend time looking at Twitter users you like and analyse what they’re tweeting about.
  6. How often will you tweet? Decide on a frequency of tweeting that works for you and is sustainable.  Don’t try and tweet 10 times a day if you can’t do it.  Start off slow, or consider using one of the tools that allows you to schedule tweets.

Can You Automate Your Tweeting?

This is a bit of controversial area.  Twitters terms of use forbid people from using automated means to add followers, unfollow people etc.  They’ve recently instructed a couple of sites to turn off their unfollow service as it is against the spirit of their terms of service.

There are tools out there (both paid and free) that allow you to automate a number of your Twitter tasks, from finding people to follow, scheduling tweets and messages, unfollowing and following back new followers. People have different opinions on whether these tools are useful or not.  Some people are opposed anything that automates the Twitter process, others try and automate everything.

Over the next month I’ll be writing more about Twitter and reviewing some of the tools that are available to Twitter users.  I’ll spend some time initially discussing some Twitter marketing strategies, then I’ll look at the different tools and how they can help you achieve your marketing objectives.

I’m interested in your opinions.

How do you use Twitter?  Are you happy with the way you use it?  What would you like to learn more about?  Is there a particular tool you use to make your tweeting easier? Do you feel it is possible to have a large Twitter list but still maintain a high level of personalization?

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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 Your Twitter Strategy
  1. Poppie
    March 6, 2010 | 6:28 pm

    You are doing a lot of research Allan!
    Thanks so much.
    It’s a full on job, just learning all this new stuff!

  2. […] first article in February was all about Your Twitter Strategy.  In this article we looked at the pros and cons of having a large amount of followers and we […]

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