Twitter as a marketing tool

Before you make a dash for the “back” button, bear with me. I promise this is not another attempt to jump on the “twitter as a marketing tool” bandwagon.

The Internet seems to be on fire with people either marketing themselves on twitter, trying to find out how to market themselves on twitter, or trying to find others to listen to their (usually expensive) method of marketing themselves on twitter.

Personally I am getting fed up of it. I see people day in day out trying to use twitter to get something for nothing. They rapidly get as many followers as possible and then start bleeting about their blog posts, their company, or their products. Enough already!

I liken it to some idiot standing in the town centre shouting at the top of his voice how fantastic his skills are in whatever field he works in. Do you think people would listen. Hell no, most people would cross the road to avoid such an imbecile.

So why do people keep doing it? Because the don’t understand. They see it as a captive audience who they can dish out their message to. The trouble with captive audiences is they put up defenses. When approached by someone in the street with a sign-up form, most people are armed with the “no” response even before they make contact. Sound familiar?

What most people miss is the opportunity to gain respect, take part, make friends and most importantly to help others. I say most importantly because firstly it gives you that warm feeling inside, knowing that you have helped another individual, and secondly because human nature dictates (for most of us) that if someone helps us, we want to help them in return. So, answer questions when you get chance (yes, even the daft ones!) and provide information when you have it. Before long your reputation will grow and then you will earn the right to be listened to.

This does not mean said person that you helped will be reaching for their wallet and looking for the “buy it now” button. What it does mean is that this person will listen to your message with an open mind, and have more propensity to see what you say in a positive light. From that basis you can open communication.

So, if you see emails/tweets/blog post offering “get rich quick” schemes, or “get 10k followers on 1 day” schemes, please do me a favour (and yourself) and block them/delete them/get as far away from them as possible. All they do is clutter up what is actually a very lively and friendly social network.

If you are looking for a moral to this blog post (should blog posts have morals… dunno?) then it would simply be “treat others as you would like them to treat you”. Twitter is great for that!

5 replies
  1. Lyndi
    Lyndi says:

    Answering the original question on Twitter (What are you doing?) no longer works, no-one will even answer you. All I do on Twitter is share interesting articles I find all over the Net that I think might be of interest to my Twitter friends. I do not promote myself or at least not much. One out of every 30 articles I share might be my own. Twitter does bring a bit of traffic to my blog but it is nothing to write home about.

  2. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Lyndi: I like how you use twitter, I always click on your links because they are generally a spot-on match for my interests. What irritates me a little is people who tweet about something. Then they tweet that they are blogging about it. Then they tweet again once they post the blog! Enough already! LOL

    I just feel there is a lot of spam on twitter, and a lot of people who don’t seem willing to give back what they take out.

  3. Frog
    Frog says:

    Hi Jim, completely agree with you here, Twitter is a great marketing tool. Digg even changed their ‘share’ feature, removed the shout to Digg friends function and replaced it with 3 share options, one for Facebook, one for email and one for Twitter. Eveb Mashable use the Tweetmeme button to harness the power of Twitter as a marketing tool.

  4. Zoe Piper
    Zoe Piper says:

    I completely agree – I see Twitter as a way to make friends and contacts out of people you’d never normally get to meet otherwise. I like meeting people from Twitter in real life! The trouble is, companies and organisations think there’s a magic formula for harnessing the ‘power’ of Twitter. There is no magic formula and you can’t harness people that don’t want to be advertised to (which I bet the vast majority of users don’t). Unfortunately so-called ‘experts’ and the media just propagate the myth, which is why we won’t stop hearing about Twitter any time soon!

  5. Jim
    Jim says:

    @Frog: I would say I baulk a little at the concept of using twitter as a marketing tool. I think it should be respected a little like making new friends… get to know when and then they will want to know about you, rather than getting to know them in order to market to them. I guess there is a fine line.

    @Zoe: Spot on… I have yet to meet up with anyone I have made friends with on twitter, but it is only a matter of time! Like any service I guess it is open to abuse. The worst thing I see on twitter is the idiots who spend all day tweeting to celebs, “look at me, look at me!”, like they are their best mate LOL


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