As a tradeshow marketer, you may be wondering how you can use Twitter to your advantage in your marketing scheme. After all, Twitter is the bomb, right? It’s at the top of everybody’s list of cool social media toys, right?
According to the latest stats, an average of 460,000 people start a new Twitter account each day. That’s about 167 million per year if the trend holds. With a current usage of just over 200 million, Twitter stands to double the number of accounts in less than 18 months.
So don’t tell me Twitter is for kids. These are adults and businesses getting involved.
But you’re still waiting to get started.
I understand. You don’t know exactly where to start. Or maybe you have a small following on your Twitter account and it’s just too much time and too confusing to try and get any traction out of Twitter.
First things first. If you don’t have an account get one.
Next, to get people to follow you, you have to do two things: 1) follow people and 2) advertise the fact that you’re on Twitter.
As to the first – follow people – you have to decide who to follow and why. If you start following people at random, and they’re unrelated to your industry or to your overall goals, you’ll dilute your Twitter stream with a bunch of unnecessary tweets. Now sure, a little of that’s okay. If you want to follow Charlie Sheen, help yourself! But Charlie probably won’t be of much help when it comes to finding valuable information about your industry.
Go to Google’s keyword tool and put in a few terms that relate to your industry. Search for those terms using Twitter. Follow those Twitter accounts that appear to be in your industry or realm.
Now make a list of companies that are either your direct competitors or are in your industry. Don’t limit yourself to the large and most obvious companies. Be sure to include those smaller and medium-sized companies, too.
Next, make a list of the most prominent people in your industry. Writers, authors, CEOs, marketers, advertisers, designers, creative people…the list can go on as long as you want it.
If you can’t easily find these people on Twitter, you may find them through LinkedIn. Often people will list their Twitter handles on LinkedIn.
These are all people and companies you should start following.
In my experience, about 75 – 80% of people that you follow will follow you back.
Now that you’ve gotten involved in Twitter, start to participate!
But…what to tweet? That sometimes is a hard choice. After all, you don’t want to be known for inane and useless tweets about what you had for breakfast (unless you’re eating a stunning b-fast in Maui or someplace unusual!).
So look to other tweets for ideas. Think about what you are interested in. Think about what your industry might be interested in. If you find a link to an interesting story of blog post, share it on Twitter.
If you see a fun or clever or useful post, re-tweet it. Reply to the author and thank them for sharing.
Find ways to interact. That’s what it’s all about.
The more time you spend there, the more comfortable you’ll be, the more you’ll understand how to interact and ultimately Twitter can and will become an extremely useful communication tool.