Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Reverse-Marketing Twitter Checklist: 8 Steps to Marketing Success on Twitter

This article was written by Jeff Machado, an Inbound Marketing Implementation Specialist with Modern Marketing Support, an Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant company.

One of the hardest things about marketing on Twitter is that it doesn't even look like marketing.

In fact, the closer you watch those who have made a success using inbound marketing techniques, you'll see that it seems that they're not doing much of anything at all. Sure, they're talking to people and sharing some great resources, but that can't be marketing ...

But it is marketing - and it's a powerful kind of reverse-marketing. It's relatively easy, it's fun, and it's really effective.

Looking for ways to tap into this almost effortless style of business promotion? Here are eight easy steps you can follow:

1. Choose Topics Outside Your Niche
As hard as it may be to swallow, you are not your niche. A niche is something you have. But it is not who you are. Choose 5 other things you could possibly Tweet about. On my list are cooking, origami, personality tests, colors, and office supplies. Find more opportunities to Tweet and talk about other things than what your business is. Getting people to like you first is a great place to start on Twitter.

2. Define the Personality You Want To Reach
Thanks to David Meerman Scott, we have the concept of buyer persona and a method for applying it to marketing. Thanks to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, we have a tool for getting inside that buyer persona's mind. It was easy for me to choose ENFPs (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving) as my target market. They're the types who get lots of ideas and are natural entrepreneurs but struggle with things like internet marketing implementation. 4 little letters can give you a lot of potential Tweet ideas.

3. Use the Search Button at Least 3 Times Per Day + Tweet at Least 15 New People
Lots of Twitter help articles will say "Join the conversation!" but if the people you're following don't seem to engage in conversation and only promote themselves or send out quotes for Re-Tweet bait, what are you supposed to do? That's where the search button comes in. Search for something you're interested in. Find someone you'd like to talk to. Then repeat as much as possible. Use your @ function more than anything else. Engage, don't broadcast.

4. Ask 5 Questions on a Daily Basis
Once you start to find more followers, just ask questions. Will they always get answered? No. But did it cost you a ton of money to ask? Absolutely not. You can't take it personally if no one answers the first time around. But if you're focusing on your buyer persona, you get closer to getting inside their mind. You'll know you're asking the right questions when you start to get responses. Easy to do, easy to measure.

5. Answer at Least 3 Questions Daily
The fewer questions someone has on their mind, the more at peace they are. Questions, especially ones that don't get answered, are the things that keep us up at night. Though it might seem extreme to say, it's very likely that anytime you answer someone's question via a Tweet, you're helping them sleep better at night.

6. Send Out 10 Useful or Entertaining Links (But Be Sure To Track!) Every Day
While desktop applications like TweetDeck or Twhirl offer convenient URL shortening, they are not necessarily the best. You're missing out on one of the best features of and other URL shortening tools like it: click tracking. This is the simplest way to find out if you're Tweeting things that your Followers actually want to know about. Just sign up for's service and Tweet from there when sharing articles and blog posts.

7. Share at Least One Blog Post, Article, or Video Per Week
There are so many options for connecting your blog posts, articles, videos, and all your content to your social media venues. But self serving promotional content just doesn't cut it. Remember the question theory? Use it to your advantage. Think of the questions your target market (or even better, your buyer persona) has and make sure your content answers those questions. Provide content that makes it easier for that person to sleep at night.

8. Test a Different Landing Page from Your Twitter Profile Weekly
If you're doing everything above, you're getting closer to people being more interested in what you have to offer. What will they find when they visit you? Are they going to know exactly how you're going to help them sleep better at night? If not, you need to create landing pages that express just this. As with all good landing page practices, keep on testing.

So what do you think? Is Twitter about as reverse-marketing as it gets? And what other ways are there to measure your success on Twitter? Let's get the conversation rolling in the comments.