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Twitter tips from BRA Summit presentation

By Tiffany Montgomery
April 27, 2009 6:51 AM

Mike Duncan at online marketing firm Sage Island gave an informative presentation Friday at the Board Retailers Association Summit about online marketing and social media.

Since Twitter is all the rage these days, I focus here on some of his tips and resources for businesses that want to use Twitter to promote their brand, products and/or stores.

According to Mike, Twitter is the third largest social networking site after FaceBook and MySpace. Twitter has six million active users and over 55 million monthly visitors.

A key is finding a Twitter strategy that works for your business, Mike said.

Some key points

Decide who you want your audience to be - consumers, businesses, industry experts, bloggers, colleagues.

Decide on your tone - corporate or casual? Mike says research shows most users prefer a casual tone.

Who will Twitter - You may want hire a community manager to engage in social media or appoint a certain employee. You need to have strict standards though about what can be said because it everything is public and linked to your business.

Even if your business doesn't Twitter yet, claim your business name now. Also popular are employees plus brand names, and CEO names.

What you should do on Twitter

Start discussions around your brand

Listen to what people are saying about your brand. Be proactive about responding.

Keep it positive and manage your reputation

Respond timely to replies

Keep things interesting by varying tweet style and subject matter

What you should not do

Don't toot your own horn too much

Don't bombard followers with links. Instead, introduce links with useful and meaningful discussions.

Don't disrespect the Twitter community

Don't have a cavalier attitude about Twitter

Avoid low quality replies that make followers think you are a robot

Don't sound like a broken record

Mike also provided several useful Twitter links

To monitor your brand

Tweetscan - Set up alerts for mentions of your brand and related key words

TweetBeep Twilert - Like Google alerts for Twitter

Twollow - Auto-follow people that mention your brand

Twitterless - graphs your followers and tells you who stops following

To build your follower base

Twitter Search - Helps you find your audience

We Follow - User powered Twitter directory

Just Tweet It - A good Twitter directory. Make sure you are listed

Mr. Tweet -Discover new people, get relevant followers and usage stats

Engage your followers

TwtQpon - Create coupons for Twitter and give incentives to follow you.

StrawPoll - Poll your followers. Ask questions about your brand, get instant feedback.

TwitPic - Share interesting photos of new products, office antics, etc.

Mike also had advice for integrating all of your social media marketing, including:

Post video on YouTube or photos on Flickr

Post to all other video sites

Post to profiles

Alert friends and fans on social sites

Twitter tweet

Alert bloggers with Blog Outreach

Email blast to house list

RSS feed release

Posting to blogs

Promote with paid media

Track report and analyze


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