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April 27, 2009

Selling on Twitter without Being Hated

Selling on Twitter can really help you on the marketing end, but the microblogging site has become such a hotbed for people pitching to you that merely signing up can feel like you’re simply preparing yourself for infomercial nightmares.

But if you’re going to be selling on Twitter, whether you’re selling yourself, your time, your service or your product, you must remember that others are warning Twitter newbies against you! Why? Because you may not be providing much value to a new user. Heck, you may not be providing much value to an established user. To avoid being written off as a spammy, pitch-making salesman on Twitter, stick to Twitter’s initial intentions as a microblogging platform.

. Twitter is a blog

You wouldn’t make your traditional blog overly spammy, loud and obnoxious. Don’t do it with your Twitter profile either.

2. Twitter is a community

There are other people on Twitter. This is why you chose Twitter to sell your business, right? Just remember that they’re people and not just users. Interact with them on a level that’s of interest to the both of you in order to build worthwhile relationships. From here, you may not only have a friend but a promoter as well. Friends come in handy for recommendations (#followfriday or hash-tagging your Twitter name), retweets or telling their twitterverse of your greatness. Don’t forget to respond accordingly and reciprocate!

3. Twitter still asks the question “What Are You Doing?”

So tell us. What are you doing? Just because Twitter is a great way to market yourself doesn’t mean that’s all you have to do on Twitter. Even if you have a profile seperate for sharing your personal stuff, you can still use your Twitter business profile to talk about things related to the industry, talk about what’s going on outside the office window, or talk about what you had for lunch today. You’re still providing value and you’re humanizing yourself all the while.

4. Use auto-follows and auto-DMs wisely

Admittedly auto-following users that follow me, along with sending auto-DMs helps me save a lot of time when it comes to Twitter maintenance. But abusing these features can ruin your reputation before you’ve gotten your foot in the door. Don’t use either of these features to pitch. Just keep the auto-DMs personal and perhaps redirect them to a link where they can learn more info about you, such as the welcome video I created for my Twitter followers.

5. Throw a Tweetup

If you can leverage Twitter to redirect traffic away from the Twitter public updates and direct messages, you may be better able to convert communication into a business transaction. Twitter is still rather basic in many of its functions, and emailing, chat, a one-on-one meeting or even a Tweet-up can be great ways to engage Twitter community members and makes you a lot more personable as well!