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May 31, 2010

List Building In The Age Of Twitter

Andy Warhol got it wrong, he meant to say 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes! That lower number seems much more appropriate in the fast moving world of Twitter, the souped up mass online messaging tool that never quits or takes a breather. But how effective is Twitter as a list building tool?

Recently, one well-known Internet Marketer deleted his Twitter account which had over 25,000 followers, saying his messages or tweets were no longer being read and the response rate was next to nil. While this seems a little drastic, for SEO reasons alone it would be very foolish to delete a Twitter account with that many subscribers.

However, does this marketer have a point? Do your tweets get read or are they lost in the endless flood of other tweets quickly passing through the system. There is probably a lot of unread tweets flowing in our cyberage wasteland and the effectiveness of tweeting has diminished drastically as countless marketers plaster this latest medium with their marketing sales pitches.

So is Twitter an effective list building tool or not? Yes and no, it would all depend on how you approach the situation.

Twitter is a quick and effective way of building a large list of contacts which you can send messages to in a spam-free way. Lists with millions of followers is not unknown – thank Ashton Kutcher. Even for the online marketer and webmaster, Twitter can be an effective way to build a list of contacts very quickly.

However, the real issue remains, are your messages or tweets being read? Sadly, in many cases, because of the transitory nature and the sheer volume of tweets – your messages are probably not getting read or are not seen by as many people as you would like to see them. Therefore, one could argue about the effectiveness of Twitter as a list building tool; what’s the point if your messages are not making contact with your followers?

The key to success here is the same as with any list – you have to build a loyal group of followers who are eager to read your messages. It’s the relationship, stupid.

Besides, many people forget that Twitter is also one of the most popular web sites on the net, so having your messages and more importantly your links on this popular site is a “must-do” for webmasters and marketers. For SEO reasons alone, Twitter is extremely important. Your links are indexed by the search engines, especially if your Twitter profile is seen as an Authority Account with lots of influence.

With this fact in mind, here are some simple Twitter list building tips:

  1. Make sure you build an attractive Twitter Profile targeted to your audience.
  2. Place links to your Twitter Profile from all web sites and other social media sites/accounts.
  3. One effective way is to use a Twitter bookmark on all your relevant content and pages.
  4. Attach a link to your profile in all forum posts and email signatures.
  5. Use your Twitter account as your main tool for contact with tech/customer support.
  6. Add your Twitter Profile to your marketing articles and blog posts.
  7. Offer free ebooks, courses and special reports to anyone who re-tweets your messages.
  8. Become active within Twitter, link to other related Twitter profiles and build a strong presence.

Having said all that, I haven’t used Twitter much, except for SEO link building purposes. I find most messages or tweets do get lost in the constant flow of tweets. If a tweet falls in cyberspace, and no one reads it, is it really a tweet?

Then again, as an online affiliate marketer I have found other list building methods much more effective than sending a tweet. At the moment, one of my most effective list building techniques is at the opposite end of the spectrum, one that’s totally anonymous and invisible. If you’re into affiliate marketing you’re probably already using this technique; simply promote or pick affiliate products/program which have a cookie attached to them, when someone clicks your link they are “cookied” with your affiliate ID. I like picking affiliate programs which have at least a 90 day cookie, you can quickly build up an invisible list of prospective customers and if they buy within 90 days, you are credited with the commission.

Of course, one could always combine this affiliate list building method with your Twitter account/followers, which would be extremely effective if anyone ever bothered to read your tweets and click your links. Now if everyone could just spare 15 seconds, you have a very slim possibility of becoming both rich as well as famous.

If you want to find out more about list building old school, try this handy eCourse: list building Or why don’t you simply follow us on Twitter to get other useful marketing and list building help: bizwaremagic Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.