Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to Use Twitter as a "Twool"

Everybody knows that Twitter is a fantastic tool and has been used mainly to social networking, micro-bloging and quick contacts. Last week, Guy Kawasaki wrote a good post in his blog, where he talks about how to use Twitter in a commercial manner. He said that use Twitter as a tool—specifically as a marketing tool—for his website and his book.

He did a list, focus on the concept of using Twitter in a commercial manner. Below is a summary of his list:

- Forget the “influentials.” You must buy into the theory that products and services reach critical mass because mere mortals spread the word for you. This defies the common wisdom that a handful of “influentials” shape what the rest of us try and what we adopt.
- Defocus your efforts. The goal is to get to masses of people because you don’t know who can and will help you.
- Get as many followers as you can.
- Monitor what people are saying about you, your company, and your product - using the search features of Twitter, or you use a product like Tweetdeck to create a search. You can also use to receive email notification of search results much like Google Alerts.
- Ask for help. Don’t be shy about asking people on Twitter to spread the word for you. If they like what you do, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s as simple and transparent as that. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Make it easy to tweet on your behalf. Twitterfeed is a service where any RSS feed can automatically appear as your own tweets. Bloggers do this, for example, so that their blog posts automatically appear as their tweets.
- Create an email list. One issue with 450 people tweeting 140,000 followers: if people followed some of the same 450 people, they got duplicate announcements.
- Make it easy to “post to Twitter.” One day I met with Rashmi Sinha, the CEO of Slideshare. We got to talking about how she increased her traffic, and she told me that a “Post to Twitter” link was the most effective mechanism.
- Offer advice deals to Twitter users. You can Twitter to offer special deals to your followers—for example, check out what Amazon does by clicking here and what Whole Foods does by clicking here.
- Tell the complainers where to go. Some people will disagree with this use of Twitter. Don’t let this worry you because at some point everyone pisses off someone on Twitter. Therefore, letting a vocal few limit your use of Twitter is a big mistake. If they don’t like what you’re doing, tell them to stop following you: end of discussion. And rest assured that “Twitter spam” is an oxymoron because following you is completely opt-in.

He finished with: "This is how to use Twitter as a tool. I hope the Twitter community helps you as much as it has helped Alltop and me. With some effort, you may come to view Twitter as I do: the best new marketing twool of this century. Tweet long and prosper."

I completely agree with him, Twitter is an excellent tool, and can be used for various purposes, and increasingly appear other ways to use it.

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