Marketing and Twitter: How to Strike a Balance

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Twitter can be a powerful marketing tool, yet many people have a hard time getting it to work for their business. Why? Because they don’t strike the right balance between marketing messages and other content. It will take some time, but it can be done!

Provide useful, interesting, or entertaining information first

It’s hard to get people to follow a feed that seems marketing-heavy. Who wants to sign up for advertisements? Maybe the most hardcore followers of your brand, but if you want to use the feed to attract and educate potential new customers, you want to give them a reason to sign up. In the beginning, don’t worry too much about “selling” anything. Just work on developing an audience.

Don’t overdo it

Once you feel ready to start selling, be careful. If you’re constantly sending overt marketing messages, you’ll find that your users tend to tune out over time. Many companies make the mistake of repeatedly promoting the same product or service in slightly different ways. Your followers will pick up on this and hit that “unfollow” button fast.

Get metrics

But how do you know if you’re overdoing it? You need data. How many people are clicking through? Retweeting?  Which tweets are the most popular? Is your influence growing? There are a wide range of tools available, such as HootSuite and Klout, that make it easy.

Ask your followers

That’s the beauty of Twitter. It’s so easy to get direct feedback from the people who use it. Send out a quick tweet asking what they think of your posts. What do they want to see more of? Less of?

Make sure it’s valuable

Remember, it’s the same audience you’re hitting up each time, so you need to make sure your advertising tweets are just as valuable as the other tweets you send, such as sharing a good deal, an exclusive Twitter coupon, or announcing a new product or service. Give people a reason to be interested in the messages you send out.

Focus on driving traffic to your site

This is often what Twitter does best. Rather than getting people to click directly on an offer, provide a link to an article or video, and then have the offer somewhere on that page, maybe in the video or article itself or just off to the side.

Adjust and try again

Once you’ve reviewed the data and gathered feedback, try a new strategy and see if you can improve your response rate. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for marketing on Twitter. What works for one company might fail miserably for another. But over time, you’ll find a balance between selling and entertaining that works for you.