The Twitter Impact on Business Research


Twitter is more than a social media tool. It is a search tool in its own right. Businesses can find hot topics and join and conversation so that they stay on top of chat trends, track the habits of their influencers, engage with their followers and also spy on the competition.


Build Brand Management

brandDon’t leave your branding to chance.  Following a plan is more likely to help you quickly attract and secure the minimum 1,000 followers you really need in order to gain accurate tracking results. You can use third-party Twitter tools like HootSuite and Twitalyzer to help manage your brand and find out what people are saying about it, as well as how your brand is perceived – but before this will work, you need to make sure you’ve created a strong Twitter presence.  Fill out as much of your profile as possible, using your audience’s most popular search keywords; and brand with your business name.

Register using your name in the “Full Name” field and your company name as the “Username”… unless you are branding individual products.  In that case, register as your company name in the “Full Name” field and use your company name plus product name connected by an underscore. This not only makes it easy for you to measure Twitter stats for each product or niche; it makes your product or niche Twitter accounts searchable.

Use common sense and keep your target audience in mind, when creating company Twitter accounts. And since 50% of all customers follow a brand for customer service, be sure to create a customer service Twitter account too, if your business involves more than a handful of clients.

List your business Twitter account in Twitter directories such as Social Brand Index, We Follow and Twellow, making sure you place yourself in the correct category, to increase your chances of showing up in search results for those categories.


Don’t forget mobile users

Twitter’s own official blog reported earlier high engagement from mobile users in the UK, who find Twitter easier to handle on mobiles than other social networks. The blog study’s conclusion:  Mobile users follow brands and almost half these users recommend brands they follow – so if your target market members are mobile users, you can’t afford to be casual about your Twitter presence.

Once you have set up strong Twitter Profiles for your company accounts, researching activity around your own brand becomes much easier, with more accurate results.


Do Topic Research

Face it – finding topics by checking out the “What’s Trending” widget doesn’t often result in a relevant match for your business.


And people who throw references to currently trending celebrities into business blog posts are more often than not doing themselves no favors at all, since they are likely to attract:

  • Zero business searchers
  • Annoyed searchers looking for news about their favorite celebrity – only to find one skimpy reference something along the lines of “Lady Gaga has the right idea about marketing”.

To find trends relevant to your business:  Use Twitter’s own Advanced Search page.


Simply enter your keywords, and view the results.

Notice the wide, practical and useful varieties of search parameters the Advanced Search function offers:

  • Words – includes hashtags, exact phrases, any or all of “these words” and “written in”
  • People – you can search particular tweets to and from specific accounts, as well as searching tweets mentioning specific accounts
  • Places – use geo-targeting by searching tweets mentioning specific places and nearby locations
  • Other – you can also specify that posts you are searching for be positive, negative or questions.  And you can include retweets.

Other Top Tips for Topic Research:

If you want to be counted among Twitter’s top influencers, you need to know that Twitter itself measures this by the number of retweets you generate. One quick way to increase your retweets:  Keep your tweets shorter than 100 characters. And ask your followers to “Please retweet”.

Keeping track of who retweeted you and what they retweeted can not only help you monitor your brand, but give you valuable clues as to which subjects (via your tweets) are “hot” for your followers (and target market); which ones make them interact with your tweets – and which ones leave them cold.


Manage Your Followers

Another thing that can hurt you in today’s online climate:  Going for numbers over quality, when it comes to attracting followers.  Every spammer you leave on your account will hurt it in Twitter’s eyes.

Get into the habit of also checking for new followers daily through your “@Connect” menu tab.


By all means add people when they follow you – but do it manually.  Check them out first to make sure you haven’t inadvertently added an auto-spammer who never personally engages.

Go through your account and get rid of anyone who doesn’t fit your niche or actually engage with you.


Find New Audiences

targetYou don’t even have to leave Twitter to find new audiences.  In addition to all the usual prompted ways to connect (searching your email accounts, for example), there are third-party sites and apps you can use, as well as searching hashtags and using Advanced Search.

But there are a few key actions that top Twitter users seem to take.  Before chasing off after the latest app, make sure you have these set in place:

  1. Tweet focused, fascinating content.

People are tired of serial retweeters and spammy marketing messages.  Make sure that whatever you share – whether or not it is personal or promotional – speaks directly to your target listener, firmly hooking into her areas of interest. Keep your company mission or goal as central to every tweet.  Before hitting the button, ask yourself “does this detract from what I want to portray… or is it in alignment?”

Make sure your tweet is unique and personal (in that it doesn’t sound as if it was written by a robot).

This tweet was chosen by Twitter as a “Top Tweet” – meaning that out of all the tweets created to promote (in this case) a particular hashtag, this one was the tweet retweeted most – and, if you remember, retweeting increases your Twitter status.

Now you’re ready to find a bigger, targeted audience – and they are ready to find you.…

  1. Search through authority blogs you regularly read.  Look for people who comment or guest-author.

Follow the blog administrator or creator.  (Particularly follow the Twitter Advertising Blog, since this tells you what makes money for Twitter – and therefore will be important for your own Twitter research.

  1. Join Twitter Chats.  This is a great way to become known and find quality people to follow.  There are several sites like TweetReports displaying the latest TweetChat schedules – both multiple subject and niche-specific.


  1. Create a Chat.  Don’t just wait to find the right one – create a regular, weekly TweetChat specifically for existing subscribers – and ask them to share it. Don’t forget to put your TweetChat name and hashtag right in your Profile Summary.
  2. Join Groups:   LinkedIn Groups for strictly business; Facebook for a wide selection of special interests and Yahoo Groups for hobby niches.

Again, Groups allow you to become known – which lead to “follows”.  So be sure to include your Twitter handle in your Profile and posts or post signatures (if allowed).

  1. Join Forums or Membership sites that are built around your niche.  Provide quality comments, answers and questions.  Be there – daily and regularly.

And – again – include your Twitter handle wherever it’s allowed within those sites.


Searching and using Hashtags

Hashtags can be a powerful tool, when it comes to letting your ideal follower know you exist and allowing you to find quality people to follow

Surprisingly, a recent report released by Business Insider Intelligence on factors affecting follower growth cited the use of hashtags (along with tweeting negative emotions and talking about oneself) as one of three factors adversely affecting account growth.

Who overuses hashtags?  Anyone who inserts more than two in a post – and uses hashtags in every post.

Two hashtags should be the maximum you ever use in a post.


Using Twitter as a business research tool doesn’t just mean finding out facts on Twitter: it means that you, your company and your products should be researchable too.  The best strategy involves starting out with focused branding.  This will quickly allow you to research the impact of your own brand within Twitter, as well as your competitors’ brands.

Twitter for Business Step-By-Step Guide: Twitter Automation

4 - social-media-goodSocial network automation should never be a substitute for interaction and engagement – but, that being said, used wisely for specific purposes, it can really help you make the most of the social arena.

Social networks are vast online places that can easily take up far too much time for little results – but Twitter in particular has inspired a surfeit of automation apps and sites.  This guide will help you quickly decided which ones could work the best for your specific Twitter goals, objectives and needs.  It will also help you decide why and when to automate.


Step 1.  Track Your Tweets

When articles talk about tracking, do you immediately think of dry statistics and complex formulae?

Twitter apps and sites provide you with all of the above – and way more.  You can use these tracking sites to help you increase engagement, find followers, double-check your tweet efficiency and analyze your followers’ sharing habits.  And best of all, they automate the stats-gathering process for you, making stats access easy or even instantaneous.

Here are six of the most popular…

1.     TweetReach – Nothing could be simpler than going to TweetReach’s home page and typing in yours or another’s @Username to see how far your individual reaches extend; who has shared your tweets; how many replies you’ve received – and more.


(Just make sure you’re logged into Twitter first.)

2.     Twitter Counter – If you want a straightforward tool that can measure your growth and compare it with that of your followers, this native Twitter analytics tool will do the trick.  (You have to pay for extra information but its basic tools, such this simple comparisons with your competitors, can provide you with great benchmarks and realistic objectives and goals.)


3.     Social Bro – Free tool whose basic upgrade starts at only $6.95 per month.  Allows you to identify and explore benchmark tweets, create “Insights” such as time zone information, get “accurate information” about your Twitter community, perform enhanced searches, acquire stats on your followers’ followers, identify criteria like influencers and the best time to tweet – and discover targeted Twitter users.


4.     Twitonomy – Remember that scene in “Crocodile Dundee”, where hero Mick says:  “That’s not a knife. Now THIS is a knife?”  Well, you could easily paraphrase that for Twitonomy, which serves up heavy-duty, no-nonsense stats, not prettied up but full of meat and gristle. 

How about this impressive array of Twitonomy features:


Twitonomy is free to sign up for with your Twitter account, but you can get even-more-heavy-duty, detailed stats with a paid upgrade.

5.      Klout – This powerful app does double-duty for either Facebook or Twitter, and has become the industry standard for measuring one’s influence.


If you have just created your Twitter account, it won’t be of much use yet, but the moment you start racking up followers, its worth investigating.

If you allow Klout access to your Twitter account, it will be able to:

  • Read your Timeline tweets
  • Check who you are following

It will not be able to follow anyone you are following, change your profile, tweet for you or see your direct messages and, of course, it will not be able to view your password.

6.     Twtrland – Possibly the easiest of all the online Twitter tracking tools, this is the app for those who shudder at the thought of deciphering stats.  You can instantly find influencers and people to follow – who may follow you back.  (Or at least interest your followers.)


7.     Crowdbooster – This particular manager combines visual presentation with heavy-duty stats.  It is not free, but paid plans start at $9.00 per month and there is a 10% discount if you pre-pay annually.


8.     TwentyFeet – This “ego tracking” service uses a unique model whereby you sign up and add tracking “bundles” as you need them.  (The smallest bundle is $12.45.)

It also offers a basic free account on sign up, which may be all you need for quite a while.

The down side: May not be a down at all.  TwentyFeet itself was easy to use and refreshingly well laid out, but it has been acquired and absorbed by SumAll.  So far it seems that you may give up the familiar, easy-to-read interface but gain access to more tracking opportunities.

Best advice:  Check it out for yourself and see if it’s for you.

9.     Twitalyzer – Another popular industry-standard stats manager.  Efficient and packed with data.  (It even incorporates Klout stats into its measurements.)


You can refresh Twitalyzer data and demographics in real-time; export “everywhere”, since Twitalyzer for easy integration; and monitory your Twitter stats “from anywhere”.

Paid plans start at $19.95 per month, and include hashtag tracking and “watchword” tracking.


Even if you decide not to sign up with a social media manager or app, follow their Twitter feeds to find out the latest changes, tips and updates.  (And you can see whether or not they answer their followers!)



But while the apps and services we’ve just viewed can serve up stats instantly, there are apps, social media managers and services that can help you automate your Twitter account even more.


Step 2.  Using Social Media Managers

One of the biggest advantages social media dashboards and managers offer is the ability to pre-schedule tweets.

While pre-scheduling all your tweets is sometimes frowned upon – it decreases engagement if you are not there to answer questions when they are posted, for example – pre-scheduling can also be a powerful and effective tool if used wisely.

When you should pre-schedule:

  • If you would otherwise miss your target audience’s online window
  • If you need a straightforward announcement to be repeated a few times during the day
  • If someone else monitors and answers your pre-scheduled tweets as they are released

It can be a real time-saving, focused strategy to write a main batch of tweets for the week, pre-schedule them – and let your social media VA monitor and respond for you (or alert you if a particular tweet needs your personal judgment).

Be careful when signing up for social media managers:  You don’t want to inadvertently enable one which is going to post ads in your feed!  (Most don’t – but always check each one out thoroughly first – and read the Terms of Service.)

1.     TweetDeck – Twitter’s own native social media dashboard, it truly provides an overview of what’s going on in all aspects of your Twitter feed and interaction.


You can choose between:

  • Signing in
  • Downloading TweetDeck’s dashboard to your desktop
  • Installing the app for Google Chrome

While it is a great idea to keep on top of your Twitter feed activity in real-time, be warned that downloading the dashboard to your desktop and activating it means you will be subjected to popups for every single tweet in your feed while you are working.  This can be distracting and disrupt concentration.


It is, however, great for monitoring particular types of tweets – for example, if you are watching a trend or monitoring your own event or product launch hashtag tweet).

2.     HootSuite – This social media manager has been going “forever” and is one of the most popular.  Its ease of use is often cited as a big reason for this – though the interface has changed over the years (like everything else on the net).


You can manage up to five personal accounts for free; after that, prices begin at $8.95 per month.  Unlike many other paid plans, however, HootSuite doesn’t just offer extra features; it also offers exceptional value and unique bonuses with its paid plans, including a free custom vanity URL and free social media coaching.

Even with HootSuite’s free account, you have access to:

  • Message scheduling
  • RSS
  • Basic analytics reporting
  • Basic app integrations
  • Brand mention tracking

Its easy message-scheduling capacity is what attracted most long-time users initially, however:  And it is also what keeps them loyal.


Step 3. Mobile Twitter Apps

When you go to sign up for any stats or social media site, do check to see if it is optimized for mobile.

  • Some (like Twitalyzer) are available as mobile apps
  • Some aren’t
  • Some are available only for particular mobiles

If you use Twitter on your mobile (and especially if your target audience does too), you will find mobile apps essential tools.

1.     HootSuite for Mobile – HootSuite is one of the premiere methods of choice for managing pre-scheduled tweets.  One reason:  It works particularly well on mobile!

15-hootsuite-for mobile

2.     Birdbrain – This iPhone app used to be glitchy and prone to crashes, but when it runs well, it does a visually pleasing and excellent job of presenting stats via your mobile.  And according to its fans, it is now running very well indeed.


With Birdbrain, you can track “as many accounts as you wish” and manage past and present followers, as well as find targeted Twitter users and even track statistics.

3.     Tweet-r – This iPhone app is strictly for sending and scheduling tweets, but it features a powerhouse of options for doing this – including video and graphics functionality.


Its features include:

  • Automatic URL shortening
  • Uploading images while you are completing your tweet
  • Autosave on exit (or when a call unexpectedly comes in – a really nice feature)
  • Scheduling
  • Saved drafts

And more.

You can also have “many users” for one account.  Cost:  Currently $3.99 at the iTunes store. There are hundreds of Twitter apps, dashboard managers and services.  These are just a few of the most popular, so we are going to leave you with a link to a Daily Tekk list of The Top 100 Twitter Tools of 2012; all nicely organized by category (and most of them still active and relevant).

Remember only to choose Twitter automation that works for your business and preferences.  That’s when automation truly becomes your friend.

Twitter for Business Step-By-Step Guide: Managing Your Brand on Twitter

1 - Twitter-featured-image

Branding strategies just help people identify your business or product:  They create it.  The more people see your branding elements in a bigger variety of location, the more firmly your brand will become established in their minds.  They know what to expect from you – and until your brand is well established, this relationship-trust building block is your biggest asset.  That’s why it’s important that all your branding efforts go towards reinforcing your company “message” and mission.

Twitter is just one of the many social networks that can effectively help you build your brand.  Let’s focus now solely on this objective…


Step 1.  Fine Tuning Your Profile

Think about your profile from the average Twitter user’s point of view.  If he or she clicks on “Go to full profile” or sees the pop-up version, your bio URL is the only one that will be visible – so make sure you actually included one.

Include your location too – even if you do business solely online. Many people prefer to search for businesses in their area; and this way, you’ll ensure your profile is included in their search results.  And, of course, add your keywords – the ones you want associated instantly with your business in the minds of viewers.

In addition to your header, consider adding a custom background – even if this is just a plain background in your company and/or website colors.

To create a Twitter background:

1.     Go to your Settings by pressing the little gear-arrow icon.


When you Settings page opens up, choose the Design tab in the left-hand menu.

 2.     You can select one of many premade themes (backgrounds)…


…Or upload your own custom background file; or select custom colors…


If you create and upload your own 1920 X 1200 pixel custom background, you can include branding elements such as your QR code, logo, URL, colors, tagline, product photos, other social media URLs and any other element that can help viewers instantly identify your business.

4-background branding

You can give your business a stronger identity by including elements that patrons or customers associate with it; or showing team members or staff.

Background design tips:

  • Remember that people will be viewing your background at all sorts of resolutions.  Use a professional template or have a graphic artist design one for you.

(Tip:  See if any offers for Twitter templates are currently being offered on Fiverr – run a search.  Check the artist’s rating and feedback before ordering.)

  •  Make sure every element of your background supports your business as an entity, giving it personality, mood, tone – and above all, consistency
  • Don’t make backgrounds too “busy”.  Let the viewer’s eye be drawn to your most important graphics or elements without distraction
  • Try to avoid tiling:  Unless you are tiling plain colors or textures, tiling is the quickest way to exhaust the viewer’s eye (which can be both confusing and irritating)

Optimize your Twitter bio:

If your business has different functions or departments, do include (besides keywords) additional, relevant Twitter handles for the people handling these functions or departments.  For example, a TV station might present the following bio:

  • “Your Top News for the Sage Mountain area. @ViewerPhotoUploads, @NewsTips, @LocalEvents”

Make sure your Twitter handle is optimized to your brand:

Time to check and ensure you are using your Twitter handle and URL to maximum branding effect.

Most sole-proprietor online business will benefit best by signing up with the owner’s real name ,but choosing their business name for their username.

What this translates to, when people view your Twitter profile, is the following:


Your Twitter URL is always the same as your Username – and your header display name is always the same as your sign up name.

If your business itself is more important than any one person, sign up with your company name.

Then have key staff members sign up under their own names or departments.


Step 2.  Integrate your Twitter Profile with Other Social Media

Be sure to add your Twitter link to these other main social media profiles:

  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Doing this reinforces your branding.  People remember your Twitter handle much better when they see it in other social networks and sites; and it adds credibility and weight to your other social media profiles.

Here’s how to quickly add your Twitter profile to these four networks…

Google+ Home>>Profile>>About>>Links (scroll below fold)

In Links:  Select “Edit” anchor text.  Select “Other Profiles”.

  • Select “Manage Connected Accounts”.
  • Choose Twitter from drop-down list.
  • Enter Username (e.g. “@BarnOwlPottery”)
  • Select “Show on Public Profile” and press Add.
LinkedIn Profile (automatically goes to “Edit Profile”>>Edit Contact Info button
YouTube Profile Photo>>MyChannel

  • Click on Pencil icon, top right of Channel photo
  • Select “Edit Links”


  • Under “Social Links”, select “Add”
  • From drop-down, choose “Twitter”
  • Enter your Twitter URL


Step 3.  Building Trust  in your Brand on Twitter

Why is Twitter essential for branding?  It’s real-time, stream-of-consciousness.  It’s immediate – and that’s why you should never waste time pumping static article links to your audience.  (How do you feel when you see ream after ream of blog post titles and links?  About as excited as a dead fish, right?)

It also allows for retweets – and people are more likely to repeat than to engage in any other platform’s mode of sharing. (It’s so easy!)

How do celebrities brand themselves on Twitter?

Two things:

1.     They flatter their fans and make them feel special by appearing to engage with them – and the more personal and real their tweets, the stronger this effect.

2.     They talk about their world – the one we are fascinated by; and want on some level to share (even while we’re loftily denying this) – occasionally throwing fans “perks”.

In your particular target customer or client’s world, they don’t really want to hear that you ate Flaky Bits granola for breakfast:  They want to hear about themselves.

Your target reader is the real celebrity, when you are tweeting for business.

Only if your target reader is actually dying to hear about organic cereal (and your business is all about (a) cereal or (b) eating/living healthily, should you tip them off to a great brand you’ve discovered.

Cementing your brand on Twitter involves:

  • If your company sells PLR – a writing shortcut — tweet only mostly about things that make life easier and save time

Don’t beat them over the head with this: Again, this doesn’t mean a slew of links to other peoples’ blog posts.  It means talking from your own experience.


And if you bombard your reader with a whole host of such links within the space of minutes, as this poster did, the only thing you’ll brand your business for is spamming!

You can blog about milestones like awards or new venues for your product – but only if it would be relevant or interesting to your target reader.

Again: Your reader is the true celebrity you should always keep in mind.  (It’s really not about venting your feelings.)  “What would catch her attention and make her stop to read?” should be question # 1:  “What does this say about my brand?” should be the other half of your tweet decision-making.


Step 4.  Make it Mobile

It’s no accident that Twitter tweets are based on SMS text messaging format.  That’s probably one reason why study stats from sites like (Buddymedia) and the now-defunct seemed to show that mobile users preferred Twitter over Facebook (especially if they also use Pinterest, which has largely replaced Instagram).

For example, you can:

  • Create and brand your own indispensable app
  • Brand your logo right into your QR code
  • Use QR codes in your campaigns
  • Run mobile contests
  • Use mobile micro-videos via Vine – and don’t forget to credit and acknowledge your followers


If your target customer is a big mobile user – and who isn’t, these days? – keep that in mind and decide how you can best use mobile technology to brand your business.

Ten Top Twitter Branding Tips


1.     Follow Branding Magazine on Twitter for useful tips and case studies.

2.     Don’t use more than two highly-relevant hashtags – maximum!

3.     Brainstorm, research, plan and implement focused campaigns.

4.     Create and use hashtags in a campaign – as the white house did with overwhelming engagement when they tweeted “What does #40dollars mean to you?”.

5.     Cross-promote your campaigns simultaneously over Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for maximum reach.  (Make sure you promote and share your campaign from your website or blog!)

6.     Be interactive.  Take notes from successful Twitter branding campaigns such as Pepsi’s irresistible spin the wheel (highly promoted through Twitter).


7.     Always leave room for retweets and replies. It’s now common knowledge, after several studies, that tweets with less than 100 characters have as much as a 20% higher retweet rate

8.     Turn your focus 100% on followers – as Starbucks did with their invitations for followers to post their own photos in their Frappuccino sipface campaign


9.     Search these hashtags (separately and together) for instant news relevant to Twitter trends and potential brand strategies:  #twitter, #stats, #infographics.

10.  Be original – as Ben & Jerry’s were when inventing the #FairTweets campaign (one of the most successful Twitter hashtag campaigns ever!

The premise was simple: For every tweet under 140 characters, Ben & Jerry’s would use the remaining characters to promote fair trade. The fact that each #FairTweet post would be unique (and reader-generated) rapidly made this campaign go viral.


Here’s the biggest secret:  When it comes to Twitter branding tactics, strategies and campaigns, there’s no wrong or right way – just the wrong or right way for your unique target customer or client.

Do your homework.  Check your facts.  Keep a tweet Fodder File and plan your content for consistent feel.  Have one person handle all your tweeting.  Make sure they know (a) your objectives (b) your policies and rules (c) your company mission.

Keep your Twitter “voice” consistent, so your followers know what to expect from you.  And don’t be afraid to be real – that’s what makes people qualify or disqualify themselves as followers, increasing your Twitter value.

Twitter often and factor it into your business plan.  Follow these tips, take the time to implement them diligently – and watch your branding power increase.

Twitter for Business Step-By-Step Guide: How Hashtags Work

Twitter hashtags are one of the strongest reasons this social media network has done so well.  Let’s take a look at how we can make the most of them.


Step 1.  What is a Hashtag and How do I Create One?

A hashtag is a keyword preceded by the “#” symbol.  When inserted into a Twitter post, it helps people quickly find all posts also containing that particular hashtag.  You can use capital letters within a hashtag to make them easier to remember (e.g. “#AllJobs” or “#alljobs”), but you cannot use spaces or all numerals. Hashtags can go in the beginning, middle or end of your tweet.

What hashtags do is allow people to search more easily for tweets on specific topics. When you search for a hashtag, every post containing that hashtag will be displayed in your feed area.

You can also create your own hashtag, but before you do, it’s a good idea to see if there is one that already exists – not just the exact hashtag you have in mind, but also similar hashtags already trending that might serve your purpose better.

There are two ways to quickly find hashtags out of thin air:

  • Enter a hashtag in Twitter’s own search box
  • Look for it on dedicated hashtag sites like

Be warned, however:  If you use Twitter’s own search box to search for specific hashtags, a very nasty trend has developed all on its own recently.  People have been maneouvering extremely explicit pornographic photos into the “Top Photos” for such long-standard hashtags as “#FF” or “FollowFriday”.

How to find keywords at

This site is one of the best places to find hashtags – and not just find them, but see how well they are performing too.

1.     Go to


2.     Click on the “How to” tab in the top horizontal menu and read up on the “Quick Start Guide to Hashtags”.


This wonderful resource won’t just tell you about Twitter hashtags, but give you information on other social platforms that have begun to use them.  It will also tell you about other Twitter facts.


Step 2.  How to Follow Trends

Follow trends and use their hashtags in your tweets.  Trends may not often provide much value, since they are not driven by your keywords and contacts – but they do provide two things you can use:

  • You can get a feel for Twitter culture by seeing what is going viral
  • You can make use of highly viral, “seasonal” tweets to grab some visibility and exposure for your profile.


Even within tightly-focused niches, most people still celebrate holidays, seasons and seasonal landmarks.  Remember that, and use it to your advantage.

(You can find trending hashtags on Twitter in your left-hand, vertical menu, as well as in Twitter-serving sites such as


Step 3.  How to use Hashtags Correctly

It’s easy to use hashtags correctly:  What is a little trickier is using them effectively.

Once you’ve got past the basics of what not to do (use spaces or all numerals), you need to create hashtags that are catchy, memorable and easy to use.

The same goes for pre-existing hashtags created by others.  Don’t grab the first hashtag you see for a topic or event:  Check to see if there are better-trending versions.


Step 4.  Making, Finding and Managing Hashtags

Don’t just search for hashtags in your Home feed search bar: Go to Twitter’s dedicated search and enter your keywords there.


Click on the “advanced search” anchor text, if you want to add specific search parameters. also quotes Twitter on what not to do, when creating hashtags:


Tracking Your Hashtags

Hashtags.orgs has heavy-duty analytics analytics – but as you can see, they don’t come cheap.


And since TweetChat effectively discontinued itself, thanks to Twitter API changes (though it has been rebranded as “SmartStream” and there is still a TweetChat URL) there are no really good free alternatives for thorough hashtag analysis.

A better solution for the average, single online marketer’s budget is Hashtracking, which offers a month’s free trial and starts at $29.00 per month.  If your market’s main social network is primarily Twitter, this might be worth its weight in ROI.


Hashtracking provides real-time analytics and reports, their “smart control” also allows you to analyze reach and effectiveness.

This is a snapshot of Hashtracking real-time analysis


You can also measure your hashtag reach manually (if less accurately) by keeping a count on how many retweets contain it and how many others use your hashtag.

Finally, after it has gained some use, you can return to Hashtracking’s main page and enter it in their “Hashtrack Explorer” field.


Step 5.  How to Generate Hashtag Discussion

In order to generate discussion using a particular hashtag you’ve created, there are three steps you need to make sure you’ve taken:

  1. 1.     Create the hashtag around a highly specific, hot article, event or topic
  2. 2.     Actively cross-promote it – via your email list, your blog and other social media networks
  3. 3.     Provide a powerful incentive for people to share it

It doesn’t matter what this incentive is, as long as your target audience thinks it is something they can’t live without or can’t stop talking about.  Your incentive could be:

  • An affiliate contest
  • A new product your market has been craving
  • A free gift
  • A webinar, teleseminar or podcast
  • A viral video
  • An online event (e.g. blog tour, workshop, etc.)
  • A current, hot topic

You can also “register” your hashtag with services like and Hashtracking.  This doesn’t give you exclusive copyright to your hashtag – but it does serve it up in these platforms for others to notice and use.

Make sure you use your hashtag actively during your campaign.  Increase your visits to Twitter, so that you can make sure your message reaches out to segments of your Twitter traffic that usually misses your tweets.

You can pre-schedule your tweets with free social media managers like Hootsuite, but a better idea is to tweet manually, in real-time – and hang around long enough to acknowledge retweets or thank or reply to those who spread your hashtag in person.

Ask others to retweet your hashtag-carrying posts.

You can also create a Tweet Chat or Twitter Party, which gathers people together within specific periods to discuss the hashtag topic (e.g. your weekly Google Hangout).


Keep your hashtags short, for memorability and appeal.  (Besides, if you #createahashtagthatswaytoolong you will eat up its retweetable real estate – there’ll be less room for people to write about it within their 140 character limit and it will lose its appeal.)

And remember:  Before you set a hashtag you’ve created in use, be sure that it isn’t already connected with a negative or conflicting current event.


Step 6.  Specific Hashtag Uses

The wonderful factor about Twitter hashtags is their versatility, while still providing specific functionality and uses.

You can use hashtags to:

  • Promote a specific event – online or offline
  • Promote a new product or free gift
  • Start a discussion around a hot topic
  • Bond with a group
  • Keep people abreast of updates on a topic, event or product

(This last strategy is a great way to help build a buzz by keeping conversation going.)

Note that several specific hashtag uses are the same as specific hashtag incentives.  Your hashtag should be something people can’t wait to pass on – and it should be hot.

When you are creating it, brainstorm your topics and keyword choices thoroughly and carefully.  Your choices will play no small part in the success of your hashtag.

As mentioned, hashtags that are too long usually don’t catch on.  And if you are promoting a particular hashtag, it’s better not to include other hashtags in your tweet.  (In fact, using multiple hashtags within a tweet is a fast way to be branded as a spammer!)

But the best part about hashtags is their flexibility. So do use them and track them – even if it’s only within a Twitter search, to see who were the last one hundred people to spread your hashtag.

Remember – when you create your own hashtag, you don’t just create a keyword:  If you’ve chosen and spread it correctively, you can create an entire online community.

How to Be Active on LinkedIn

4 - social-media-good Once you have set up your LinkedIn Profile and completed it to “Advanced” strength or better, and you have made a healthy batch of initial connections, it’s time to become a visible part of the LinkedIn community.

LinkedIn’s entire pool of members is too vast for you to totally engage in, of course, but you do want to become a reliable authority in your particular business niche.  You want to become someone everyone automatically thinks of as a leader, when they think of your area of marketing or business.

You can start participating by:

  • Writing your own posts
  • Responding to other people’s posts
  • Sharing posts on Twitter
  • Participating in Groups
  • Following authority figures and niche peers

Your aim is to gain the coveted 500+ followers and connections – as quickly as possible – and a highly active account. This vaults your status up to top level.

Step 1.  Preparing to Interact

1-not-facebookBefore you start firing off LinkedIn posts, repeat this mantra to yourself:

“This is NOT Facebook.”

“This is NOT Facebook.”

“This is NOT Facebook.”

Facebook allows you to burble stream-of-consciousness observations, and it’s not uncommon to see posts complaining about sleepless nights, migraines, lemon meringue pie recipes, feeling down in the dumps or asking what the best cure for an infected sliver is. And Facebook users also seem to love spamming people, wittingly or unwittingly.

You won’t find that sort of post on LinkedIn.  It is a focused business network, populated by professionals.  Go to your Home Page and read feeds from your connections before you make your first post.  Get a feel for the tone and mindset of your networking peers.

Decide also on your LinkedIn goal.  Ask yourself what is most important to you, with regards to LinkedIn.  Ask yourself if you want to…

  • Become highly visible in your industry
  • Find and nurture potential joint venture partners
  • Find a job
  • Find potential clients
  • Build your list
  • Raise public awareness of facets of your niche (especially ones you specialize in)
  • Any or all of the above

Step 2.  Making Your First Post

First, jot down some ideas for posts that would most interest the connections you would like to engage.

  1. Select the best post out of the batch you have written
  2. Go to “Home”
  3. Enter your post into your feed textarea box


Notice that you can ensure a particular person sees this post by typing her name, or including an “@” sign in front of the name.  Directing your first post to one of your new 1st degree connections is a good idea because it instantly ensures your post will be seen by her connections.

(Just make sure you’re posting something she will find genuinely interesting or relevant.)

  1. Attach an image, documents or presentation for added value and interest.  (Just click on the paperclip within the textarea box, top right-hand corner).

Note that you still cannot attach files within LinkedIn messages.  And adding rich media like videos to your posts doesn’t seem to be an option yet.  (You can, however, add the URL for videos and multi-media presentations within your post textarea box.)

  1. Decide where to share your post.  You can press the tiny down arrow to the left of the blue “Share” button for a drop-down menu, which offers you three choices:
  • LinkedIn + Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Connections
  1. Be sure to check your post later for replies!

Step 3.  Follow Industry Influencers

“Participating” doesn’t just mean endless posting.  It means staying on top of not only your industry, but what top influencers in your industry and sphere of culture are thinking, saying and doing.

Knowing the latest news helps you make informed comments to other connections of yours who post about them.  And if you post a reply to one of their posts, you may be acknowledged by the leader you’re following – providing your post is really worthy and has something original or insightful to say.

You can’t follow just anyone, however:  At time of writing, LinkedIn has a preferred list own picks within a section called LinkedIn Today.  It is to be hoped you can find someone within that list who will add to your social networking life.


Note there are four tabs you can access, to keep up with the latest:

  • Your News
  • Influencer Posts
  • All Influencers
  • All Channels

Select “All Influencers” to find people to follow:  Select “Influencer Posts” to see what they are actually posting.

Step 4.  Analyze your Connection Value

One way to increase the value of your participation: See who has been viewing your Profile, and how often they have accessed it.

You can also choose whether or not you want them to see you (and how many times you’ve checked their Profile).

  1. Go to your “Account & Settings” tab and select “Privacy & Settings”.


  1. A new page will open up.  This page is almost like a central dashboard:  You can perform a number of functions from it, as well as instantly see your status in certain key areas.


For example, you can instantly see how many introductions you have left (5 introductions for a basic Account).  You can see what type of account you have – and instantly upgrade it.

You can change your password, change or add an email, purchase InMails and more.

You can also “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile”, as well as control other visibility options.


You’ll most likely want to let them see your full name, Profile photo, location and title – but if you are really researching someone or studying a competitor (or even just simply getting the hang of LinkedIn) you may want to choose one of the other Anonymous options.

Be aware, however, that doing so will disable Profile Stats.

The real reason we are looking at this feature, however:  So you can be aware of who is viewing you – and you won’t be confused when you see “real people” mixed with anonymous someones on LinkedIn.

Do keep an eye on who has viewed your Profile and how many times they have done so.  There’s no way of telling why they viewed it – but the important thing to check is that your Profile is generating interest.

  • Who are they?
  • What industry are they in?
  • Are they your competitors?
  • Are they your connections?
  • Are they 2nd or 3rd party connections of your connections?

If the answer to the latter question is “yes” – send them an invitation to connect.  Do NOT say “I notice you’ve been stalking me…”  DO as your first degree connection to introduce you or reference your first degree connection, when asking your “stalker” to connect directly.

Growing your online network greatly increases your chances of meaningful participation.  But do take time first to read the instructions for managing your Account Settings.

There are many ways you can fine tune participation with the right settings – which effectively increases meaningful interaction.

Step 5.  Integrate with Twitter

Another function you can quickly perform from this Account Settings Page:  Syncing your LinkedIn account with your Twitter account.

Just click on “Manage your Twitter Settings” in the “Profile” section of your settings dashboard, and a pop up window will open, where you can click on “+Add your Twitter account”.


Even though you are already logged in, you may be prompted to sign in again with your LinkedIn password.  Once you do so, you will see a screen asking you to permit LinkedIn to post to Twitter for you by accessing your Twitter account.


This screen will also let you know exactly what LinkedIn will and will not be allowed, in terms of Twitter permissions.

Sharing between LinkedIn and Twitter creates powerful cross-promotion, and is able to draw in a bigger section of your market.

In addition, your connections on LinkedIn who also rely heavily on Twitter will see more of your content, and feel comfortable with your sharing methods.

Step 6.  Start or Participate in a Help Forum Discussion

Got a blistering hot topic? Start an open discussion in LinkedIn’s open Help Forum.


Be warned, however:  All LinkedIn forums are public.

In order to make the most of your discussion (while protecting your security):

  • Avoid revealing personal information
  • Search before posting to make sure there isn’t already a highly similar discussion
  • Be sure to read the forum’s guidelines
  • Add tags to help other forum users find your discussion
  • Fine tune your Account Settings, if you plan on making public posts

Unfortunately LinkedIn discontinued its popular Question and Answer function; and now Help Forum questions seem to be its substitute.

Where this becomes useful to you:  When you check out recent Help Forum discussions and provide answers, if you have something positive to contribute.


LinkedIn Participation:  7 Top Tips

Finally, let’s finish with 7 top tips on creating maximum, targeted LinkedIn interaction:

  1. Keep things positive.  While you may get initial reaction from controversial or combative posts, it’s not the way to foster connection and invitations.  Nor will it present you in a desirable light, if people are looking for someone to employ or work with.
  2. Remember that five quality connect requests are worth twenty indiscriminate ones.  Not only will you annoy people if you “spam” people you don’t know, you risk having them respond to LinkedIn’s prompt on whether or not they know you.

If more than five people answer “No”, your account may be suspended.

  1. Make LinkedIn a habit. Log on daily – and respond/reply/comment. Your LinkedIn connections are like any other relationships you value:  You need to feed and nurture them.
  2. Be selective in Groups and Industry Leaders you choose to follow.  Keep on top of discussions.  Check out their posts daily.

Become an expert on your experts!

  1. Join Groups – but not too many.  Better to belong to two highly active Groups and participate in discussions than join seventeen and ignore them all!
  2. Provide resources for your network connections. Post infographics. Attach handy templates or checklists people can use.
  3. Always keep your LinkedIn networking goal in mind.  Don’t post anything that takes attention away from what you are trying to become known for.

And here’s on final, bonus tip:

  • Don’t overthink your LinkedIn participation.

Just get on there and interact – every day.


Old Vs New – Twitter Version


It’s been a while since you last used your Twitter account?

There’s no need to worry!

We will cover 3 topics today on how to use the new twitter interface.


One helpful Twitter feature is the ability to make a List. You can add those you follow to a list so that you can see all related tweets at once. Think of it as a customized timeline.

Ideas for lists to create would be Family, Friends, Clients, Financial, Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Vendors, etc.


To create a list in the old version of Twitter, you would click on “New List“ in the Lists section on the right side. Once you have created one or more lists, they will appear above where you create a new one so you can easily access them.



In the new version, click on the dropdown arrow beside “Lists” and then click on “Create a list”.


The process of actually creating your list is essentially the same in Old and New Twitter. Assign your list a Name and Description then choose whether you want it to be “Public” or “Private”. When finished completing this screen, click on Save List.


Once you’ve created your list, you can add people by searching for them:


Or just go to your follower list and find the people you want to add. Just click the icon on the far right before the “Following” box and click “Add or remove from lists…”, you can select to add the person to any of your lists.


Once your list is complete, you can click on it to see the tweets of those on your list only.



Sometimes you might have a need to do a search and find all tweets related to a certain term. Perhaps you heard about a new product related to your niche (area of expertise) and you want to see what’s being said on twitter. No problem!


In the old version of Twitter, the search box is on the right side of the screen. Enter your search terms and click on the magnifying glass.


On the search results page, Click on “Save This Search” to keep a record of your search.


Your saved searches will appear in the right menu whenever you want to view them as shown below:



In the new version, the search box is at the top of the screen to the right of the Twitter logo. Enter your search terms then click on the magnifying glass to search and click your mouse.


On the search results page, you can click on the Settings icon and then click “Save Search” Just like in the old version, you can click on “Save Search” to save your search for future use. However, as you can see, the button to “Save search” is inside the Save Settings dropdown menu.


Then your saved searches will appear in your top menu anytime you want to access them. For example:


Twitter is known for being a great source for news so if you hear of something going on in the world, do a search and you will most likely find some tweets about it.

Twitter is also a great tool for doing research. Thinking of writing an eBook on “weight loss for women”? Search Twitter periodically to find out what people are saying about your topic and what questions they are asking.



The absolute best thing about Twitter is the connections you make with other people. The new version of Twitter has a new menu item called “Who To Follow”.


Old twitter included the following options under “find friends”.



The new version of Twitter now calls this “Who To Follow” and it does not include the option to “Find on Twitter” or “Invite By Email”.

In the new version, click on “Who to Follow”, on the left panel, under the “Compose New Tweet” box.


You are given two options: Popular Accounts and Find Friends.

Let’s look at “Popular Accounts” first. Click on the link that says “Popular Accounts” to see some suggestions from Twitter.


The second option under “Who To Follow” is “Find Friends”. This option allows you to connect to various email accounts you. When you click on one of the choices, you will be presented with a screen to enter your login information. For example, if you choose Gmail, you’ll need to enter your Gmail login to access that account. Only those people who have agreed to be found by email address will be shown.



Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Twitter Following



Having a strong Twitter presence is essential for your online business strategy. It allows you to quickly respond to real time events, make announcements that people pay attention to, distribute content, build trust and put out fires. Also, the larger your Twitter following, the better your chances are of creating content that can “go viral.”

Growing a Twitter following from scratch can be intimidating. How do you go from zero followers to hundreds to thousands to tens and hundreds of thousands? These are ten of the top ways to grow your Twitter following. Use these to kickstart your Twitter account or help it reach the next level.


1-Gmail-ContactsPeople often underestimate the amount of contacts they already have. Searching your databases and adding followers is a fantastic way to get new followers.

Start with your shopping cart buyer list. Since you’ll always have their first name, last name and email address, you’ll often be able to find people’s Twitter usernames. Also, check out their website and look for a Twitter contact if they provided a website during their checkout process.

Follow anyone who has already bought from you. Since they already know and trust you, there’s a very good chance they’ll follow you back.

Next, go to your autoresponder contacts. Again, search by names and emails.

Finally, search through your existing email contacts. Import your Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and other contact databases and look for people who know you. Follow them. Most likely, they’ll follow you.



Look for people who’re already talking about you. Since they’re discussing you, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in following you.

Search for your brand name, your product name and any other relevant keywords using Twitter’s search function. Then follow them. You can also @reply them to increase the chances that they’ll follow you.




Use tools like, and to find influential people in your industry. Follow these people and look for interesting conversations.

When people talk about something interesting, join in the conversation. Post insightful @replies and comment on popular relevant hashtags.

This allows you to leverage other people’s brands and other people’s influence to help you build your follower base.




Find high quality blogs in your industry. Leave high quality comments that offer value to other readers. Provide tips in your comments that other people would appreciate.

At the bottom of your post, sign off with your Twitter handle. People who appreciated your post will come and find you. Some blogs even have a plugin that allows you to include your Twitter name or you may be able to log into Twitter to post.

Note: Don’t spam. Provide real value and only mention your Twitter name.




If you have a strong web presence, use it to promote your Twitter following. Add social media buttons at the bottom of each post and in the sidebar of your website.

Make it easy for people to retweet your content. You should have not only a “Follow” button on your site, but an easy button people can click to instantly retweet posts they liked.




Contests have a tendency to go viral, especially if retweeting is a part of that contest.

Create a prize that people would want to fight for. Then create a contest that revolves around people retweeting your contest. You can also add other elements to the contest, like video submissions or getting their friends to vote.

Announce your contest on Twitter, on Facebook, to your email list and to your blog or website.




Retweet other people’s content as often as possible. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re only retweeting high quality, relevant information. If you see a piece of content on the web that you think your user base would like, retweet it. Don’t be stingy with retweets.

Whenever you retweet someone else’s message, you generate goodwill. If you do it regularly, people will take notice. You can then start to build a relationship with them.

Then, if you post something that you think would benefit their audience, you’ll have enough clout to ask them for a retweet. More often than not, they’ll say yes.




Add your Twitter name to all your promotional materials. Put it on your business cards, your posters, your letterheads, your pens, your website and anywhere else.




Sponsored Tweets ( is a tweet marketplace where you can buy tweets from people who have major followings. Prices for putting out a tweet can cost anywhere between a few dollars to several thousand dollars.

Sponsored Tweets lets you sort feeds by price, by follower numbers and by category. If you only want to target authors for example, you can filter your list so that you only see authors who want to get paid to put out a tweet.

Paying for a sponsored tweet on other feeds in your industry is a fantastic way to gain more exposure. Make sure you check out their user base and level of engagement before paying for a tweet.




Promoted tweets are paid tweets that show up prominently on people’s Twitter feeds. At the time of this writing, Twitter doesn’t have a self-serve advertising platform. Instead, you fill out a form to get in contact with Twitter’s internal advertising team.

If you have a significant marketing budget, this is a fantastic way to skyrocket your influence. You’ll get your message in front of people who may not have otherwise heard about your brand.


These are ten powerful ways you can build your Twitter influence and gain more followers. If you have money to spend, you can use paid tactics like sponsored tweets or promoted tweets to boost your influence rapidly. Otherwise, you can use organic tactics to steadily yet quickly grow and expand your follower base.


Ins and Outs of Posting on Twitter



For someone who’s new to Twitter, understanding all the different types of posts you can make can be quite confusing. There’s not only a lot of different kinds of posts, but a lot of different kinds of terminology.

In order to use Twitter well, you need to be able to navigate the Twitter world and all its complexities. Being able to make all the different kinds of posts that Twitter users make is an essential part of that.

Here are all the different kinds of posts you can make on Twitter, along with descriptions of the different kinds of terminologies that apply to those posts.


When someone posts something that you want to respond to, you can do so with a reply. This is also known as an @reply.

@replies are visible not only to the person you’re replying to, but anyone who’s following you and anyone who looks at your Twitter feed. In other words, @replies are public.

The easiest way to reply to a tweet is to hit the “reply” button.

1. Replies1

You can also reply to someone by typing @theirname and replying to their message.

2. Replies2[divider]


A mention, also known as an @mention, is any text that has someone’s name followed by an @ sign in the tweet. An @reply is a type of mention. However, a mention doesn’t have to be in response to a tweet.

Twitter (and other Twitter tools) has a special tab where you can view all your mentions. This makes it easy to see all the messages people are directing at you.

3. Mentions1[divider]


A retweet, also known as an RT is when you take someone else’s tweet and re-message it out to your own network.

Retweeting is seen as a form of appreciation on Twitter. Retweeting someone’s message is a good way to show you like their content and to begin building a relationship with them.

To retweet a post, click the “Retweet” button below the post.

4. RT1

Note that you can’t change any of the text on a retweet. It has to be retweeted as is. You’ll get to see a preview of a retweet before you send it out.

5. RT2

Alternatively, people often choose to do a retweet manually. Doing this allows you to change the text of the retweet. Just copy and paste the retweet text into your tweet box and hit “Tweet.”

Another common tactic is to add “RT @name” to the beginning of the retweet. That way, the retweet also becomes a mention and will show up in the author’s mentions tab. If you want to retweet a message and make sure the author knows that you retweeted their message, this is a good way to do it.

6. RT3



Uploading photos on Twitter is simple. Just click the photo icon under the tweet box.

7. Photo1

Any images you add to Twitter will automatically be converted into a link. People who want to view the photo need to click on the link to view the photo.

8. Photo2[divider]


Hashtags are the standard way of using Twitter to discuss a specific topic. For example, if you were talking about the SXSW convention, you’d use hashtags like #SXSW. Users who’re interested in the same topic can search for that hashtag and see what others are saying about the topic.

Often time’s hashtags are used to create live chats. For example, if you’re at a live concert that has a hashtag (say #concert2012,) you can use that hashtag to see what everyone else around you is saying in real time. These hashtag based chats are often called hashchats.

9. Hashtags1

Posting a response to popular hashtags is a great way to get traffic to your website. A lot of people will be searching for those hashtags, so you’re guaranteed to get a lot of exposure.

Twitter by default gives you the top 10 hashtags that are trending worldwide. To get more detailed information on what tags are trending, use “What the Trend

10. Hashtags2

What the trend allows you to see a lot more than just the top ten trending tweets. You can also sort trends by country. If you’re just targeting the United States or Canada for example, you can see only the trending hashtags in those countries.

11. Trends



Direct messages are private messages sent to someone who’s following you. Unlike @replies, direct messages cannot be viewed by anyone but the recipient. You can’t send messages to people you follow unless they’re also following you.

Direct messages are known as “DMs” or “DM” for short.

To send a DM, click on “Direct Messages” on your profile settings.

12. DM1

Click on “New Message”.
13. DM2

Now type the name of the person you want to send a DM to (or copy it from the Twitter profile) and type the message (140 characters), then hit “Send message”.

14. DM3

These are all the different types of messages on Twitter. You now know how to use @replies, @mentions, retweets, photos, hashtags and direct messages.


Getting More Visibility On Twitter: Promoted Tweets


1 - Promoted-tweets-featured

Promoted Tweets is Twitter’s way of allowing advertisers to market to its audience in an extremely interactive way.

Unlike other advertising methods that feature more of an “Advertiser Talking At Audience” relationship, Promoted Tweets features a method that really tries to get the user to engage with the brand.

Here we’ll cover what a Promoted Tweet is, how the advertising structure works, who’s using it, what some of their results were and more.

To see the official Promoted Tweets page, visit:



A Promoted Tweet appears along the top of search results. Much like Google AdWords, advertisers bid on search terms and keywords. Their Promoted Tweet will then appear along the top of the search results for that term.

Unlike other methods of advertising, a Promoted Tweet is both a normal tweet and a Promoted Tweet. In other words, an advertiser needs to first tweet it out as a normal tweet before promoting it. This prevents “advertising only” messages and encourages messages that are truly meant to provide value.

Here’s an example of how a Promoted Tweet might look like:

2 - promoted-tweets



In the past, online advertising typically followed one of two models: Pay per click (PPC) or pay per impressions (CPM). PPC allowed advertisers to pay for response, while CPM allowed brand advertisers to buy impressions in bulk.

Twitter’s new approach brings out something of a hybrid. You only pay when a user engages with your Promoted Tweet.

What is an engagement? An engagement is any action a user takes, including …

  • Retweeting your tweet.
  • Clicking on your tweet.
  • Replying to your tweet.
  • Favoriting your tweet.

This gives you the best of both worlds of both advertising models. Much like PPC, you don’t pay unless a user explicitly expresses interest in your message. Much like CPM, you’ll get your message exposed to a lot of people, unlike traditional PPC.



Though Twitter doesn’t publicize their number of advertisers, they did reveal that the project has over 30 large brand names and a larger number of smaller advertisers.

Their advertisers include companies like Virgin America, Starbucks, Best Buy, Red Bull, Zecco, Coca Cola and Sony Pictures.

3 - whos-advertising

What kind of results have these companies gotten?

According to Mashable and the Wall Street Journal, Coke reported that 6% of their audience was engaged in some way or another with the ad. Zecco and Virgin America have both reported very positive results.

On the other hand, not all advertisers who tested out a first round of advertising decided to continue. Best Buy for example discontinued after their initial test.

Will Promoted Tweets be a good investment for your company? It depends entirely on your audience, your brand strategy and your social media approach.

If you have an approach that values user engagement and brand loyalty, Promoted Tweets may be a powerful tool in your marketing. On the other hand, if instant sales are the most important thing, Promoted Tweets may or may not work, though you should certainly test it anyway.



The kinds of tweets that tend to get passed on with Promoted Tweets are the same kinds of tweets that tend to get passed on with normal tweets.

As Twitter put it: “Just like regular Tweets, the ones that users engage with most tend to be insightful, conversational, fresh and timely, and crafted for sharing.”

In other words, don’t write advertisements and hope they’ll work. Instead, write tweets that are designed to engage, promote those tweets and measure your performance.

4 - social-media-good


You now know what Promoted Tweets are, where they appear, how the payment model works, who some of the advertisers and what their results were and what kind of tweets tend to work on Promoted Tweets.

Getting started on Promoted Twitter requires a marketing budget of at least $5,000 dollars a month. To get started, visit:


Top 10 Twitter Mistakes



Twitter is often the most difficult of all social networks for marketers and businesses to navigate. Twitter has a very unique and specific culture, with unique etiquette and expectations. Marketing on Twitter isn’t like posting an ad or even posting a Facebook update. It’s more like constantly being a part of a never ending stream of high speed communications.

In many ways, Twitter marketing is all about systems and habits. It’s all about how you consistently do the things you need to do to expand your follower base, build trust and increase revenues. Unfortunately, a lot of people have bad systems and habits that either don’t work or make them look like spammers.

Here are ten of the most common mistakes people make on Twitter. Making these mistakes can reduce your profits, make you look like a spammer or alienate your audience.

Mistake #1: Focusing on Quantity Over Quality

On Twitter, it’s common for people to measure their success by the number of followers they have or the number of retweets they get. It can be a lot more exciting to see 100,000 people following you than 1,000 – Even if that 1,000 are the 1,000 people who really matter.

When it comes to building a business, the number of followers you have is not the best indicator of how you’re doing on Twitter. After all, if all you wanted were followers, you could simply buy several thousand of them for $5.

What really matters with Twitter is engagement. The more engagement you have, the more likely people are to …

  • Retweet your content to their network.
  • Come to your site and buy a product.
  • Partner with you on joint projects.
  • Promote your affiliate programs.
  • Invite you to speak at events.
  • Introduce you to investors, big clients and other key contacts.

Twitter is so much more than just a marketing platform. Focus on the quality of your connections as well as the quantity of followers to get the best results.


Mistake #2: Auto-Follow Back

When Twitter first came out, it was considered a pretty good marketing tactic to follow back anyone who followed you. It showed that you cared about them, that you were listening to them and that the relationship was a two-way street.

That’s why when auto-follow back programs came along, they took off so quickly. Instead of having to do the following manually, people could just setup their software to do it for them. Pretty soon, this became a common occurrence.

Today, using auto-follow back software to follow anyone who follows you is quite a bad idea. It used to work, but now it’s frowned upon by many Twitter users.


First, it makes it difficult to use Twitter properly and connect with the people you really care about. If your whole Twitter feed is flooded with people you don’t know and don’t really care about, how can you possibly build real relationships?

Second, you open yourself to spam. Your Direct Message box is going to get flooded with promotional messages. Your Twitter feed will as well. Again, it makes it very difficult to build real relationships.

Third, it makes you look spammy. Anyone who understands how Twitter works can take one look at your follow to follower ratio and know you’re using automated software. To these people, this often looks like spam.

Finally, it reduces your perceived authority. Real authority figures are followed by a lot of people but aren’t necessarily following a lot of people. If you have a 1:1 ratio, you look less like an authority.

The bottom line is, don’t use auto-follow back software.

Mistake #3: Auto Direct Messaging

An even worse mistake is to use software that automatically messages anyone who follows. Common practices include mailing people a free report or mailing a link to a squeeze page.

People can see right through that kind of thing. There isn’t anyone who’ll receive that message who wouldn’t instantly know that it was generated automatically. For the vast majority of users, that’s enough for them to instantly lose trust in you.

The amount of benefit you’d get from bulk messaging like this isn’t even close to the benefit you’d get if you actually built a relationship with them. So what can you do instead?

Instead of automatically messaging everyone, take the time to actually look through your followers. When someone follows you, go check out your feed.

Whenever you see someone who you think you’d genuinely want to connect with, go ahead and send them a message. Make it personalized and tailor it to them directly. They’ll love you for reaching out and you’ll build a real connection.


Mistake #4: Not Customizing Your Background and Picture

If you leave your background picture on the default settings, or if you don’t have a great looking picture, you’re going to lose a lot of your audience.

When you’re first starting out on Twitter, it’s perfectly fine to just use Twitter’s default background. You can also opt to use one of Twitter’s many template backgrounds.

As your brand grows however, you should absolutely hire a designer to have a custom made background designed for you. If you have a great looking custom background, it really sends the message that you’re a professional who cares about his or her followers.

The same goes for profile pictures. You need to have a professional looking profile photo. Ideally, the profile photo you choose will also have the brand color or brand “vibe” that matches your background.


Mistake #5: Taking Extended Breaks

If you disappear all of a sudden for a month, or even a week or two, people are going to start to forget who you are. It’s okay if it’s a planned break that you announce – For example, a honeymoon – But if you just drop off the map all of a sudden, you’ll very quickly lose all the work you put into your social media efforts.

This seems self-explanatory, but it happens all too often. It might be because of a family emergency, it might be because of burnout, it could be business troubles. The thing is, your audience won’t know what’s going on unless you tell them. If you just disappear, many of them will just move on. There’s far too many things pulling for their attention on the social web.

If you must take an extended break from Twitter, you have a couple options.

First, you can announce that you’re taking a break. You can explain why and make sure your audience knows you’re coming back.

The better option is to use a tool like Hootsuite or TweetDeck to continue to post tweets even in your absence. You can greatly tone down the volume as well. For example, you can automatically post just one or two tweets a day, instead of your normal 10 to 20. This allows you to keep your connections alive, even when you can’t fully be there.


Mistake #6: Always Tweeting at the Same Time of Day

Do you tend to always send your tweet at one time of day? For example, many people like to send their tweets when they get off work, between 5 pm and 8 pm. While it’s great to segment your work time, it’s not great to always tweet at the same time.

The reason? Time zones. Twitter is an international platform. If you’re always tweeting only when it makes sense in your time zone, you’re not going to be able to reach the rest of the country, let alone the rest of the world.

Vary up your tweet times so you appear active to everyone, no matter where they’re geographically located. Use scheduling tools to spread out your tweets so you don’t have to actually be online to tweet out your timezone-friendly updates.


Mistake #7: Not Responding to @Mentions

If someone @mentions you and you don’t respond, you lose a valuable opportunity to connect with them. You lose the opportunity to connect with their audience. You lose the opportunity to have a vibrant public discussion. You lose the opportunity to win a fan.

People often don’t give @mentions the respect they deserve. Yes, @mentions are visible publicly. But they’re still messages direct at you specifically. They should be treated as if they were one on one communications, like email.

The difference between Twitter users who respond to every @mention and those who ignore @mentions is astronomical. The Twitter user who responds regularly will get more retweets, more mentions, more followers and more traction in general.


Mistake #8: No Personality Tweets

This is a mistake often made by big brands, as well as by small marketers who’re trying to look big, official or corporate like. They think that in order to appear trustworthy or “brand like” they have to write tweets that are standoffish, stiff and lack personality.

That doesn’t generate trust – All it does is bore your audience into leaving.

Just because you have a big brand doesn’t mean you have to be stiff. Take Taco Bell for instance. Though Taco Bell is a multi-million dollar company (owned by a public multi-billion dollar company,) they still use their Twitter accounts humorously to build connection with their followers.

For instance, when deodorant company Old Spice jabbed at Taco Bell, this is how they jabbed back:


And when Men’s Health jabbed at Taco Bell on “420 day,” this is how they responded:


The social web found these tweets hilarious. It generated a lot of buzz. What was the result of these kinds of tweets? Taco bell got a ton more followers. People loved Taco Bell’s sassy approach and wanted more.

Don’t make the mistake of taking your personality out of your tweets just because you want to appear respectable. If anything, the best way to appear respectable is to let your personality out.

Mistake #9: Being Stingy With Retweets

Giving someone a retweet is one of the most valuable gifts you could give them in the Twitter community. It shows someone you appreciate them, that you value your relationship with them and most importantly that you like their content enough to put your stamp of approval on it and send it to your followers.

Yet people are often quite stingy with giving out retweets. For some, it stems from being protective of their followers’ attention. For others, it’s a sense of “giving something away” without getting anything in return.

But in order to succeed on Twitter, you have to get over that sense of not wanting to retweet other people’s content. Not only do retweets help you build relationships with other Twitter users, it helps you build your relationship with your followers.

If you only retweet content that your followers would love, while providing valuable original content of your own, people will come to value you more not less. It helps you, it helps the original tweet author and it helps your followers. Everyone wins. Don’t be stingy with your tweets.


Mistake #10: Taking Mentality vs. Giving Mentality

A lot of marketers from the traditional marketing worlds tend to come on Twitter with a taking mindset. They come on asking: If I invest XY and Z (hours, money, energy, etc) what can I get in return? How many followers can I get? How many leads? How much revenue?

Unfortunately, that’s not how Twitter works. Marketers who come on Twitter with a taking mentality are often sorely disappointed.

The marketers that tend to succeed on Twitter are those that come with a giving mindset. They come asking: What kind of content can I give to my followers? How can I help other Twitter users succeed? What kind of content is missing in my industry that I can provide?

When you take on the giving mentality, people will naturally want to follow you. People will naturally want to retweet your content. People will naturally click on your links and eventually they’ll naturally buy your product.

It’s a paradox: In order to get from Twitter, you have to come with a focus on giving. Drop the taking mentality and take on the giver’s mentality.


These are ten of the most common Twitter mistakes, along with their solutions. Knowing what to do on Twitter is important – But so is knowing what not to do.