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Sep 23, 2009


Twitter for marketing:

Twitter may seem like a waste of time for most people, and I actually talk about that in the video at Twitter - should you bother?   However, it may be one of the most powerful forces in the history of marketing.

How can you use Twitter for marketing?

In the video above, I explain it at a keynote speech, but here are the bullet points:

  • You can do a search on Twitter, and can search everyone's tweets (even in a geographical location) for words that your target market may be using
    • for instance, if you ar ea wedding planner, you might search for people who said "got engaged" within 50 miles of Boston
  • You can follow anyone, so follow all of the people who said "got engaged"
  • Here's the phenomenon - 50% will follow you back!
  • Now be cool. Tweet
    • helpful articles
    • funny wedding stories
    • funny videos
  • Then periodically market your product

Why do so many big names in business love it?

  • its free
  • it allows them to announce products, services, et cetera to all their followers
  • they hope that their followers will pass the word on to others

You've heard of "word of mouth"?  "Word of Twitter" is much faster.


Getting followers faster

  • I use a product that I paid for (that is buggy), but it does save time. It allows me to find out anyone who
    • used certain keywords in their tweets
    • has certain keywords in their profile
    • is following twitter accounts for my competition
  • I've gotten multiple accounts to 15,000+ targeted followers, including my account at
  • Its a long way from perfect, but it does save me time, and I did become an affiliate
  • If you want to purchase it, go to Tweetadder
  • if you need help with it, email me

Twitter's downsides:

  • Time
    • You can spend a lot of time on Twitter, and you can waste a lot of time on Twitter
      • As you read other people's "tweets" you'll see a few diamonds, but a lot of rough
        • the same person that posts a business tip that you'd really need will also tell you when they are going to the gym
      • You can't rate Twitter posts, so you can’t get just get "the best stuff"
        • although you can do a search for RT tends to get retweeted stuff, i.e. stuff that someone passed on to their followers because they thought it was good
    • You have to have a lot of followers in order to get great benefit from Twitter
      • Consensus is that 10,000 is critical mass that you need to get real benefit from Twitter.  At that point, lots of people see your posts ("tweets"), and many may "retweet", passing your information along to others
      • It's tough to "bulk follow", i.e. tell Twitter you want to follow 1,000 people that you know you want to follow (without 3rd party tools)
      • Right now, it takes a lot of time to follow a bunch of people, and even more time to get them to follow you.  That will change in the future.
    • It's tough to follow those who follow you (without 3rd party tools)
  • All messages are transient, so you will miss some good stuff

Twitter's biggest upside - Viral Marketing

If you have great content, you can post a "tweet", and if you have a lot of followers, they can "retweet", passing on to their followers, and so on and so on.

The people that get a lot of use out of Twitter tend to have thousands of followers, but this requires a lot of time and work.  If you want to build a Twitter following, it is helpful to know that most people on Twitter follow the people that follow them.  Therefore, if you try to follow 100 people, expect at least half of them to follow you, although they probably won't read what you post or care about it.

Other upsides:

  • Easy sign up
  • It's quick to post something
  • It's quick to read something
  • You can follow just about anyone, including
    • Shaq (but he can't dunk on Twitter, so why bother)
    • Ashton Kutcher (but he can't read, so why bother)
    • MC Hammer (does it because it's free)
    • Britney Spears (does it because she's free from prison)
    • John McCain (does it because he has free time now
  • You can point to web pages through something like
  • You can search by using
  • Cool, subtle tip
    • It can actually allow you to do see tweets sent locally
      • you can do this with Advanced Search
      • Twitter users had to put in their location, so you can search for tweets just sent by people in Boston
  • Tweetdeck improves some things, but seems to have bad long term effects on your computer

My conclusion:

The surprise - I love Twitter for marketing and sales people.  I'm crazy about it.  I think there is power in there that will shock the people that learn it, so we will be doing webinars on it in the near future.  For the next 6-20 months, it could be the most powerful, inexpensive marketing tool in the last 300 years.

In fact, we will be conducting webinars that are described at Twitter for business, sales and marketing in Boston.

For others, don't put a lot of time into Twitter yet unless your customers use it.  It has some big problems, the largest of which is "separating the wheat from the chaff", i.e., you'll have to sift through a lot of "rough" to find a diamond.

Most of the business people who get big benefit from Twitter do it by posting something and getting a reaction, not from reading the incessant list of tweets by others.  Until you are ready to amass a ton of followers, it may not be worth your time.

In the future, they will solve all of the problems you see above, and it will be time to invest your time with it.  Until then, you have to figure out whether its worth the time you spend (waste) on it.

My two cents.

Follow me on twitter at


I'd love some opinions on this, so please email me at if you have some