So I was thinking again today about Twitter and how it is becoming more and more influential in the marketing world. The other day I wrote about a twitter survey showing that power users are focused on using Twitter for learning new information and passing on information- basically as social Mavens, in Malcom Gladwell/ Tipping Point language.
While this is one very powerful use of Twitter, there are thousands of other people who use Twitter effectively for other purposes- like marketing.
There are 3 main ways that Twitter can be used for marketing:
1. Lead Generation- People who do affiliate marketing know that generating new leads is one of the most difficult of all affiliate marketing tasks. The process of finding people who are interested in the products your affiliate program offers usually takes the form of email lists and banner ads. These are effective and work in their own right, but Twitter offers an entirely new approach to lead generation. You can’t advertise on Twitter and you can’t send out loads of messages to everyone.
What you can do is search for people who are already identifying themselves with a certain concept or group. Twitter is a place to initiate conversations with those people, build trust, discover their interests and build from there. Where emails and banner ads come straight out with a pitch to a broad audience, Twitter has a much smaller scale but produces a wealth of quality, focused leads with a few topic or group searches.
2. Communicate With Existing or Repeat Customers
Another advantage of Twitter is that once someone has purchased your product, they have a direct line of contact with you through an easy-to-use interface. Twitter allows people to ask questions about their product and talk about it. Because of the 140 character format, communication is fast and focused.
In addition, your customers will most likely be your Followers as well, and that means they will be getting all of your tweets about your new products, your new blog posts and all of the other ways that you add value to their Twitter experience. It is a great way for customers to see that you are a thought-leader and expert in your affiliate program- and that reputation will contribute to building future relationships and sales.
3. User Advertising
In the old world of marketing most of the messages came from the company or in our case the affiliate program. Not anymore. If you are selling a good product, people will tweet about it- that’s what Twitter users do. In a sense, every successful sale you make will get people talking about the great product they found through @you and how much they like it. They will be advertising your product AND your profile just by talking about what they are doing, in a way doing a bit of the work of an affiliate without being an affiliate.
Overall, the social networking and organic advertising potential in Twitter is amazing and ideal for the evolving ecommerce world of affiliate marketing.