Monday, 19 August 2013

How To Use Twitter As A Marketing Tool Part 1: Links

In this three part article, which will be posted in segments over the next three days, I’m going to describe some of the methods you can use, and practices you can observe, to promote your business and your products onTwitter. Today, I’m going to tell you how to post tweets containing links in order to gain the trust of your followers, increase your following and drive traffic onto your sales website.

I’m also going to describe how you can use hashtags to compliment your tweeted links. If you want more information on using hashtags than that which is provided in this article, have a look at an article we posted earlier this month, entitled “How To Run A Successful Multi-Platform Hashtag Campaign”.

URL Shorteners

Twitter’s 140 character limit means using URL shorteners in tweets is a must. Twitter has its own automatic link shortener, but it shortens links to 22 characters, which is still quite long. I wrote an article last week about SMF’s five favourite link shorteners, with bitly taking the top spot.

There are some who consider URL shorteners to be spammy, but bitly’s great features – customisable links, analysis tools and private links, to name just a few – make using the service a better option than wasting characters, even if some people won’t click on a shortened link. After all, as long as the content you are posting is good, people won’t care how the links you post on Twitter look.

Provide Value

Post links to content that will be valuable and interesting to your customers. You want to attract followers who might be interested in buying from your company so that, in the future, you can post deals and offers with links to you company website. You could even post links to deals that are exclusive to your Twitter followers, giving people even more of an incentive to follow you.

Use Twitter to break news about new products and company updates. Tweet the news with a link to a blog post or article detailing the announcement in full. If you’re announcing a product you could even post a link to a sales page. Make sure that you alternate between links to your own blog and websites, and links to other content you’ve found online that will interest your followers.

Make Them Sharable

The best way to ensure that your links get seen by as many people as possible is to make them sharable. If you provide your followers with links to interesting content, you’ve gone some way to ensuring the tweets get shared. Try not to use all 140 characters in your tweets, use around 100 so that people can put their own thoughts/comments in retweets.

As I said earlier, I’m only going to be talking about hashtags in relation to posting links on Twitter. Use hashtags to make your link-containing tweets more sharable and easier to find. Create and promote a hashtag about your industry, encouraging other users to tweet links to related content with the hashtag.

Drive Traffic

Ultimately, the reason you’re using Twitter is to drive traffic onto your website, so that more people will buy your products. You need to keep this in mind, but be careful, don’t just post links to your website and your products. As I said earlier, post links to content that is both valuable and sharable.

There is no point, however, posting valuable content if you don’t get anything in return. Make sure that enough of your links funnel your followers back to your website and sales pages where they can buy your products.

How do you use links in your Twitter strategy?


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