Today we're going to discuss how you can build your business for free using Twitter. Twitter has grown to be one of the largest social media networks on the internet, and is actively visited by celebrities and high-profile people.
If you want to put Twitter to work for your business, you first need to create an account on Twitter. Register for free and upload a picture and a short description of yourself or your business. Make sure you include your main website in your bio.
Next thing you want to do is to write and post around 20 tweets. This is so your account doesn't look empty when people visit it to check if you are "follow-worthy".
All right, now that you got an account you need to get yourself a good Twitter client so that you don't have to use the normal Twitter interface (which kinda sucks.)
I strongly recommend that you Google "HootSuite", which is a free website that manages your Twitter account.
Spend some time getting yourself familiar with HootSuits interface, and then setup your "columns" over there like this:
Column #1: Sent tweets
This is your tweet stream. Keep this one handy to know what you just said.
Column #2: Mentions
It will track who is mentioning you and replying to your tweets. It's important to respond to these occasionally and to respond to them quickly. This will ensure that the people you interact with visit your profile and start following you.
Column #3: Influencers list
It's important to know who your influencers are and what they are tweeting, so you can get on their radar. You could follow your influencers, but I don't like to until there's been some interaction.
Instead, I use private lists, the Twitter-feature to keep tabs.
Here's how to set them up in HootSuite:
Step 1: Click on "Add Stream."
Step 2: From the pop-up menu, select "Lists."
Step 3: Select your profile from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Select the "Create a New List" radio button.
Step 5: Name the list "Influencers."
Step 6: Add a description (optional).
Step 7: Click the "Add Stream" button.
Step 8: Once the stream is added, click the triangle on the top of the column.
Step 9: From the drop-down, select "Preferences."
Step 10: Add users to your list by typing in their usernames and clicking "Add."
Make sure to set this list as "private", otherwise everyone can see it, and it will notify who ever's on the list.
Column #4: Scheduled tweets
I use this column to keep tabs on what I've scheduled ahead of time to know what's coming and if I need to add more tweets or perhaps adjust my Tweet Schedule.
Column #5: My tweets, retweeted
The My Tweets, ReTweeted column shows you who is retweeting your tweets.
Column #6: Search filters
The best thing about HootSuite is that you can monitor search results in real-time. We're going to save those in the next set of columns.
My next step, while interacting with Twitter influencers is courting potential followers. It's also stupid simple. All I did was monitor the real-time keyword and hashtag searches I setup earlier, and reply to people's tweets. Most of the time it was answering questions, but I found an insightful comment or even an encouraging message beneficial.
As soon as you see something interesting in the real-time search column, be sure to answer it. Do this every day for 30-60 minutes and you will gather a large following of twitter fans in no time.
After that you can just post links to your website in between all the cool "normal" things that you tweet to your followers. Also, make sure that you track the traffic coming to your site from Twitter, so that you know how many visitors you are getting from your efforts. Try this and you will start to see visitors coming to your website from Twitter every time you post a tweet that includes a link back to your website.
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