I get asked this question all the time so I thought I would take some time to write an article to answers this and other similar questions.
First of all I think it is important to understand that “Marketing” in the twitter world is not a message like “hey come buy my stuff.” Twitter is all about the relationship and the socializing. So it is by tweeting interesting content that you can build a massive audience that you can then share you skills and expertise.
I think it is critical on twitter to share your personality, share your expertise and once in awhile then you may have an opportunity to share your product.
It is by sharing your personality that you get connected with like minded people, therefore there is a mental connection and even a trust. Once there is trust then people are much more willing to listen to what you have to say as an expert. And once you are the expert a product recommendation can come naturally just like you would recommend a restaurant to a friend. Let me give you a few examples of how this works.
The first story happened last September to my good friend and now business partner at OxRun LLC, Dan Oksnevad. Dan photographed a wedding where the bride and groom requested formal portraits at the MN State Fair (in full wedding attire). The Fair was a long standing tradition with the bride’s family and it meant a lot to the couple. The bride and groom’s one request was that Dan could catch at least one photograph of the couple flying down the Giant Slide. Dan and his wife, Annalise, captured several great shots of the wedding party in action. One image stood out in particular to Dan, so he quickly snapped a photo of his camera’s LCD screen with his iPhone and tweeted the shot to his followers.
Immediately Minnesota Bride Magazine, the region’s largest bridal publication, re-tweeted the image to their followers. A few hours later the MN State Fair twitter account picked up the tweet (due to the hashtag) and sent it to their followers as well. Dan gained a fair amount of followers due to these tweets – specifically wedding vendors and brides-to-be who followed MN Bride Magazine. As a result in the coming weeks Dan Oksnevad Photography received several inquires referencing the MN State Fair portrait session, one of them booking him for a 2011 wedding (a $4,500 package). Not bad for one tweet eh? You may view Dan Oksnevad Photography’s work here: www.danoksnevadphotography.com and catch him on twitter at twitter.com/DanOksnevad
My story happened much more recently. Just a few weeks ago I had seen a tweet saying something about art and business. I commented in my sarcastic manor that if you are not focused on business as an artist you are probably not a real artist. I know I know slightly over the top but what the heck. Within a few hours someone sent an email asking me if I would consider being a guest contributor on Digital Photography Department (www.DigitalPhotographyDepartment.com ) a well known photography blog. Tyson asked if I would write the article on art and business. I gladly agreed because I enjoy writing and I am pretty passionate about the topic. So I wrote up the article and sent it to Tyson. Later I discovered that they were going to be paying me for my contribution. What a great surprise! But the really great part of it comes from the very broad exposure I have received from getting that article published on a high traffic blog. (You can find the article here photography-business ). There are many advantages of getting this article published and it is all because of one tweet.
So are you getting the idea here? Twitter can and should be an integral part of your marketing or should I say communicating campaign. If you do not have the time to do it as a small business person it might be time to consider hiring a company that helps you build your entire online marketing strategy and then help you implement all the pieces of the puzzle. That is exactly why Dan and I started OxRun LLC Media and Marketing. Many small business owners do not have the time, the expertise or the interest to be doing the things that must be done to build a real online presence. If you are interested in some help in this area contact Dan or I and we will be happy to help you out.
Wayne Moran is an artist stuck in a software engineer’s body. He recently founded OxRun LLC, (www.oxrun.com) a firm that specializes in communicating your message via the internet using the magic of social media marketing.