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Twitter Marketing Explored

Twitter is growing by leaps and bounds as people begin to appreciate its clean and easy-to-use interface. Twitter, at this point, does not look like one of the many flash-in-the-pan Internet applications that we have seen in times' past.

Twitter's 140 character micro-blogging platform has gained a lot of traction, as individuals and business people have learned to bring together their friends, family and customers under a communications platform that all users find useful.

Mom and dad find it easier to keep up with the lives of their grown children through Twitter. The fact that Twitter allows people to link to other web pages makes Twitter a simple platform to share thoughts, ideas, and links to stories and pictures. Grandma and granddad find it easy to check in on the kids' Twitter account and to maintain daily contact with those across town and around the world.

Friends can make plans and share common interests through the Twitter world. One can reply to a message publicly, or if the message is a bit more private, one can send a Direct Message (known as a DM) to anyone who has agreed to follow you also. Through the DM system, lovers can share flirts that no one else can see, but the persons intended to receive the message.

If you let your kids use Twitter, it may be best to set up their Twitter Account Settings to "Protect The Tweets". In the description of this feature, Twitter says, "Only let people whom I approve follow my tweets. If this is checked, you WILL NOT be on the public timeline."

The Public Timeline is the messages/tweets that everyone can see. Anything not on the Public Timeline is private, with restricted access.

Business People Are Working To Tap Into Twitter Marketplace

Twitter was born in March of 2006. But most of us never really heard of it or even understood it, until this last year (2008-2009). A few of the Internet gurus started talking about Twitter in 2008, and as 2009 got underway, more online marketers started talking about the Twitter community on a nearly daily basis.

We have accounts in Twitter that are a couple of years old, but we never got involved with Twitter really until about April of 2009. In April of 2009, we had 12 Twitter Followers.

In May 2009, there was not a single online business in the Top 100 of Twitter, but those numbers are starting to change. Through May of 2009, the Top 100 accounts on Twitter were dominated by TV and Movie celebrities, a few media companies such as @cnnbrk, politicians and sports figures.

Most online marketers had never given Twitter much thought until "The Great Ashton Kutcher vs CNN Twitter Race" that ended on April 17, 2009 with Ashton (@aplusk) getting the privilege to declare victory. (bit.ly/8Nx55) Even now, three months after the end of the race, Ashton is still the champion - #1 in the Twitter Follower counts with 2,975,032 Followers. Ashton is followed by @TheEllenShow - 2,610,357; @britneyspears - 2,553,668; @cnnbrk - 2,431,783; and @twitter - 1,930,821.

When the Great Twitter Race was concluded, I did a backlink check on Ashton's @aplusk account. Literally, Ashton had bought a ton of advertising on websites, blogs, forums, etc. Ashton was also getting tons of free press in print and online in the Great Twitter Race.

Of course, we marketers should not feel bad if we are getting on this bandwagon a little late in the game, because @google has only had their account since Jan 09. Google is currently the 23rd biggest Twitter account with 1,244,976 Followers.

A surprise for me was seeing @WholeFoods, an Austin Texas based grocery store, sitting at #38 with 1,094,093 Followers. According to TwitterCounter (twittercounter.com/WholeFoods/all), Whole Foods had only 322,820 Followers on April 4, 2009. A quick look at the Whole Foods profile (twitter.com/WholeFoods) indicates that they are using the account to share with their customers: company news, customer support, and available specials.

An honorable mention goes to @kevinrose, celebrity and founder of Digg.com. Kevin Rose is the 40th most popular person on Twitter, with 1,092,920 Followers.

Once you get into the Top 100 List below #40, you finally start to see a few online businesses in the mix. @zappos CEO is #45. @woot is #46. @TechCrunch is a web media site at #55. @dooce is at #60. To see the full Top 100 List, go here: twittercounter.com/pages/100

Who Is In Your Target Market and What Do They Want To Know?

As you look around at those people who are successful building their own little communities on Twitter, you will notice that each one gives people what their Followers want.

For example, @cussy is an online marketer, and he has nearly 10,000 Followers. His secret to growth: quotes. He gives his followers some of the best quotes about business and reaching goals of anyone on Twitter. I follow him and Retweet him often.

@dave_carpenter advertises himself as a Success Partner For High Achievers. Dave shares quotes and tips, and he retweets others who give good advice also. More importantly, Dave encourages the people he follows. He has nearly 9,000 Followers at this time.

@MattLevenhagen is a professional marketer. His 13,000 Followers follow because he runs a mix of marketing tips, links to great articles, and retweets for great advice. He even uses his Twitter account to give his customer's support.

@SocialMedia411 is a Social Media expert who offers social media tips, links to social media articles and news. With more than 56,000 Followers, you can bet that the advice given here is worthwhile to its audience.

When you learn to talk to the people most likely to buy from you, you have completed the first and most important step to enable you to develop strong Twitter Marketing habits.

Learn How Others Are Successful With Twitter

As always, when you want to learn to be successful, you should look to those who are already successful and try to reverse-engineer the steps that they used to become successful. Once you have taken the time to study many who have been successful in the way that you want to be successful, you may note that success comes from giving people what they want and doing it in such a way that you offer good value to your customers.

Those who have been successful with Twitter have done so, because they put the needs of their Followers ahead of a personal desire to be boring or silly.

The good news is that other business people have started to find success on Twitter and you can too. When you learn to provide the people in your target market with the information that they need and want, you will have started down the path to building a Twitter Follower list to envy.

Trey Pennewell works for www.thePhantomWriters.com article marketing service. If you write articles and need to distribute your articles to higher value audiences, you owe it to yourself to try The Phantom Writers' services. If you want to learn more about how to develop a large list of Twitter Followers, buy the ebook (under $10) at: twitusers.com/autopilot/index.php Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/contentmanager

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