“Twitter users are the most influential consumers online,” concludes Exact Target in the research report Subscribers, Fans, and Followers. When I was with Twitter’s COO, Dick Costolo, recently in Indianapolis, he told me there were over 160 million registered Twitter accounts. It’s safe to say, Twitter is growing in importance as a part of one’s marketing mix. The challenge is, how to find the time to “do” Twitter. Here’s how you can do Twitter in 15 minutes a day or less.
Growing your network
- Use search.twitter.com or Google to find 5 leaders in your industry and follow them on Twitter
- Follow back every real person who follows you
- Follow 5 people who participated in a tweet chat discussing your topic. Here’s a mega list of Twitter tweet chats.
Growing your relationships
- Scan your @mentions and reply to every human who addresses a tweet to you
- Scan your direct messages and reply to any that don’t look like auto-generated messages. Nearly 99% of all my incoming direct messages are auto-generated. Many people call them “junk mail,” and nearly everyone calls them spam. No doubt you’ll come up with your own vocabulary to describe them.
Growing your influence
- Scan your “home” stream of tweets posted by people you follow to find relevant content for your followers and retweet it.
- Share 4-5 links to other relevant content around the web (blog posts, news articles, research, polls, surveys, etc.). You can use your RSS aggregator (I’m using Google Reader at the moment) to “harvest” relevant content to share via Twitter.
- If you write a blog, share a link to a recent post. Twitter readers may give you grief if all you do is share your own content, but if they know you’re also sharing other valuable, relevant content with them, they’ll be glad to see your content, too.
While’s there’s much, much more to leveraging the power of Twitter, if you’ll follow the outline above, you can get started in Twitter right away without it consuming too much time. Over the next few days, I’ll share more ideas to help you use Twitter to expand your online presence, and yes, to add Twitter as a meaningful part of your sales system.