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Monday, October 12, 2009

Optimizing Twitter As A Marketing Tool

I really enjoy using Twitter to market my indie business. I've developed some nice contacts within the handmade industry that promotes a sense of community. What I've learned is that you can develop a following if you put a little personal in with your promotion, be respectful by not constantly inundating people with with rapid fire tweets; but using Twitter to keep followers informed of items in your shop, giveaways, and features or resources from other shops within the industry.

Like many people who join Twitter, I followed everyone and happily tweeted for awhile and then began to see the significant impact Twitter had on the number of views to my shop and the number of contacts made within my industry. I became compelled to find out what tools were available to track the impact this and enhance my overall use of this fabulous micro blogging tool. The simplicity of Twitter warrants the use of some third party applications in order to maximize your Twitter space and I went off to check in with reliable experts about what types of tools and auxiliary sites were available to "pimp" my Twitter ride.

Well I soon found that there are thousands of amazing tools and sites out there related to Twitter!

Here is a small sampling of some useful applications and sites for Twitter:
  • TinyURL--with only 140 maximum for each Tweet; shortening some of the lengthy URLs comes in very handy. I have TinyURL right on my toolbar so that it's at my fingertips when I am ready to tweet. This one is probably a no-brainer for most Twitterers but certainly a must have for those just getting started in the world of tweets.
  • Twitterfeed--have feed from your Etsy Shop (or other selling venue) and your blog linked through Twitterfeed. This way whenever you post a new item to Etsy, it is posted directly to Twitter and every time you make a blog post, that goes directly to Twitter as well. This saves a great deal of time.
  • Twitter Background applications--there are many of these to choose from! Some offer free backgrounds; others cost a nominal amount if you want to customize the background with photos and information about where else your followers can find you on the Internet. I've had good luck with MyTweetSpace but do a search and choose for yourself!
  • TweetStats--tracks your Tweets per hour and per month and presents it in graph form. Additionally, the site gives you the ability to view your Tweet Cloud which shows you all the tags you have used. Good stuff!
  • Twitter Grader--uses a special algorithm to rate the power of your twitter profile. It looks at a variety of factors including the number of followers, power of those followers and the level to which you are engaging the community. It takes just a few seconds to generate your free report.
  • TwitterCounter--tracks the stats of over four million users and helps predict your projected users based on your Twitter statistics. You can also put a remote counter on your website or blog.
  • iFollowBack--sign up at this sight and join groups that are closely related to your market or area of interest. You agree to follow back all users that follow you and it is simple to do this right on the site. This is the planful way to build a follower base and establish yourself within a community.
  • TwitPic--share pictures on Twitter. You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone, the TwitPic homepage or your Twitter account. I just signed up for this one to check it out.
And the list goes on! Here are some other resources I ran across that might help you optimize Twitter, whatever your goal might be:
  • Timothy Adam--his Timothy Adam Design blog has quite a few informative articles on Twitter and how he has optimized the use of it to market and brand his business.
  • Check out the information on The Crafted Webmaster and download her Twitter Newbie's Guide if you are just getting started with Twitter.
  • Check out Mashable--The Social Media Guide for lots of good articles and information about getting the most out of Twitter.
  • Here's an article from Smashing Magazine that lists "The 99 Essential Twitter Tools and Applications"
And don't forget to Tweet any good information you find!

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.