Twitter is mainstream, since it is mainstream of course there are many marketers looking at Twitter as a spot on the internet with thousands of people to market to and to profit from. This is something that can be done with Twitter but also something that is not as easy as you may think at first blush.
Some marketers are looking at their Twitter followers as some great mailing list that they can market to a few times a day. I would love ot see numbers but I am sure that Twitter followers are nothing like a mailing list and making $100 per follower a year is just a stupid idea that is not doing anyone any good. Read on and you will see why Twitter works but is completely different than any internet marketing medium before.
Monetizing the Internet
The internet has been a great place to make money for many years. Email delivery is essentially free. marketing messages can be created and tested easily, and the people that are on the Internet tend to be affluent and able to make purchases safely and easily. Really almost anyone can put together one of perhaps dozens of strategies to make money online within a weekend.
As the internet has evolved marketers have found ways to capture visitors and then extract money from the visitors by keeping on message Twitter is not quite the same for a few reasons.
Making Money on Twitter
Easily the most straightforward way to make money on twitter is to drop a link in your Twitter stream and when people click through the link and then buy you make a commission. It looks easy but is it really possible? Most beginning marketers would think this is great, get 100 followers, drop some links and the money will roll in….worry that is never going to work.
Lifestream, Influencer, Marketer
Twitter is the really first lifestreaming application. Where blogs were great for people to summarize events in their life and for marketers to capture the interest of people in their target niche blogs were still not an acceptable medium to really drop comments and info about your life 10 or 15 times a day. Twitter has brought lifestreaming to life where you can publicly let people know who your are, what you are thinking, and what you are seeing right now.
Lifestreaming on Twitter
If you were to look at my Twitter stream you would see that I am a husband and father to two kids and have interests in fitness, am a tech guy and also interested in marketing. Really someone would know quite a bit about me and I do not lifestream as much as many others on Twitter.
You will find that the most interesting people on Twitter lifestream, reply to others in reply messages and start and continue conversations. For the first time (besides IRC) there is real mass of people sharing all parts of their lives on Twitter. This is a marketers first step.
Being an Influencer
The next step after lifestreaming is being an influencer. What is the niche that you care about? What are your thoughts about that market? What pages on interest do you see in that area of interest? An influencer is a person that everyone can gravitate towards. On Twitter I find most of these influencers so far are people with an interest in Social Networking. You find lots of people dropping links of information about Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Linked In and all of those other social networks and helping other people become more adept at using these online tools. The include people like Mari Smith and Chris Brogan and Coach Deb but there are a ton of others as well.
To be a successful influencer you need to stay tight to your market giving people links to all news stories and blog posts (not just your own) and networking to retweet tweets by others in your field. You need to follow everyone of interest in your field.
Marketing on Twitter
So now you are an influencer, you have a 1000 or 30,000 followers but many of these followers are people with influence just as you so if you look at the earlier idea of dropping links in your Twitter stream to affiliate progrmas what will this do? Well all the people wanting to learn more may be interested becasue you are a celebrity and authority. What about all of your fellow influencers? Dropping an affiliate link will be a strike against you in their eyes.
So now you have to balance what you do. If you really want to look at Twitter as a kind of mailing list you can now see that you are going to have to work a lot harder. You need to supply lots of content for every marketing message. You can ‘t just write blog post promoting products as you will lose influence with your peers. You need to be a lot more careful about your lifestream. Building credibility will matter a lot more than ever before since you will be completly exposed to the world and not able to hide behind a web page.
There is a lot about Twitter that is great for marketers but just like everyone know the role of the used car salesman on a car lot everyone also know not to ask him about what a competitors car is like. Marketers on the internet have always been able to get away with a lot more than they should but this is now ending very quickly and the old method of making sales does not abpply at all on Twitter.
Like this article? Why not follow me on Twitter. You know I won’t abuse your attention now don’t you?