Twitter is a fantastic social media platform. The micro-blogging surface continues to explode in popularity in spite of all the haters who have mocked it from day one. With millions of users, Twitter is a fertile ground for effective Internet marketers.
In this article, I will be discussing five Twitter marketing techniques. Before I get to those, let me briefly touch on an important concept, which is the synergistic nature of social media marketing. The best social media marketing campaigns incorporate multiple platforms. The three most effective are usually Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook is great for posting photos, distributing content, and having contests. Twitter is great for having a conversation with your customers. YouTube allows you to effectively distribute video content. When you use all of these platforms, along with perhaps a blog, then you have a winning social media marketing system that reinforces itself. Keep that in mind as you build up your Twitter account.

1. Steal the followers of your competitors.

How great would it be to have access to the E-mail addresses of marketers with lists of millions of people? With Twitter, you can!
Let’s say that you market information on health and nutrition. There is a very good chance that customers of Whole Foods will be more receptive to your marketing than customers of McDonalds. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a list of Whole Foods customers and speak directly to them? On Twitter, you can very easily do this. All you need to do is find the Whole Foods Twitter account. Once you are on their account, just click on “following” and, boom, you have a list of millions of Twitter followers that you can steal, or – better – share.
Here’s the technique: identify companies and brands that share similar customers as you. Find them on Twitter and follow 15 of their followers every day. About half of them will follow you back. Now you have a growing number of eager followers hungry for the value that you can offer them!

2. Keep up a 5 value post: 1 sales post ratio. 

Once you get followers, you need to offer them value so that they will be receptive to your marketing. A huge mistake that a lot of people make on Twitter is to spam their account with sales pitches. This is a great way to get unfollows.

If you want to make sales, you need to offer value first. To go back to our health and nutrition marketer, it’s best to tweet about five really interesting and helpful articles on health and nutrition before tweeting a link to your newest course. Remember, a huge part of social media marketing is to build up credibility and authority. You cannot do that by just selling.

3. Do not use direct messaging. Use @user communication instead.

Twitter has become infested with spammers, and these spammers have basically killed direct messaging. Most Twitter users don’t even bother to check their direct messages anymore. Therefore, if you want to communicate with people on Twitter, you should do it publicly.

4. Constantly link to your other social media platforms.

Let’s go back to the earlier theme about incorporating Twitter into a larger social media system. Because of the small number of characters allowed in Twitter posts, you obviously cannot use Twitter to post up a substantial amount of content. Twitter is best used to link to content that you have created on other sites.
Use Twitter to link to a new blog post on your WordPress site, or a new video on your YouTube channel, or a new contest on your Facebook page. Constantly encourage your Twitter followers to also become your fan on Facebook, or to subscribe to your Youtube channel.

5. Use software to help automate your processes.

There is a lot of great Twitter management software out there. I personally use Tweet Adder, which is great for automatically following people and scheduling posts in advance. Twitter offers a free piece of software called TweetDeck. This software can really help you save a lot of time and energy, and make running your Twitter account much easier.
About the author: Claire Baker is a content contributor for leading water coolers supplier Natural Welsh Water.