Even if you personally consider Twitter an annoying pop culture trend, you can’t argue against its power to reach thousands of people in seconds, for free — making it a perfect marketing tool for a small business.
Serial entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki promotes his newest company, Alltop, by tweeting 140 character notes to 190,000 followers on Twitter.
Here, he offers his advice on using Twitter as a marketing tool.
From OPEN Forum:
Question: What Twitter applications do you use?
Objective enables me to create marketing campaigns and then schedule, frame, repeat, and track tweets. (Disclosure: I am an advisor to Objective.) It is the foundation of my Twitter efforts.
Posterous powers a part of Alltop called Holy Kaw; this sub-domain is a collection of summaries of the third-party sites that I am tweeting about. (Disclosure: I am an investor in Posterous.)
Finally, I use SocialToo to automatically follow people who follow me and to kill spam direct messages.
Question: Do you recommmend that companies repeat their tweets?
Answer: Yes, if they want to ensure that as many followers see their tweets as possible. There will be tiny number of people who will complain, but you cannot make all your followers happy. In fact, if you’re not pissing someone off on Twitter, you’re not using it to its fullest potential. Companies should not let a few angry people dictate their marketing practices.
Question: How can you follow more than 180,000 people?
Answer: I don’t read the timelines of all the people that I follow. Instead, I only deal with @s, direct messages, and tweets that contain “guykawasaki,” “alltop,” or “guysreplies.” I answer almost every @ and direct.
Question: If a company wants an active, aggressive presence on Twitter, how many people does it take?
Answer: One person working really hard, unencumbered by a clueless boss and a Luddite legal department, can do it. Certainly one person can get things going enough to prove that Twitter makes sense for a company to add more people to do it even better.
Question: Why do you constantly promote Alltop?
Answer: Twitter is a means to an end: Alltop’s success. This is why I put so much time, energy, and money (my ghosts don’t work for free) into it. The Alltop promotion justifies and pays for the efforts all five of us. You can think of my tweets as PBS content and the accompanying Alltop promotion as the fundraising telethon.
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