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Marketing on twitter is a great way to gain attention, recognition and business. However, a lot of people are going about it the wrong way. And a lot of people are giving the same recycled advice so I thought I’d drop some of my own thoughts on the subject here since twitter is “all the rage” lately. So below you will find five ways to market yourself, your services and anything else you’d like people to know about through twitter.

Auto-DM Messages

I made sure to put this first for a reason. People hate them. People can’t stand an auto DM. I am one of those people. However, Sitepoint had an AUTO DM marketing strategy that made a lot of sense. They required you to follow their twitter account and they would DM you a download link to their CSS book in PDF format for FREE!

A couple of things here that I’d like to point out.

First, they got you to follow them, thus making it easier for them to reach a high friend count and making it easier to chat and market themselves down the road.

Second, they were up front and honest that there was a DM coming. They didn’t have a generic “Thanks for following me - check out my site” type of DM. They were personal with you up front. To me, this is the same as signing up for a newsletter in order to get a free e-book or something of that sort.

Hell, if you wanted to, you could have unfollowed them right after they DM’ed you the download link - but odds are you didn’t. To me, this is a perfect way to get twitter followers. Do you have a free e-book (or are in the process of creating a free e-book) that you’d like to give away to your twitter followers? Set up the auto DM and let it fly! (just remember to be personal and let people know up front that they’re getting the DM automatically).

Twitter URL Landing Page

A lot of people have them. Have you ever seen them? They’re a landing page for anyone who clicks the URL you have in your twitter profile. Instead of taking them directly to your main page, you can send them to a “Twitter Landing Page” and tell them about yourself, give them the top “twitter related articles” on your site, let them know about any freebies you have, the RSS feed subscriptions, ect.

It’s easy to set up to. Just create a page on your blog titled “Twitter” or “Twitter Friends” and type out any specific information you’d like your followers to have if they chose to come to your site through twitter. You can see my twitter landing page here to get an idea of something you could do. I am in the process of reworking mine, but it’s worked well so far - I’ve had a few people mention it to me and DM me telling them that it was a great idea - so I guess it works :)

Twitter Background Images

I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re useless because “everyone uses tweet deck or twhirl or some other twitter app instead of viewing the profiles live online”. I call bullshit!

If that was true, why would people be creating custom twitter backgrounds as a business? Why would people be buying them? Why would there be showcases of great twitter backgrounds on sites - hell, there’s even a twitter background site dedicated to awesome twitter backgrounds!

If you take a look at my twitter profile, you can see that I’ve got a nice set up of information, my email address and also links to my websites. Yes, the links are non clickable - but from a branding perspective it’s much needed (in my opinion). If you want people to recognize you across the board - from your portfolio, your blog, your facebook, your twitter and other various places, why would you pass up the chance to add additional marketing efforts?

Follow those who follow you

Some people will complain that it’s too noisy if they are following more than a handful of people. Some people will also complain that if you’ve got 1,000+ followers and you’re only following 23 people back, you might look a bit stuck up, one sided and unopen to conversation. If social media is about being social, why would you do that? Right?

So follow everyone who follows you. Its courteous and it shows you’re a human being and you’re sociable. If you’re worried about the added noise, why not get TweetDeck and create a group for those people you MUST keep up with? I have two - one for designers and one for social media people. It’s a great way to keep up with important conversations and it also gives me the opportunity to peek over at my entire follower feed and see whos saying anything interesting.

Marketing indirectly

Noone likes a one sided conversation. When’s the last time you were talking to someone (either in person or online) and you just couldn’t wait for them to take a breath so you could get a word in? I’ve had a few conversations like that recently - and they suck!

Take some time to talk to people - talk about their interests, ask them questions (unrelated to what you’re selling), give out free advice about your topic (but never say “write me if you need X service or Y product”).

I’ve landed a few jobs on twitter by doing this. People see you, they listen to you, they understand what you do, and if - and only if - they need your services/products, they’ll contact you. You win because you get the sale, and they win because they’re the ones initiating the conversation about the sale and do not feel pushed into anything.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and get your marketing on! :) It’s a big world online, find your place and make your mark!

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