Is Twitter just a marketing tool?

Guy Kawasaki and me

Guy Kawasaki and me

My world has just been shattered. Ok, perhaps that’s a little too dramatic, but today I experienced what it feels like to have my carpet pulled from under me (during the first-half that is). One of my long-time Twitter follows @GuyKawasaki had defied my laws of Twitter use without remorse, but made up for it later with useful tips for business use.

This morning I attended an event at Imperial College London, organised by MIT Enterprise Forum of the UK, Twitter – weapons of mass construction with Guy KawasakiAlltop, Nick Halstead – founder of Tweetmeme, Mario MentiTwitterfeed) to discuss Twitter and offer some tips and tricks. Whilst I was getting over Guy’s devastating and cold disregard for my Twitter beliefs, he surprised me with loads of extremely useful tips that can be applied at work – using Twitter purely as a Marketing tool.

AlltopGuy opened the conference with an assertion that nowadays there are no excuses for not being able to run affective Twitter campaigns. He argued that all elements (people, Twitter, Marketing) needed are FREE:

  • free tools (Twitter) – to publish the message
  • people are free – to consume and spread the message
  • marketing (Objective Marketer) is free – to reach people

… all to drive traffic to alltop.com.

TweetMeme buttonAlso, at the event was tweetmeme.com which allows you, as a publisher, to chose one of four buttons (via a plugin) on an article. The button allows visitors to tweet the story directly from the article page. Planned for release soon is Tweetmeme’s report and tracking suite. The suite of apps will allow the account holder to track clicks and RT’s and better manage activity.

The tools Guy suggested using to run an effective marketing campaign to drive traffic to alltop.com include:

With ~150,000 followers Guy strongly advocates automation. Automation of as many services as possible – especially useful when he travels. Part of the automation process includes auto sending of tweets and ghost tweeting – tweeting using a false name.

Using Objective Marketer, Guy is able to schedule tweets, track clicks and RT’s and RT effectiveness. Guy claims:

“There is no better way to create, test, and modify Twitter-based marketing than ObjectiveMarketer. If you’re going to take heat for using Twitter as tool, you might as well do it well.”

Finally, when Guy constructs a tweet manually (yes, he still tweets manually when at his desk) he includes two link portions to a tweet – one directly to the story and one to alltop.com’s channel/section page. When users click on the links from his tweet the target url is framed with an Alltop.com leader to help promote Alltop.com more. Guy assured us that website owners should not feel cheated, but rather pleased that a tweet of his has directed users to their website.

As the event drew to a close I couldn’t help but wonder how I might apply his useful steps to a work situation. Perhaps I might see if it works with some of our product teams.

[I have not mentioned Twitterfeed.com in this post as I lost track of what was being said other than it’s a tool to auto send tweets out of your RSS fed blog posts]

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One thought on “Is Twitter just a marketing tool?

  1. Rob,

    Sounds like an awesome conference, what with Guy, Mario and Nick…I mean, I use all their tools on my blog, and can’t imagine life without them. True Visionaries!

    I hope you’ll post a little about ping.fm as well, that hot little social maven.

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