You may have noticed from my last post that Linkedin is very like face-to-face networking in some ways. You’re not going to walk right up to a stranger and offer them your services (or shout at them for that matter). Instead you wait to be introduced. Polite.
Today I’m going to talk about Twitter, and in some ways one might think that Twitter is different. Whilst twitter can look like a place for spammers, in fact it is the opposite.
Twitter is a complex, dynamic consent network, with people following and unfollowing, listing and unlisting, all the time. It is so easy to add and remove people from your conversations too. With apparent easy you can go and find people who are talking about the things you want to talk about, listen in, and then join in when you’re ready. In that way it is similar to a huge cocktail party, happening 24/7, all around the clock, all around the world.
Some twitter users don’t have conversations, they just broadcast. Usually it is their news feed, but whatever it is, it’s all one way. But it isn’t Push marketing. No-one is sending you emails you must delete here, they are just talking into the space, and you decide whether or not to listen.
Push marketing does exist on twitter though. It arrives in conversations. Here are some examples.
Push Marketing on Twitter
Sending Direct Messages automatically when people follow you, inviting them to visit their website. Don’t do this. If you have a website, put a link on your profile and they will find it there when they decide to find out more about you. People who follow you don’t want to be spammed in their inbox, they want to read your tweets when they choose to. They will get in touch when they are looking not when you want them to.
Listening out for discussions in your field and then @replying to the participants offering your services. Look honestly at the conversation. Did anyone specifically say ‘I’m looking for a widget salesman in Albania’? Thought not. Remember that in Pull marketing the person must be looking for your product or service. No-one likes a gatecrasher. Join the conversation don’t sell into it.
Sending large numbers of people links to your website asking them to check it out. This is precisely like spam email, because your @replies inbox is like an email inbox and should be full of helpful relevant messages not unsolicited calls to action. Twitter users can spot these messages, they only have to look at the profile of a complete stranger to see they are spamming everyone the same. Then they will block you. Goodbye.
Lets now look at these three examples from a Pull Marketing point of view.
Pull Marketing on Twitter
When someone follows you, take an interest. You might want to check out their profile, and if they look interesting, their web link and their tweets. Its easy to follow people, but not compulsory. Do you see something of interest? Why not say hello and ask about it. Start a conversation – you’re getting to know your contacts. Maybe you can help them with something – what are they interested in? Who could you suggest they follow? If your conversation doesn’t lead anywhere yet, no worries. You’ve reinforced your reputation as a helpful person to know. Maybe they will reciprocate when they read one of your tweets.
Use search to go and find things you need. Twitter is easily searchable and you can set up RSS feeds for tailored advanced searches. You might find someone looking specifically for a widget seller in Albania, you could say ‘Hello, I sell widgets in Albania, can I help?’ That’s not Push marketing, because the person is looking, and search helps you find these people. Companies like BT and Dell use twitter to good effect in this way for customer service. They search for their customers complaining and offer assistance, when it is precisely what the customer is looking for.
Set out your stall and let people come. Make sure your profile is complete, so that strangers can find out who you are and provide a like so they can click through for more information. Provide a focused source of information – be known for something, so that people who follow you know what they’re going to get. Instead of sending people links, which fills up their @replies stream and their DM inbox, why not broadcast them as public tweets? You probably don’t want to do this because you don’t think people are listening, but you’d be wrong. Google is listening, so write for google. People are searching, so write for them. And if you get involved in conversations, the people who come across you that way will check out your profile and see your tweets, they may even decide to follow you if they think you are of interest, but it will be their choice.
The power of Twitter lies in its dynamic nature and its searchability. In the same way that Linkedin connects and informs your trusted contacts, so Twitter connects and informs the entire internet. By being a good networker on twitter and using Pull marketing techniques, you’ll become the person to come to, rather than the person to avoid.
Is there another platform it would be useful to discuss Push and Pull Marketing on? Let me know and I’ll have a go.
Image: Life could be much easier… by Threadless