Guy Kawasaki did a keynote speech/demo at the SES conference yesterday on how he uses Twitter. Guy is a sensational marketer, one of the original Apple Evangelists, and founder of AllTop. He says “Twitter is the most powerful marketing tool invented since TV,...and it's free. Bill Gates or LonelyGirl only get 140 characters. The true democratization of media.” Guy has some very clever ways of using Twitter, and tools to help spread his message. Here are 10 Twitter Tips from Kawasaki’s presentation.
1. Forget the A-Listers – If your goal is to get Robert Scoble or Mike Arrington to write about you or ReTweet your stuff…you will be disappointed. Instead, find the people who care about you and your interests. Promote yourself and they will find you, and become your best evangelists.
2. Twitter is a numbers game – Get as many followers as possible by commenting on lots of different topics. There are audiences for every topic. To illustrate this Guy tweeted on stage “Check out peanut-butter mini cheesecakes http://adjix.com/a8fh” About 10 minutes later 40 people had already ReTweeted (RT) that message.
3. Follow everyone who follows you – Guy follows over 100,000 people, and has 94,000 followers. Guy says “It is arrogant to think you are worth following, but the person following you is not worth following”. He may be right in principle, but in fact, he can’t possibly follow that many people. He admitted that he really only reads @replies to him, and direct messages (DM). He also has an automated system that follows people who follow him. Personally, I think this results in an illusion of followers where very few really “follow” or listen to anyone. What I call Twitter Litter.
4. ReTweets measure success – “ReTweets are the sincerest form of flattery” Guy uses Twitter Search and Retweetist to monitor how many people RT what he has written. Twitalyzer is a tool to measure your Twitter influence, and of course it ranks Kawasaki #1. TwitterCounter is another tool that measures the top 100 Twitters. Celeb Twitters are far more popular than tech leaders. Ashton Kutcher @aplusk and Britney Spears @britneyspears are the top two individual Twitters.
5. Be an unabashed copycat – Use Twibs to see what other top Twitters are writing about. Popular topics attract more followers. Search engines help them find you. Use AllTop to find the top stories on any subject, such as Venture Capital.
6. Search Twitter – Searching Twitter streams is a great way to find new followers, customers, or marketing opportunities. Advanced Twitter Search lets you filter searches by specific words, locations, distances, people, dates, or attitudes. Guy searched for SEO within 100 miles of the NYC zip code 10019. He used another example of a a brake shop searching Twitter for “brake job”. He then does a Direct Message (DM) to those people and closes about 10% for brake jobs. Twitter can be a direct marketers dream.
7. Twitter Tools – Guy uses TweetDeck and Twhirl to filter tweets into condensed categories like @replies, Direct Messages, and certain search terms. Cotweet lets businesses have multiple users on one or many Twitter accounts. Good for multiple people monitoring a customer service Twitter account so that any one could respond to a tweet for help. Tynt Tracer can be added to your blog or web site. When your content is copied, Tracer automatically adds an attribution link to claim it as yours. Guy also uses Tweetie, a Twitter client for the iPhone.
8. Squeeze the trigger – Twitter is new so you need to experiment and take some risks. “Some people think Twitter is social networking and wrong to use for marketing purposes," Kawasaki said. "I have obviously never had that limitation." Kawasaki uses TwitterHawk which generates automatic Twitter responses to specific key word searches. For example, if you are tracking “Britney Spears” TwitterHawk will find all tweets that mention her and automatically send a canned tweet from you that might say “I see you like Britney Spears. Check out my site at AllTop totally devoted to finding all the news about Britney”. Guy jokingly said about TwitterHawk “When I do it, it is clever marketing, when someone does it to me it is spam”.
9. Make it easy to share everything – Use buttons for “Share this on Facebook” or “Follow me on Twitter” on your blog and web site. It is simple but lots of people use it. Kawasaki uses TwitterFeed which automatically post his AllTop tweets to the Twitter accounts of other followers who opt in. Sort of like a syndication service. Almost 600 people have agreed to do this for Kawasaki.
10. Take the Heat – Guy has taken some heat for his Twitter tactics and has been called a spammer more than once. He has a simple response, UFM, which means UnFollow Me. “Some people think I don’t use Twitter right”. “They think Twitter is for communicating what you had for breakfast or complaining about the lines at Starbucks...but I do it a different way.... I do extreme things." Guy definitely pushes the envelope, tries new experiments, and is blazing new trails. The lead warrior always takes the first arrows. It comes with the territory. But, hey, unless you are the lead dog on the sled dog team…the view is all the same. I’ll take the arrows.