How to use Twitter to boost sales

Firstly, before anyone in the social media industry disowns me and complains about the headline, it’s a trick, a hoax even, to lure in a few people in marketing who think that Twitter is a ready source for spamming links to make cold hard cash.  I hope you’re not dissapointed that I haven’t in fact sold my soul, but I thought it was about time that I fought the good fight and stood up for the real fans of social media, the actual users, and against the guys who look at Twitter and see $ signs, £ signs, or whatever else there is (something in Europe I believe) flashing up in front of their eyes. 

I’ve been using Twitter for many moons to keep my friends and family involved in my life and to generally avoid those long phone based conversations with my Mum where nothing is actually discussed ( end up assuring her 20 times that I’m still alive.   You’d think the fact that she was, very obviously, talking to me would be proof enough.. Mothers, eh?).  You see, Twitter is a great way to keep in touch, without ACTUALY have to talk to anyone.  I find most of the time, people spend the down time in conversations (the bit where the other person is speaking) thinking of what they will say next.  Twitter completely sidesteps the need to listen to your fellow man, and just update people on what YOU think, want, and are doing.  It’s a gloriously selfish but amazingly stimulating tool, and has grown in popularity as people yearn to tell other people what to think and what is important in their lives.

Anyway, whilst social media lends itself well to brand identity campaigns and, to a large extent, marketing (when used very carefully, it can be HUGELY successful), some streams should be left to the consumer.  I recently saw on an agency’s website some “ideas for social media marketing”, suggesting that obituary sites are great places for marketing, as the people “need cheering up”, and that religious sites would benefit from some direct marketing for when “prayer is just not getting through”!! I kid you not.   I’d link you through, but I’m too ashamed of my fellow marketer at this very moment to show you.

So, in this train of thought, I’d like to post my argument.  Why, oh why, do companies feel that they need to get marketing “guru’s” to start Twitter feeds to spam link after tedious link to get a few extra clicks?  It’s a terrible way to market your product, is untrusted and will in the end lead to a bad identity for your brand.  Intelligent marketing and brand awareness can work on Twitter, and honesty is always the best policy, but spamming endless links to you landing page is not big, and it certainly is not clever.

Here’s my Twitter profile for anyone interested.  Please don’t take me too seriously.. http://twitter.com/RyanV49er

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