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My take on twitter so far… and getting back to the basics of your online presence!

I have now been a semi faithful Tweeter since November.  I started actively tweeting at the Phocuswright conference in November (really more out of peer pressure than anything). I did enjoy being a part of the community of people commenting on the conference and I started to see the point of the whole thing.  I have since continued to twitter daily and could very easily be distracted with posts if I let myself.

I have been building my network of those I am  following and those who are following me (really it is not as creepy as it sounds). I can now say that I get the concept and how Twitter has gained its popularity so quickly.  I have made some interesting connections with people, and I have gained some great insights into topics I am interested in. It is a really fun networking tool and it can really help bring traffic to your web assets because let’s face it, at the end of the day we need traffic to our cash registers.

A few things that I have uncovered that get lost in translation in the world of Twitter:
Facebook profile updates and Tweets are not the same thing and do not translate well (I have had many Facebook friends ask me what language I speak when I am posting a note from Twitter to my facebook profile).  (I have since removed that application).
-It takes time to build a network of people worth following
-there is a lot of  noise between good posts
-it can be very distracting to monitor and engage in a conversation that never ends!

Using social media tools such as Twitter can offer marketers direct access to a base of customers that they may not otherwise be able to reach.  With the economic times as they are however, I would recommend resources to be allocated towards the following online tactics, and in this order before starting a full out social media marketing strategy that includes Twitter, facebook, YouTube or any other channel.  Without a solid foundation, and a solid transactional asset (the website), the new tools can be simply a distraction.

1. Ensure the Website is fully optimized for both search engines and users. (look at SEO programs and ensure all content and creative is up to date, search engine friendly, and most importantly leads your consumers to transact).
2.Set up or spend some dollars looking at your Web Analytics data to ensure you are capturing your users, engaging them, and then leading them to transact. (You may still have some work to do to ensure that your website is strong before you start developing a Facebook group)
3.Get a solid Web distribution strategy in place for the year (with resources allocated to content development, SEO, search engine marketing tactics such as Pay Per Click or Google local, and online PR to generate buzz for your company and or your widget).
4.Ensure that your ecommerce tools are working.  Does your online booking system need an upgrade? Is your e-newsletter working effectively to drive business? It is great to get a whole whack of new traffic, but if they are leaving your shopping cart to early what’s the point?

Now that I have finished writing this post, I will update my Twitter page and my Facebook profile with a link to the post.  I should really also update my Linkedin profile…and then maybe take a nap, all of this social networking is exhausting and I haven’t even spoke to anyone in 2 hours!

[tags] twitter, social media marketing, SMM, web strategy, internet marketing tactics,online PR, online marketing[/tags]

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