Step-by-Step How To Guide for Marketing on Twitter

Written by and published

I was on a great Twitter Marketing panel with Dave Snyder, Lee Odden and Dan Zarrella at PubCon South 2009. My presentation focused on how to get started on Twitter, and how to best engage it to market your business. This article includes the notes and links that were in my presentation. Enjoy!

Getting Started with Twitter

  • Pick a good name. Free_ebook_4success is not a good name!
  • Fill out your profile. Upload a profile image, change your background image (customize it), fill out your bio and don’t use the word Expert or add a link that goes to Squidoo!
  • Don’t start off by “pimping” yourself or your company’s services

Finding Friends to Follow on Twitter

  • You have no friends (sad but true)
  • You should follow your “real” friends
  • Follow your friends’ friends
  • Follow influencers and their friends’ friends
  • Search Twitority for influencers
  • Use Twitter Search to find interests, brands and competitors
  • Follow RSS feeds from Twitter Search results
  • Use User Directories like Twibs

Keeping Your New Friends on Twitter

  • Auto-replies are the quickest way to solidify or ruin a relationship
  • Don’t do this: “Thx for following me, check out my 10 Steps to Riches at”
  • Do this: “Hi, thanks for the follow. Honored to be part of your network.”
  • Don’t over follow to quickly
  • The follow/nofollow technique (don’t do it!)
  • Manage new followers with Twimailer or Topify

Participating In & Starting Conversations on Twitter

  • Find recent conversations at Twitter Search
  • Visit buzz aggregators like Tweetmeme
  • Notify users or Reply to their tweets using @username at the beginning of the tweet
  • Retweet tweets that you find interesting using RT @username tweet message
  • Use 3rd party tools, like TweetDeck, to stay engaged in conversation threads

Best Time to Tweet on Twitter

  • Twitter users are most active on Wednesday
  • Best day to tweet in order to get retweets is Monday and Wednesday
  • Best time to tweet in order to get retweets is 5AM-4PM
  • Twitter users are most engaged during 8AM-4PM

Using Keyword & Hashtags on Twitter

  • Use keywords in tweets that you want people to find you with
  • Keep most of your tweets non-promotional, with rare exception
  • Use hashtags to participate in and help Twitter users follow events, subjects and groups

Using & Tracking Links on Twitter

  • URL Shorteners let you say more
  • They are not created equal
  • Use 301 Redirects that pass link juice
  • Provide traffic statistics
  • Can handle lots of traffic
  • Favorite URL Shorteners are, and

Promotions & Giveaways on Twitter

Twitter is the perfect environment for:

  • Beta Invites
  • Promo/Coupon Codes
  • Free Swag
  • Limited Time Offers

Favorite Third Party Applications for Twitter

14 Responses to “Step-by-Step How To Guide for Marketing on Twitter”

  1. Jim Sawyer

    Lately all I hear is how “Marketers” can use Twitter to sell their products to the rest of us dumb sheep. Only two years ago MySpace was big. Then the marketers came in and packed so much buy my stuff pages into the system that it slowed to a crawl. Then people started to leave and migrated to Facebook, the “Marketers followed and tried to push their products there and now facebook in looking at ways to try and keep them out.

    Now, Twitter is in the sights. Most of us that have been here for longer than two weeks are amazed that 80 percent of “Friends” requests have the term marketing somewhere in the bio or on the page.

    Just like the “Marketers” that cram our mail boxes with direct mail, jam our phones and text messages with spam for only 1 percent sales, marketers now come in, trash the place, only caring about themselves and how much they can get out of the people there for their own greed.

    Why don’t you start your own site, and push your stuff around to each other and leave the people that don’t want to be bothered alone. I know why, because you know most of the “product” not needed and the only way you can trick a few into putting out hard cash it to spew it out to a million people so 1 percent will give you money. You don’t care that it may be an old person who can’t afford your product but is taken in by the snake oil pitch.

    You are like the people that go into out national forests and cut down trees, kill animals, start fires and all the time leave a trail of broken beer bottles, trash, plastic and other garbage a mile wide.

    You can’t even come up with new techniques. You are using the same tools and pitch you did from the back of a gaudy wagon, in the late 1800’s.

    Diane’s Patented Magic Flame-Retardant Elixir
    This is for any person who may find themselves intimidated by the occasional, or sometimes frequent, flaming that occurs in your favorite newsgroup(s).

    OK, there you have it. That’s the way most people on social media sites think about US. Yes, I run my own company and I sell a product. I’ve worked for a number of Ad Sales organizations over the past 45-years that I have been working.

    I challenge you to tell me why the opinions above are wrong. The facts are true, the causes of the migration and loss of business for some social media sites is conjecture.

    The younger generation has been brought up with a FREE Internet. Creative Commons copyrights are making huge in-roads as are Open Source Software.

    If we really want to make it to the end of the 21 century we are going to have to change the way we do business. Peddling the same old song in a new media is NOT progress and if we continue we will go the way of the T-Rex.

  2. Jim, I have no idea what you’re saying, but I definitely appreciate the user generated content. It should definitely help this page perform even better in the organic search results.

  3. Jeremy Rivera


    The first 3/4 is a pretty harsh “cut down trees, kill animals, start fires and all the time leave a trail of broken beer bottles, trash, plastic and other garbage a mile wide.” diatribe of general users on social networks? Right? But you’re…a marketer too..? are you saying that any of Jon’s tips on twittering were spamtastic? I think things like “Don’t start off by “pimping” yourself or your company’s services” and “Don’t do this: “Thx for following me, check out my 10 Steps to Riches at””
    are kinda the start of a new type of interaction-

    @Jon thx for the tips on the TIME to tweet- THAT is useful info-

  4. Thanks for the info! I too have no idea what Jim is saying. Marketing is common sense and you reiterated those points. I’m not sure when common sense stopped working in marketing! Check out Southwest Airlines or JetBlue Twitter. They are VERY smart with their interaction with the consumer. They branded their page. They keep up with their tweets and retweet as needed. Yes, all common sense stuff, but it works!

    Thanks again!

  5. Thank you so much for this wonderful and very helpful information. I only wish I had found it sooner, it would have saved me the aggravation of trying to figure out how to use twitter on my own. I am bookmarking this for future reference, and I am sure I will refer to it often.

    Thank you again, this is exactly what I need.

  6. Steen Seo Öhman

    Very informative post

    Have just started on Twitter and need to get the basics in place, before I move on to more complex use of Twitter.

    Started on Twitter after I sav Dave Snyder at Search Engine Strategies in London February 2009. So it’s his fault if I spam Twitter later *LOL*.

  7. MrTweet is a cool tool to find people to follow.

    Twitalyzer to check any twitter user’s relative influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, clout, and other useful measures of success.

  8. Christos

    As a relatively new user to twitter, i thank you for this article. I’m still experimenting with it but sometimes it’s rather difficult and annoying with all the just finished at the gym tweets.

  9. I enjoyed the sincerity and insight in this short list for Twitter Marketing Ettiquite. I am truly looking forward to the day when Twitter Marketers stop pimping themselves — this post is a nice nudge we could all use in that direction.

    Best wishes — Glenn