A good Twitter consultant needs to spend a lot of time educating new clients in the real value of Twitter and how to interact with users. Most people who aren’t regular users think that Twitter is just another broadcast advertising medium. It is easy to see why they think that when you look at how much blatant advertising and spam there is in the general tweet stream. So when a new client tries to use Twitter they usually write tweets that are copies of the text they use in Google ads.
A good way of explaining how to use Twitter effectively for marketing is to compare it to a party at a trade show or industry conference. Experienced trade show attendees know that this is where the most valuable connections are made, and long-term relationships are maintained. If a client thinks of Twitter as thousands of separate cocktail parties, all going on at the same time, they will see that using advertising copy in their tweets is not only ineffective, it is also insulting. I ask clients, “How would you react if someone entered a party, stood on a chair, and yelled out ‘Hot deals on new products. 50% off!’”.
The right way to network at a trade show party is to stand near a group involved in a public conversation that fits your interests, and gradually inject your own comments where appropriate. When you get a chance, introduce yourself to some of the participants in that conversation. Offer to help others with introductions where possible. Repeat this process at a few parties, and people will start recognizing you and bring you into other conversations. If you have something interesting to share, they’ll introduce you to their friends. Repeat this for a few events, and you’ll soon be a regular with a wide range of contacts. Your sales message will come across over time as a part of what you are about. There is nothing wrong with trying to sell, but it is rude to walk up to a stranger at a party and start with a sales pitch.
This analogy works well with clients, and if they are given a good tweet aggregation system that puts users in front of them who tweet with their keywords regularly, they soon understand the incredible value a Twitter marketing campaign represents.