I have a confession to make.
It's embarrassing, but I've decided to come clean and admit... that I'm addicted to Twitter.
Judge me if you must. A bunch of my old blog articles make fun of Twitter, but I'll gladly admit that I was wrong!
My problem was that I just couldn't figure out how to consistently monetize Twitter. Online advertising is straightforward, search engine optimization is obvious, and even Facebook marketing is fairly quantifiable -- but Twitter eluded me until this week.
Wanna know the secret? Here it is: stop thinking about immediate returns.
Your goal on Twitter is to build genuine relationships. The platform makes it easy to engage in lots of meaningful conversations simultaneously and rapidly expand your network. Successful Twitter campaigns are genuine, personal, and consistent.
Here's the catch. It can't be automated, it stinks as an advertising platform, and traditional marketing approaches don't work.
Your goal isn't to directly convert other Twitter users into clients, so forget about posting "special offers".
Want to succeed? Build relationships with important people in your community, take part in conversations, periodically talk about your profession, educate people, and forget about immediate returns.
If you need immediate return-on-investment I recommend advertising. Social media isn't about instant gratification, it's about being a valuable member of your community and building long term name recognition and respect.
Is Twitter right for you? I think that depends entirely on your goals, the size of your city, and how much time you're willing to invest.
All I can say is -- I was wrong, Twitter is an incredible communication platform, and I'm glad I joined the community.