I get questions daily about social media, but Twitter seems to make up the vast majority of them. Here I’m going to answer some questions from a lovely young lady who wrote me on Facebook. (BTW – these questions are real, although I admit to cleaning up the grammar and I’ve removed names for privacy..)
I have a question..how you can use twitter to advertise?
Also I just got a request follow from a company named amerigolanguage.com but it’s from Tehran, Iran..not sure what to make of this.
Hey there! Let’s take your questions one at a time:
1) First the advertising one – The answer is “no,” you can’t currently advertise on Twitter. In fact the site hasn’t figured out a way to make money yet. But I’d say Twitter advertising isn’t far off.
Sometimes people use the term “advertising” when they really mean to say “marketing, public relations, publicity or self-promotion.” Advertising happens whenever you give money to someone who then designs an advertisement and places it in a website, newspaper, TV channel, radio station, billboard, etc.
However, there ARE ways to market yourself on Twitter. And that’s what one of the things I do – I help companies understand how to use Twitter and other social media sites to accomplish their marketing and PR.
2) Let’s tackle your second question. You just got a follow request from someone you don’t know.
I did a little digging and found out that amerigolanguage is the Twitter account for amerigolanguagesolutions.com a professional translation service firm based in North Little Rock, AR. I don’t know why he has Tehran, Iran listed as his location. Maybe he’s really there or maybe not and he’s trying to capitalize on city’s recent media attention surrounding violent demonstrations. Who knows?
But his follow request isn’t important. What you need to decide is whether or not to make your Twitter account “public” or “private.” This depends entirely on your goals. If your Twitter account is intended for only people you know, then you shouldn’t let others follow you who are not in your network of friends and colleagues. However, if you’re using your Twitter account to make more connections around the world, then you will want to increase your followers.
In order to do this, you should tweek some of the settings in your Twitter account or all the follow requests pummeling your e-mail inbox will drive you mad. Go to “settings” then uncheck the box that says “protect my updates.” Then click on the “Notices” tab and uncheck the “new follower e-mails” to preserve your sanity.
People often wonder, “why do I have these random people and companies following me?” The answer is simple – they are trying to sell you something. This is why a user’s “follower” count doesn’t impress me – spammers and bad salespeople do not represent qualified followers. I would be more impressed with someone who has a smaller number of followers but has CEOs, decision makers and journalists on their list.
I hope that answers your question.
For my other readers, please comment on my blog if you have more questions or would like to shed some new light on the subject.