How to target clients with Twitter

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TechnoIt?s all the rage with the kids these days, and one of the easiest ways to know who is doing what and when. It?s how thousands of businesses are effectively (and cheaply) building a client base at lightning speed. It?s Twitter, and it?s the tool for the hyper-connected.

If you aren?t already familiar, Twitter is a site that offers users the chance to sound off about anything and everything. These mini updates, called tweets, are limited to 150 maximum characters. Who would have thought, though, that so few words could hold such weight in the business world?

One of the most beneficial tools for businesses using Twitter is the hash mark search. Users who want a particular tweet to be found by similar minds will start a keyword with a hash mark, usually placed at the end of the tweet. Other users can, in turn, click on the word (now a hyperlink) to see whom else is tweeting about that keyword.

Say, for example, your accounting firm just wrote an article on black personal finance for your site. In your tweet, you might include a link to the article and then include a hashed keyword about African-American news. The first step is to identify the keywords for which your clients will be searching and then use them in your sound-offs.

Of course, this is a two-way street. You will also want to see who out in cyberspace is tweeting about black personal finance. By doing your own search, you can see what your potential clients tweet about and target your own tweets accordingly. You can also see who else they follow and what they tweet to gain further input on potential clients. Don?t forget to find your competitor?s followers and request to follow them, too.

Utilizing the @reply function, you can link directly to other sites that, in turn, may reply to you in the same way. You may tweet a link for your firm?s finance article to an African-American news source. In return, they may send you an @reply that their followers can see, giving you exposure to a new crowd. This is especially useful when communicating with related businesses that may share a large client base with your company.

To make life a little easier for the Twitter marketing projects out there, programs have been created to optimize client identification. Some of the programs let you do things like search user bios or tweets for key words, and then generate a list for you. In addition, many companies specializing in social networking have sprung up in recent years.

?As we move into the 21st century, mass media and its potent messages occupy an ever-larger part of our daily lives and our collective psyche,? says marketing guru Gwendolyn Quinn. By tapping in to this ever-expanding opportunity, you can see a lot of growth through Twitter. Identifying and utilizing your target market is the key to optimizing its efficacy, and a sure-fire way to get business booming.