What I learned about Twitter foreword: It is no big secret that I have am no huge fan of Twitter. But as any true direct marketer knows, everything must be put to the test before deciding the effectiveness of any marketing activity, channel or tool.
I am going to share with you my experiences and experiments as I learn more about Twitter, the mechanisms, what works and not. This is the first entry of about 5 or 6 posts between now and July. The objective is clear: I want to find out how Twitter works from a corporate marketers point of view. And I am going to share all the details, frustrations and experiences with you.
People keep telling me that Twitter is very powerful. Eventhough I have endorsed Twitter as part of my Michael Leander’s Marketing Tips series, I am not convinced.
I’ve had a Twitter account since May 2008. I have posted some 70 posts (they are called Tweets) since then, and until two days ago I was the “proud owner” of around 70 followers, while I was following 25 people, most of whom really didn’t Tweet about much of particular interest to me. Bear in mind, that I have not been digging the Twitter-rave and as such I am not basing my skepticism on my own past efforts, but – let’s say – rather an educated hunch.
Also it is important to emphasize that while info-marketers of all sorts – including the creepy ones – may have seen successes on Twitter, my objective is to understand how Twitter can work from a corporate marketing point of view.
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Why the experiment?
Martin Meyer-Gossner of The Strategy Web firmly believe that Twitter indeed can be a productive marketing tool. I respect Martin’s opinions a whole lot – he is not only a clever Münchener, but also an experienced one. So I decided to prove Martin right – or wrong, whichever it may turn out to be.
Moreover, I would like to be able to advice clients on basis of things I actually have practical and relative in-depth knowledge about. So I thought this little experiment might do me some good, and – hey – who knows, I might learn something valuable in the process. If you find this and the future posts useful, I view that as an added bonus.
How I am going to prove or disprove the value of Twitter?
I am going to keep it simple. But remember I only care about Return on Marketing Investment. I don’t care about awareness, irrelevant traffic, number of followers or anything that cannot be measured in a proper and tangible fashion.
My number one objective is to prove that my active Twitter presence can deliver a positive Return on Marketing Investment and meet my primary objectives within a relative short period of time. Let’s say 8 weeks.
I am going to measure ROMI by following these principles;
– each hour I spend attracting followers, posting and following up on my Twitter activities will be logged
– each hour is going to be set at a cost of € 65, which is the expected cost per hour a marketing assistant costs in Northern Europe
Return on Marketing Investment:
My primary objectives are to
a) attract attendees to web seminars organized by Markedu
b) attract newsletter subscribers to the newsletter
and secondary objective is to
c) attract visitors to this blog
I have worked out these monetary values to measure against the cost;
a) acquisition cost for a web seminar registration at € 8,50
b) acquisition cost for a newsletter subscriber at € 5,00
c) no monetary value because the blog is not yet designed to effectively convert visitors to newsletter signup and/or registration for web seminars.
Starting point and plan
Critical mass, critical mass, critical mass. My past employees, co-workers and past and present clients know that critical mass is a mantra of mine. And with good reason. (if only more marketers understood the importance of critical mass, the world would be a better place…. – nah, just kidding).
My starting plan specifically address the critical mass issue. It is evident that I am not going to be a successful marketer on Twitter with only 70 followers. I need more. Lot’s more.
It is also clear that – eventhough, I am sure, it would be fun to follow and be followed by different people with different backgrounds – I need to attract followers whom take an interest in marketing in general.
Secondly – over time – I need to primarily target people living in/working in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
To get things started in a good way, my intention for the first couple of days was to merely get the ball rolling. I know from experience when something good happens fast, it is really motivating for marketers to stick to the plan. What an idiotic statement. You – as any bicecycle rider – know that going downhill is easier than uphill, right? Well, I decide to take the easy route downhill for the first couple of days.
My objective was to go from 70 followers to 250 in 48 hours. As you can see from the illustration above, I met that goal. I went from 70 followers to 496 followers in less than 48 hours.
Early next week I am going to share with you what I did, how I did it and why everyone with an IQ of 40 or more can do just the same (and you don’t need to buy tutorials, videos, training courses or anything like that – this is so simple)