Small Business

License article

Twitter's business brilliance

Twitter is the best digital mechanism for convincing customers to buy – better than email and Facebook, according to a consumer survey conducted by marketing firm ExactTarget.

Twitter evangelists portray the snappy, 140-character social media platform as a “marketing powerhouse”.

If you scour the web for viral marketing tweets, however, few relevant hits roll up, suggesting that Twitter works best when just used persistently, as a cricketer nudges singles. Still, some tweets cut it more than others.

According to Perth property entrepreneur Peter Taliangis, who describes Twitter as “a fantastic tool”, one good way of getting retweeted - thereby spelling popularity - is to use an advice slant.

One of the most popular tweets Taliangis has typed reads: “10 tips on how to avoid a slow sale in a buyer's market”.

Tips tweets like that have earned him retweets that mean he winds up reaching more than 100,000 people. Thanks to his canny Twitter tactics, he gets three times more hits for his listings than anyone else in his office, he says.


A regional, humorous tilt to your tweets also helps get you noticed. Just ask Random House Australia publicist Antonia Hayes.

Hayes says putting an Australian spin on the titles of famous books worked wonders, making the mash-up the nation's top trending Twitter topic for 48 hours last June. As part of one campaign, Random House mixed the name of fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with Westfield. Witty.

Social media scientist Dan Zarrella has more advice on engaging tweeting technique.

For starters, Zarrella says, be polite and original. Also, share links, skip tweeting about yourself. Instead of falling into the narcissism trap, try posting about Twitter itself – incestuous but effective.

Oh, and do not be too proud to grovel - seek retweets because, according to Zarrella, tweets that ask for retweets are retweeted most often. In fact, 51 per cent of tweets that openly say “Please retweet” get the desired treatment.

How much are your tweets picked up? Here are four tools that show you just how your Twitter stats stack up.

1. Klout

The supposed go-to place for gauging your Twitterverse grunt, Klout is all about hard stats. Klout ranks your social oomph on a scale of 1 to 100. If you score over 70, well done. The tweets you punt around the cloud are well-received.

Klout's statistics stem from “a killer team of scientists and engineers working everyday to ensure continued accuracy and make the score clear and actionable”. Confusing spam and bots are filtered out, giving you a clearer sense of your footprint.

2. Twitgraph

Twitgraph is the most user-friendly of the four highlighted Twittersphere tools, none of which is wildly complicated. With Twitgraph, you just key in your Twitter name and click the big blue Twitgraph button marked “Go!”

Then you can see how much Twitter influence - if any - you yield, in graphic form.

3. TweetBeep

Attractively clear and simple, TweetBeep lets you track chats that mention you, your firm and your products, offering updates a la Google Alerts.

TweetBeep even tells you who just tweeted your blog or website, even if the source used a web address cruncher such as

A key tool in the dark art of reputation management, TweetBeep keeps you on the case, catching all your @replies and @mentions. Besides, TweetBeep tracks job and networking opportunities.

4. Twitalyzer

Twitalyzer, which claims to know where each member of your social network lives, is even more hardcore.

The control freak Twitter app offers no less than “dozens” of ways to visualise your progress, trending 30 different metrics. Be afraid.

For insight into Twitter trends, visit TweetStats

twitter Follow MySmallBusiness on Twitter @MySmallBusiness