September 9

Twitter: Good for marketing…or something else?


I spend a lot of time on Twitter, I admit it.  And I’ll also admit not all the time on there is useful. I follow a number of Redskin reporters, a decent number of Washington Capital bloggers, and some political stuff as well just to make me feel less bad about all the sports writers I follow!

But I also spend a lot of time reading tweets from a lot of very popular people in the trading world. And it got me thinking about the REAL marketing pull of twitter for us in the trading/investing niche…

I pay attention to people who have large followings…and small. They do a lot of great tweeting regarding the markets and give out some pretty cool links either to articles they’ve read or affiliate stuff they recommend. The majority of the big names on twitter are day traders, so they’re tweeting A LOT!

So it would seem that some of these people who have follower numbers ranging from 20k to 500 would be able to drive hundreds if not thousands from one tweet! They speak (tweet) and their masses follow! So I decided to do some asking around, some testing, and here’s what I’ve come up with…

I’ve had affiliates send one tweet for an affiliate link with a pretty catchy title, and the person’s full support, get less then 10 visits. In order to pump that number up this person tweeted it 3 more times that day. For a grand total of…107 clicks. This person has over 6k followers and follows less then 100!! So they’re the real deal as far as ‘pull’ on twitter, but the ability to actually drive clicks is lacking.

Sure, there are other factors that could have lead to these numbers: time of day, market conditions, how many smiley faces used, etc etc. But I’ve seen this example play out over and over and over again. It just seems like getting massive traffic from twitter (legitimately) isn’t really possible.

I believe that although most tweets are being read, followers aren’t leaving twitter too often. They are hanging just to read what’s posted, update for new tweets, and searching for more interesting topics…but not really clicking.

Now I might be wrong and I’d love to hear from you with your own personal experiences, please share in comments.

OK so we’ve seen that 6k followers nets you 100 clicks after three plus tweets a day, which kinda burns your tweets up, takes their value down and will lead to unhappy followers…

But how CAN twitter be useful?

I believe communication is the true value.

Since people are sitting on twitter all day long (for the most part) they’re pretty easy to reach. A simple @fmpgbrad and you can bet I’ll be responding as quickly as I can. Even if it’s just to tell me about a possible fantasy football trade. We as humans are social people and the @ or Direct Message is a quick and easy way to interact. Most of your followers are probably the same way…

So how can you use this?

A number of ways flood into my mind here. The first would be to set up twitter accounts just for members, previous buyers, etc etc, where they will get all the latest premium tweets and where you can respond to them. A lot of people do this already so this isn’t a new idea…but it might be one that you’ve not yet tried.

You can get them to pay for this feed, or simply offer it to them as an added value. (DIBS!! If you use premium twitter feed as a bonus you must give me credit for the idea, haha)

Second, show followers that there’s someone on the ‘other end’ of their tweets! Encourage that interaction. If you like someone’s tweet reply to them and let them know. I know most everyone has a million things going on with managing their trades, taking care of their business, and trying to eat lunch. But if you can set a time aside to respond to as many (if not all) @ mentions and Direct Messages it’ll pay off down the road.

Say you’re thinking about buying anything, maybe a new computer system, and you follow the creator online. You’re impressed with him, his knowledge, etc etc. But you have a question…instead of putting in a support ticket to his company, what if you could @ him directly…and GET A RESPONSE! You’d feel like an important customer wouldn’t you? Same rule applies to the people that follow you on twitter.

Third, if you’re going to try to tweet someone to leave twitter to buy something from you or sign-up for something, send them to YOUR SITE! Take the offer, stick it on your site, and use the same twitter link for all that stuff. Make a url that’s something like “…/recommends/twitter/” and use the same shortner link every time. Consistency is a good thing and if people expect to go to the same site they’re more comfortable clicking.

So what have YOU SEEN??

How often do you have to tweet to get clicks? Are those clicks turning to buyers?

Let me know by replying in the comments!

All my best,
Brad @fmpgbrad


affiliate marketing, financial affiliate marketing, improving conversions, marketing advice, questions to you!, twitter and trading

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  • Good post Brad. In my experiences with Twitter I have seen a very similar click through rate. I have also tried out Magpie which are basically Twitter ads and had a terrible ROI on those. I agree that people on Twitter don’t often leave the Twitter world to go out and look at a website or be asked to buy something.

    I don’t know the reasons for this–whether it is just that they don’t like to leave Twitter or if they are the crowd that doesn’t spend money online–but whatever the reason may be this is a reality of Twitter and should be kept in mind. Personally I have found that NOT trying to upsell a product/service on Twitter actually works better. It is best with Twitter to just post Tweets, DM’s, RT’s, and replies and simply discuss the topic at hand. Eventually as you gain followers if they are really interested in you they will find your website one way or another.

    Just my two cents for what it’s worth 🙂

    • Brendan, always enjoy your two cents man!! Haven’t heard of anyone having success with Twitter ads so don’t feel bad about that. Communication is the real value I believe.

  • Completely agree the true value of Twitter lies in communicating, networking and BRANDING.

    In my experience, the best result I’ve gotten from Twitter is to be patient, and take part of conversations. Never hardsell anyone, but come across as a helpful person who care. People are vary, and trust is as easy to defenestrate as it is to receive — so be careful.

    Rule of thumb; 9 out of 10 tweets should not be selling anything, but be conversational and inviting feedback and interaction. Ask questions and for peoples opinion.

    Also look out for questions related to your expertise. If someone for example ask with a tweet “how to _____”, you first click follow then reply to that tweet with a direct answer. 90% of the time they follow you back, start paying attention and interact with you on a more personal level.

    Sooner or later that may mean you get a new blog reader, or a new subscriber to your newsletter and THATS where the real action begins — and since they’ve had such a positive experience with you, they tell their friends.

    Like the idea of premium\private tweets, btw. Could for example be used as another way to distribute training articles, videos or even trading signals for paying members 🙂

    • Excellent rule of thumb! I’d say @ mentions should not be counted in that pile. 9 should be 100% content to articles, insight, or whatever you like. Great comment!

  • B-rad,

    I spend a lot of time on Twitter as well, but mostly for trading purposes. The problem I see is that you can easily separate the “real trader” from the “guy trying to sell his stuff” on twitter. And unfortunately the majority of people in the space are the “guy trying to sell his stuff”, so Twitter is not the best option for them.

    Again, the people I am following are tweeting: “Oil Broke thru that key $76 level i mentioned earlier .. big volume spike $76.37 now (could hit towards $80’s again)”

    To me that is valuable, and I would look at another tweet from him that stated: “check out my site/offer/etc etc”. Because I KNOW he is a REAL trader, and not some marketer trying to get rich and famous on the internet.

    The space has become saturated with garbage. Internet marketing first, trading second, if trading at all.

    So yes, its the old cliche of getting content to people first. But, its also about being transparent, and proving you are a real trader, and taking real risk, and putting your money where your mouth is.

    Why would I want to learn and be mentored by a trader who doesn’t trade? If you have the ability to prove your a real trader, than Twitter is a great “real time” outlet for that.

    Oh, and I think the statistic is, you have 18 seconds after your tweet for anyone to see it. So your twitter marketing piece has 18 seconds of life to it.

    But 90% of statistics are made up anyway.


  • Hey Brad,

    It’s my thought that we are knee deep in an age of content saturation (RE: Everyone’s talking, but who’s really listening? and beyond that..of those who are listening, who is acting on those tweets?). Twitter has been successful in propping up half-baked celebrities (Ashton Kutcher) and causing fines for athletes (Ochocino), but ultimately it’s hard to professionally monetize an amateur angled messaging service. I fear that Twitter is the Myspace of it’s kind, with a more thought out and actionable competitor on the horizon.


    • Are you really afraid Twitter will become Myspace?? haha. I agree 100%. That’s why it always baffles me why they haven’t gone public or sold before everyone realizes it’s stupid and/or unprofitable, ie Myspace.

  • My experience with twitter is that it’s great for creating brand loyalty but terrible for generating clicks…

    there is too much junk on twitter and not enough REAL content.

    this has created a culture in people using twitter to simply not trust links and not even click them

    the best way i’ve found to use twitter is to post useful, relevant tips and advice that actually HELP the reader

    sync your tweets to your facebook account to give users two ways of following your tweets and on your facebook page make sure you link to your money sites frequently but in a not too aggressive way… nice and friendly for social media… sell ‘em hard on the money sites themsleves…

    i’ve been trading for many years and know what it’s like when you’re starting out. buyers want help and they want to trust the person they’re buying from has the skills to help them. tweeting a useful tip every day or two can be enough to reassure your potential buyers that you’re the real deal and (most importantly) buy from you again and again.

    go against the trend and tweet VALUE and CONTENT and you will gain a loyal fan base…

    John Simms

  • I think twitter’s main benefit is as a direct line to your customer base. You can use it to provide near instant support on products as well as to build your presence online.

    We could use it to connect to our team to our affiliates, our support to our customers.

    It seems to be the popular thing to do aswell.
    Everybody’s doing it, even Wheat Thins!
    A good example of monetizing communication.


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