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