#1. Start using URL shortening and tracking services for your links.
Realize that real-time search is the new frontier and Twitter is leading the charge. If you haven’t started tracking your tweet links (via Bit.ly or TinyURL), then start quickly. You can also use Google Alerts or Google Reader for this. Plus, you can use Topsy.com that is fast becoming the powerful new search engine helping define real-time search. But, url-shortening services that provide tracking are some of the best ways to measure and refine your sales messages via Twitter.
#2. Don’t use all 140 characters in your tweets.
Read Parker Trewin at Genius who recently posted about Rules for Twitter Sales Effectiveness that he gleaned from sales expert Gerhard Gschwandtner. The full tip from Gerhard: Don’t use all 140 characters in your tweets. Why? People retweet and when they do, your original tweet gets cut off. Leave room for the RT.
He also shared another useful nugget: Rate your salespeople’s last 12 tweets during your next sales meeting. Then rank them on a scale of one to ten. The judging criteria: What value have you created with your tweets? Give the top winner a gift certificate. This will quickly increase your salespeople’s Twitter Sales Effectiveness (TSE).
#3. If you’re tweeting about food, you better include a tweetpic.
That comes from My favorite from Len Kendall at The Customer Collective in his post entitled 10 Unspoken Rules of Twitter. TJ note: You can do this with a Twitpic.com account. There are others, but this is one I’ve seen most.
#4. Use hashtags. #SMBTools is one from a recent webinar I was in.
You can follow these with your Twitter tool of choice or search for them in place like Tweetchat.com or Twubs.com and if people have created a conversation at a conference or in an event, you can keep up with everything those in-the-know folks are sharing. Hashtags can get bogged down with spam, but Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media offers a great pointer: Make up your own unique code that is unlikely to be found unless you share it.
Two NOTES: I’ll update this post next week with a link to a short article on “Closing Sales with Twitter” that I’m doing for the Sales Center. I’ll tweet about it, I’m sure. Twitter address below.
AND, tune in again on Monday when I’m going to post about how to track your tweets in an RSS feedreader. Plus, I’ll show you a tool where you can push podcasts from iTunes into a feedreader. Both are non-techy ways to do this.
TJ McCue recycles digital content to keep it out of landfills. He is also the founder of Sales Rescue Team, which is a free site review initiative to help small business owners with their online sales and marketing. Follow TJ on Twitter.