twitter cotton candy If you're like many serious, data-driven marketing professionals, you don't take Twitter seriously.

It seems a little too much like marketing cotton candy.

It's sweet. (What could be sweeter than non-stop Red Sox commentary .)

It's colorful. ( Shaquile ONeal ? Demi Moore ? P. Diddy ?)

It's sticky. (Who doesn't want to know what people are saying about their company all the time.)

And, to some, Twitter seems low on substantive business value.

If this is your view of Twitter, you need to re-assess. Today.

Twitter is not cotton candy -- it's wheat bread, a staple of a healthy marketing diet. Balanced with blogging , search engine optimization and healthy use of calls to action , landing pages and lead tracking , Twitter can produce real business value.

whole wheat bread twitter What type of business value? Referrals.

On this blog over the last three months, Twitter was the third-most significant source of traffic, referring almost $30,000 worth of traffic. ($30,000 is what we would have had to pay to buy a similar volume of traffic from Google via Pay-Per-Click ads .)

Our blog is not alone. Look at Steve Rubel's traffic. Or Fred Wilson's . For regular producers of quality, interesting content, Twitter is core source of traffic.

Of course, this type of referral traffic doesn't happen without work. You can't buy $30,000 worth of visitors from Twitter. You have to build a network, engage with that network, then share your quality content with that network. And even if you do that, you won't see returns overnight.

But if you put in the time, make Twitter a part of your daily diet and engage with your network, Twitter will help keep your marketing strong.

Photos: anitacanita sierravalleygirl


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Originally published Jul 23, 2009 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016

Topics:

Twitter Marketing