Twitter marketing is gaining in popularity. That makes sense. Twitter is huge, growing and provides a fantastic way of getting in touch with a lot of people quickly and easily.

Not everyone is doing it the right way, however. In fact, some people seem to be bending over backwards to make sure they don’t make a dime via Twitter. Here are three of their “methods” that anyone who’s interesting in turning a buck should ignore.

The automatic “thanks for following” message with an affiliate link strategy is a complete disaster. Those automatic direct messages are one of the most hated aspects of Twitter and only a handful of users will even bother to click on them.

The people who think that following a billion people is the best way to go because it can get them a ton of reciprocal followers just don’t get it. The magic of Twitter is its ability to help you find a targeted audience. The scattershot approach doesn’t pay off worth a hoot.

Pounding your followers with your links every ten minutes like clockwork? I bet you’re not too happy with your sales, are you? You have to understand the mindset of Twitter users and why that technique can’t get the best results.

Those are just three of the ways people are wasting time and not making money. There are others. If you don’t know what works and what fails, you need to learn more about Twitter.

There are different ways to get Twitter followers. You can follow everyone and their house pets yourself, hoping that enough of them will reciprocate to boost your follower total through the stratosphere.

You can make a concerted effort to promote your Twitter URL at every turn, hoping to find new followers from the population that visits your website or blog.

There’s another way to do it. The third route, by the way, is the one that works the best.

If you Tweet quality, you’ll get followers. Good followers. The kind who want to listen to what you say and who are willing to follow your advice.

When you’re Tweeting the “good stuff”, people notice. They re-Tweet you. They recommend you. They respond to you. And every time one those things happens, more people become aware of you and the fact that you’re doing something special on Twitter.

Want to get a nice big collection of rabid followers who can actually produce results? Start bringing your “A” game to the Twittersphere. When your dropping great Tweets, people will find you. There’s a magnetic thing about quality that makes it happen. Every time.

Have you heard of social media optimization? Test Marketing?

Social media optimization or in other words social media that markets through using information gathered from social communities.

A few examples of social media optimization tools and websites include blogging/RSS feeds for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and MySpace, BEBO and incorporating third-party applications to communities like Facebook and Myspace. Social media optimization is similar to search engine optimization, but differs in many ways, Mostly, the focal point is on driving traffic from sources within Social bookmarking sites and communities other than directing traffic from search engines.

The number of social media websites has exploded in the last year and each of these new social networking websites is different, they all attract different audiences with individual and diverse interests. More and more businesses want to experiment with social media optimization and you can see this in the explosion in popularity of Twitter. 

Twitter, one of the newest social networking websites, it uses micro-blogging and many people are getting actively involved in generating publicity through this form of social media. When you “twitter” or micro-blog, post pictures, and/or links you are inviting others into your life to comment and ultimately approve or reject what you are offering. This type of immediate response is an incredible way to gather “up to the minute” targeted information.

Why is this important might you ask?

Getting feedback about your product and services is very important and can help immensely when branding your company. Business reputation is very important in branding and marketing and up to date immediate feedback is considered an integral part of an online reputation management system. That is why many executives are now seeing the worth of using social bookmarking and social media optimization to test Search Engine Reputation Management strategies. this is incredible for organizations or individuals who need to enhance their online presence but cannot afford to pay for surveys and focus groups.

Using social communities can optimize your “linkability” or give you feed back and tips on ways to make your brand more comfortable,

Along with immediate feedback about your brand popularity it can also help your overall business.

Companies and individuals can now successfully use services like Tweetscan or Tweepbeep to monitor each and every time their company name or one of their products names are mentioned on Twitter and then choose to respond accordingly through the social media website or through their marketing, or engineering departments.

This has the potential for real time insight for a company CEO, whom often lose touch, with the people who are using the products or services their corporation provides.

Imagine, if back in the late eighties, the board of K-mart could have been following social media sites instead of listening to yes men in the company. Then perhaps they could have understood how a line in a movie like Rain Man where Dustin Hoffman says “K-mart sucks” could become the punch line to a joke they had already become.

Smart companies that want to avoid that kind of meltdown are learning to keep their finger on the pulse of consumers wants and needs and if you want to succeed you’ll want to do the same thing.

If you do list marketing via email, one of the most important statistics is the open rate, right?  You need to have a good idea of how many of your recipients are actually opening those emails.

Twitter marketing, in some ways, emulates list marketing.  People opt-in to your Tweets and you send them out, at least occasionally trying to drive traffic to one of your web properties.

The problem is that you have no idea how many people are actually ever seeing the Tweets.  You can check your traffic numbers to find out how many visitors you’re getting as a result of a Tweet, but there’s no good way to track the “open” or “delivery” rate of your Tweets.

That might mean that two different things make sense when marketing via Twitter.  First, you might want to repeat the same Tweet at a few different times, to increase exposure (while still staying on the right side of the “don’t spam the system”).  Second, it may pay to go after a larger volume of followers than you might believe necessary in order to increase the traffic-pulling effect of your Tweets.

When you don’t know about delivery rates, things get trickier, don’t they?

If you’re just getting started with Twitter, you might want to use the buddy system to get a handle on how things work.  Instead of jumping in all by yourself, find a friend or two to join up with you.

Here’s why.  Instead of experimenting with other people and going through the inevitable trial and error process in a way that could reflect poorly on you or inconvenience other users, you’ll be able to play with Twitter by constructing your own little “newbie network”, insulated from the rest of the Twittersphere.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a long-term situation.  You’ll probably get the hang of things on the first day.  Having someone else with whom to test out Twitter will make things that easy.

You don’t need to go this route, of course.  You can hop right into Twitter and get started. Chances are, it will work out great for you, too.  However, if you’re a little nervous about learning the ropes, bring a buddy with you!