There are lot of articles and blogs online about how to get started with Twitter so I'm going to skip over the ‘how to' side of Twitter and focus more on sharing my experience with Twitter as a business owner and marketer.
Personally, I find Twitter a great business tool. I use it solely for business to network in my industry, local community, and for education. Being limited to just 140 characters makes it an efficient tool to stay up to date with:
Industry news and events
Local community news and events
Building business relationships
And achieving business goals such as:
Establishing yourself as an industry thought leader
Driving traffic to your website
Promoting an event, free offer or special discount
Choosing who to follow: this is important!
I am careful about who I follow, I don't necessarily follow everyone who follows me. Initially I use to follow everyone back who followed me but I found I was getting random Tweets from people I didn't know about their cat or what they were eating for lunch - this really serves as no interest or value to me (but it may to you). So now I choose carefully, I follow thought leaders in my industry so I can stay up to date with what's happening in my industry. I also follow local Twitterers who are in my industry so I can stay up to date with local events and networking opportunities. Other topics of interest for me are the news, so I follow our local news plus CNN for national and global updates.
The key is to not get too caught up in it and have Twitter take over all your time. I use TweetDeck which I usually have on most the day and just check from time to time. However, if I have a project with a deadline and don't want to get distracted I won't use TweetDeck and I'll just check in, in the morning and afternoon. It's okay to not be consumed with it all the time.
Here a few sites to find good people to follow:
How to get followers who are valuable to you: this too is very important!
It's also important to build a strong follower base that will represent value to your business by way of customers or building business partnerships.
List yourself on www.twitr.org in relevant categories. Post your Twitter username everywhere possible, email address, website, online articles. Make it easy for people to follow you by posting your Twitter name on your email address, on your website, on all your articles, and on your status updates on your social media sites. Let everyone know in your network that you're now on Twitter. This topic really could be another article on its own.
What to Tweet
Like all marketing, start with a plan. Think about the purpose of your Twittering and the followers you have and want to attract.
Tweet about information that is of value to your audience. For some high profile personalities their followers like to know what they had for breakfast, or some other trivial personal matter. I'm not interested in knowing this information about anyone else and I'm sure my followers aren't interested in that level of insight into my personal life. The key is to know who is following you and why and to Tweet about what is of interest and value to them. I keep my Tweets focused on adding value to business owners and marketers. I regularly Tweet about interesting articles I'm reading, including my own blog articles, upcoming events and I'll often retweet other interesting posts. However, I must say I have been known to Tweet about the RedSox on several occasions, and soon no doubt will be supporting the Patriots once the Football season gets underway. But surely that's of interest to most, isn't it?
There are so many facets of Twitter that are valuable to business owners and professionals that I'll cover in later articles. Let me know specifically what you'd like to know about Twitter and what you'd like me to cover in more detail.
Oh.. and don't forget to follow me: Stacie Chalmers Inbound Marketing Solutions