So you’ve decided to tweet on Twitter!

So you’ve heard that Twittering is the way to grow your business and you’ve decided to give it a try.  But you don’t know how to use it effectively.  Here are some tips to get you started:

Start with a Plan

Twitter can be very time consuming if you are not careful.  There are folks on there tweeting away about what they had for dinner, what their precocious kid just did, and even where they went that day.  Who cares?

Have a purpose before you log into twitter.  Obviously, you don’t want to just promote your products with every tweet or people will consider you a spammer.   So you need to have a plan before you log in.  Let’s say you want to promote a new gift basket that you just added to your website.  If you are following someone whose tweets you value, take a few moments to respond to some of those tweets.  Perhaps do a search using Twitter’s search function about something you are interested in or your particular market and answer some of those questions or respond to a few comments.  Then post something about the product you want to promote.  And leave. 

Go Slowly

The more followers you have, the wider your reach.  But you can’t go too fast.  Don’t start by promoting your products or your website.  Also, don’t try to obtain a huge following without doing some tweeting yourself first.  This is a case of “if you build it, they will come”.  As you post more and more tweets that are of interest to others, they will start following you without your having to do anything.  I guess you could say that you need to tweet, tweet, tweet before gathering your flock of tweeters.

Don’t know what to say in your tweets?  Talk about someone else’s tweet that you found interesting .  Reply to what someone else has said.  Share what you are doing in your business now.  Offer a suggestion as to something that has worked for you or helped you grow your business.

Don’t just tweet one promotion after another

When others look at your tweets and your timeline, they’ll see that you’re tweeting just to get business.  People want to know what is in it for them.  If you’re just talkiing about yourself and what they can buy from you, why should they follow you?

Engage in Conversations

Most of the tweets are updates to the entire group of people who are following you.  But you can find individual Twitter users by using the @ symbol followed by their username.  This way you can tweet a post directed to an individual.  This makes others realize that you are a real participating tweeter and not just some piece of software that automatically makes posts for you.

It also helps build realtionships with others — and, as we all know, building relationships is what growing your business is all about.  So give words of encouragement, respond to a blog post that impressed you, and answer questions.  And if someone responds to one of your tweets, it’s common courtesy to answer back.

Post Often

 If you’ve made the decision to try twitter, don’t be shy.  Jump right in.  Start making those posts that will increase your followers.  And, once you’ve started, be prepared to post regularly.  Remember this is a social networking tool.  And just like attending those networking functions in your hometown, you have to be visible.  You can’t be a wallflower and expect them to work for you.

And if you want to follow me on twitter, my twitter username is creativegifts.

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