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Understanding the purpose of twitter and using it appropriately has been a source of confusion for many business professionals. I have run into many professionals who don’t believe they have any use for such a platform and I’ve also met others who know they need to use twitter but don’t understand how to do so appropriately. Using twitter is important in personal branding because, unlike blog marketing in which the reader must spend a few minutes to sift through your information, it only takes a few seconds for your reader to decide whether or not they have interest in your information and continue from that point. It is also a great platform to push out highly valuable and viral information to a large amount of people in a short amount of time. With a basic understanding of the usefulness of twitter there are two important concepts to understand before commencing on your micro-blogging journey: The type of followers you need and the type of information you should tweet.

I’m guessing that at least the vast majority of you reading this are not celebrities so your twitter followers probably don’t care too much about what you ate for breakfast. That being said, your tweets should stay focused on your industry. If you happen to be a coffee connoisseur you probably would tweet about a particularly delicious cup of coffee you had that morning because your twitter following is likely to care very much about that sort of information. With that in mind, perhaps we should talk first about the sort of followers you should be looking for.

Twitter spamming is not appreciated by anyone. You shouldn’t expect anyone to follow you just because you are following them.

In fact you probably don’t want to follow anyone who doesn’t hold some sort of appeal to your own interests so why would anyone follow you just because you want them to unless that person happens to be your mother, in which case she probably has an interest in everything you do anyway. The point is, having twitter followers for the sake of just having twitter followers is rather pointless. You want your followers to engage with you on another platform and so you should focus your efforts on inviting fellow tweeters who share an interest.

That said, we can now talk more about what you should be tweeting about. You don’t necessarily have to limit the topics of your tweets to industry-specific tweets but your tweets should generally be of interest to the majority of your followers. Using the coffee connoisseur as the example again, most of his followers probably care a great deal about coffee so the majority of his tweets will probably be centered around all things coffee related. On the other hand, if he feels so inclined to tweet about a fantastic new social media app for his smart phone there is a good chance that most of his followers would be interested in such a topic especially considering the fact that they are using social media and many of them are probably using a social media app on their own smart phones to read the tweet.

On another note, the majority of people use twitter to get great information. It’s a micro-blogging site, not a micro-advertising site, which means that they would rather get news than a tweet about your own amazing product. If you just came out with a new ebook, it’s appropriate to announce the publication of the ebook and where it is available for purchase or free download, since this is news. However, if that’s all you tweet about your followers will likely get bored with your self-serving antics and possibly un-follow you. In short, be sure that the information you are tweeting about is first and foremost fulfilling the needs and desires of your followers. Give them what they want not just what you want them to take.

Keep your followers and the information you tweet in mind when using twitter. It is vital that these two go hand in hand for your tweeting success. When your twitter following and the information that you tweet about are consistent in their interests you will see far greater success and quality of twitter following than if you base your success on the number of your followers and tweets alone. Keep tweeting and remember what twitter is there for. Don’t avoid it but don’t abuse it.

For this and other articles by Anne Lee please visit http://www.mymark.com/blog. Anne Lee is Marketing and Communication Manager of MyMark. I made my mark with www.mymark.com, providers of an integrated personal profile, blog, eStore, and home base for all your social media, personal branding, article marketing, blog marketing, professional networking, and ecommerce activities. This original post can be found at http://www.mymark.com/blog/blog/2010/08/19/using-twitter-for-business-101/

How to use Twitter for Business Part 1 of 9

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