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Tweet your way to success!

Twitter is the one of the most surprisingly relevant tools for the modern day social business. Use it to grow your brand.

Twitter is a social networking service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets – text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. The Twitter website Tex currently has more than 100 million users worldwide.

What can you convey in 140 characters or less?

Twitter is increasingly being used as a business promotional tool through ‘Twitter 101’, a web-based tutorial aimed at business users.

One of the most famous business Twitter users is Dell, which said that $9m of its 2009 sales came directly through Twitter and Facebook combined. Smaller businesses also benefit from using Twitter, since they can compete on equal terms with larger businesses within the Twitter platform.

First Steps

1. Build an account and use Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)

2. Add a picture. People want to see you.

3. Talk to people about their interests, too, it shows others that you’re human!

4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.

5. Share links to interesting things in your community.

6. Talk about non-business, too – be balanced.

Ideas about what to Tweet

1. Instead of just answering the question, “What are you doing?” tell your audience what has your attention.

2. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. It’s nice to have a variety.

3. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just posting a link.

4. Ask questions. Twitter is great for getting opinions!

5. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who they follow, and follow them.

6. When you talk about your business, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.

7. Share the human side of your company. If you are bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point your followers to pictures and other human things.

Tips and precautions

1. You don’t have to read every tweet. You don’t have to reply to every tweet. Try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty if you can’t.

2. Use direct messages for one-to-one conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large.

3. Use services like Twitter Search to see if someone’s talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.

4. Tweetdeck and Twhirl make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.

5. If you tweet all day while your co-workers are busy, you’re going to get into trouble.

6. If you’re representing clients and billing hours, all while tweeting all the time, you might lose your client(s).

7. Learn to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.

8. Commenting on others’ tweets, and re-tweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

Follow us @gangandlani, @brandandland & @sanjug.

• SANJU GANGLANI is the President of Gang & Lani Productions, a Mississauga-based custom marketing services company and co-founder, brand & land.

Need guidance? Write to Sanju at sanju@ gangandlaniproductions.com. With over seven years of experience with three of the largest hardware and software Fortune 500 companies, Sanju Ganglani specializes in brand management, web marketing, event management and revenue generation planning.

Posted: Sep 3, 2010

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