7son75Twitter is still relatively new to a lot of people and it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming at first.  The question I seem to hear most often from small business owners and solopreneurs is “What’s the point?  How can this help me and how do I use it to my advantage?” I realized there are a few tips that can help people make the most of their time on Twitter when they are just getting started:

1) Follow more people.

You don’t want to do this indiscriminately.  However, getting your tweets (your messages typed in 140 characters or less) in front of more eyeballs will lead to more conversations, the discovery of more people you want to follow and more exposure of your brand or offerings.

Decide what your friend-ing and following “policy” is and let that guide you.  My personal preference is to follow and friend a mix of people who are in my target market, people I admire and learn from and people who simply look interesting based on their bio or sometimes even their picture!

2) Engage others more.

Even if it’s just a comment about something run-of-the-mill that someone has tweeted, it can spark opportunities down the line.  What you are doing is building a relationship and becoming part of the community.

Make it a practice to re-tweet (basically meaning re-posting) others’ messages that resonate with you, ask for opinions and share your interests.  A recent example of how this worked well for me was when I was asked to be a guest on a Blog Talk Radio show as result of a blog post I tweeted about. Someone following me on Twitter had seen the topic of this post and this started a discussion about it which led to the guest spot.

3) Promote naturally.

Because you will do a fair share of relationship building by using steps 1 and 2, it will be fine to plug your newsletters, products, blogs etc. here and there. Just keep a healthy balance between the sales-y tweets and the personal ones.  You can even share what you do for a living in certain ways without screaming “HIRE ME!!” by just contributing to the conversation.  It’s a subtle art.

I’d love to hear what you would recommend for Twitter newbies.  Or, if you are new yourself, what questions do you have about using Twitter?

Photo credit: 7son75

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