To Tweet or Not to Tweet? Here are 5 Ways to Make Twitter Useful for Your Business

Twitter is an effective tool to communicate, share information, and have fun. Unfortunately, for many business professionals, it can seem overwhelming and impractical.

I have been using Twitter for just over 4 years.  Like many people, I was unsure of what to post, who to follow, and most importantly, the purpose for even using it.

Twitter can be a great tool for business owners and salespeople……if you understand how to leverage it.

Otherwise, it seems like just another tool that saps valuable time.

Here are some common complaints of Twitter.

  • Twitter feeds are confusing
  • Unsure of whom to follow
  • Not sure of how to use it for business purpose
  • Can’t get quality people to follow and share tweets
  • Very little interaction

Although these reasons are valid, they can be easily corrected if you use the right tools and techniques.

5 Techniques to Make Twitter Useful For Your Business

1) Use lists

To be honest, I rarely look at my Twitter feed.  There is just too much going on.   I mainly just look at my lists.  Lists give you the option to put the people you are following into categories.  For example, my lists include insurance, marketing, social media, inspiration, and clients/friends.  The people in my lists only make up about 15% of the total number of people I am following.

Using lists will allow you to find the people and tweets you care about the most without all the clutter.  I will occasionally look through my feed to see if I need to add someone to a list, but lists deserve most of the attention.

Click here to see an easy 6 step way to start creating Twitter lists.

2) Follow only those people who provide value to you

I used to think that I had to follow every person that followed me.  Let’s be real. Some people are only following you to get a follow back.  What’s the point?  I know there are places out there that will help you manipulate followers to grow your list, but I don’t think that should be the goal.

I personally feel it’s more important to obtain quality followers.  Give me 3 followers who find value in my information vs 10 who are just trying to build their numbers any day.  This also helps reduce the noise.

3) Let the search function be your friend.

The search function on Twitter is awesome.  Want to see what people are tweeting about your business? Use the search function.  Want to see what people are tweeting about a product or service your sell?  Use the search function.  This can go for about anything.

Let’s pretend one of the products you sell is cyber liability insurance.  Simply enter this phrase or similar phrases in the search box and see what people are tweeting about. It allows you to find articles, experts, and other relevant information on the chosen topic.

4) Provide value at all times

Michael Hyatt is a great person to follow on Twitter.  Not because he has a huge following or just wrote a great book (although those are both true), but because his tweets always provide value.   He uses the 20 to 1 principle.  For every 20 tweets, only one is about his stuff.  The rest all provide value to his followers.

Unless you are a celebrity, your followers are not interested in you, they are interested in how you can help them.

This not only will help build your followers, but will give you credibility and trust.

A tool I use is to help with this is Buffer.  I love Buffer because when I read a blog post or article that I think my followers may find interesting, I can click the buffer icon on my screen, which will automatically schedule my tweet for a later time.  If I come across 10 great links to tweet while I am relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, I can have them dripped out to my Twitter feed throughout the week.  That way when you are playing golf on Tuesday afternoon, I mean working hard at the office, your quality tweets are automatically being sent out.

5) Communicate

The best part of Twitter is that its fast and simple to communicate.  I used to avoid the reply button, but now if someone has a question or an interesting tweet, I may reply back to start a discussion.  It’s awesome.  You can ask a question to your followers (and those who are searching) and get instant response.  The same goes for helping others who have questions or may be asking for ideas.

If you are going to be on Twitter, you may as well participate.

I understand that Twitter may not be all things for all people, but if you learn these basic tips and techniques, you can get tremendous value and have a bunch of fun.

How to you use Twitter?  What are your successes and frustrations?

Would you like to connect on Twitter?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Robert McBeath

    Brent, it’s almost as if you wrote the article just for me! Thanks so much for the timely tips as it’s all the things I needed to know as a new twitter user. I’m still not confident about the interaction part, but I’ll get there. Also, I couldn’t get your Buffer link to work for me. Thanks again for the great content!

  • Steve

    Thanks, may I also suggest http://pikture.net for short urls.