Twitter for business – how to do it (Part One)

Twitter is fast becoming one of the most essential small business applications. Period.

This series will help you to take your use of Twitter to the next level. We’ll start with basic stuff in this post, and then head on out to the wilder, untamed parts of TwitterWorld.

With this guide at your fingertips, you should be fine. Take what you find here as pretty much the real deal. I know what I’m doing, but it hasn’t been easy. It’s taken time, but I’ve got a healthy account at Twitter now.

It is hard work though. And it involves integrity of the highest order. If you think you will be able to use the following  information to find out how to palm off a ‘millionaire maker seminar’, or to turn on ‘an automated money-making machine’ you will be disappointed.

But if you’d like to get to know real people, with real lives, and perhaps help to gain small business success on the way, you’ve come to the right place.

So sit back, get ready to take notes. This stuff works.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social networking tool. It is a microblogging platform. Microblogging means writing a blog, but in a much smaller form.

This is why each update on Twitter (called a ‘tweet’) is short, 140 characters long to be precise.

This brevity allows for, well, brevity. It allows for quick info sharing. It means you can keep up to date with people without having to bash out an email or make a phone call.

The tweets you write are displayed on the home stream of the people who follow you on Twitter (people who think you are interesting). They can be on the public timeline too if you want, but you don’t have to agree to this.

You can use the Twitter site itself to tweet, or a third party application like TweetDeck. I use my iPhone to tweet via something called HootSuite.

What is Twitter for business?

It certainly is not the spam that is going around on the Twitter network right now. We’ll cover how to write like a real person and not a spammer later, but there is a little something here on The Giant Twitter Shark, for starters.

As a business, you can use Twitter to:

  • Spread news. Profits good? New website? New product?
  • Publicise your blog posts (because boring old blogs are still relevant to customers)
  • Monitor your profile. People are talking about your business. You can search Twitter for everything Twitter users are saying about your company
  • Contact and liaise with clients.
  • Seek advice and help. Got a sticky problem with an invoice? Ask for help.

That is how to use Twitter for business. Use it any other way and you will be toast.

We’ll get started on the good stuff in Part Two. For now, get an account if you don’t have one. Play around, and start talking to people. That’s the core purpose of the platform. The Giant Twitter Shark likes people who follow the core purpose.

We’ll show you how to use Twitter to get business and make great contacts later. For now, just communicate. If you have fun with it, you’ll stick with it. If you spam it and come across like a salesperson, it will die on you. And no one likes to see dead little birdies…

If you want to miss a post in this excellent, ground-breaking and well, honest series, then don’t subscribe.

Until next time, work smart.