Guest post by Dante Lee (guest on Diverse Business show)
If you don’t know what a “tweet” is, you are officially behind the curve. But don’t panic—read on and you’ll be back on track in no time. Twitter is an online tool that allows you to communicate and stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: You can already do this through social networking and blogging.
Twitter, often referred to as micro-blogging, distills communication into one or two short sentences—maximum 140-character transmissions. Twitter allows people to follow you and you to follow them. In this context, follow means “to keep up with what other people are doing” or “to stay in the know.”
In January 2010, 73.5 million unique visitors logged on to Twitter and over 1.2 billion tweets were transmitted. Millions use Twitter every day. Some use it for pointless, self-indulgent banter. Others use it to create meaningful dialogue and share content. I’ve been seriously tweeting throughout 2010 and have left my initial skepticism behind. Tweeting is definitely something that all entrepreneurs should seriously consider, If you don’t already have a Twitter account, it’s time to get one. It’s 100 percent free. If you do have a Twitter account, it’s time to start tweeting. For more details or to sign up, click here. To follow me on Twitter, click here. (And follow Diverse Business)
Twitter’s exponential growth makes it a very useful tool for getting and retaining new clients.
It’s also an amazing way to stay in the know. Check out two new sites that can enhance your Twitter experience. Twellow.com helps you easily find relevant people to follow on Twitter. Essentially, it’s a Yellow Book directory for Twitter profiles and is much more extensive than the search feature on Twitter’s website.
I use this site all the time to find people who are connected to the businesses that I’m most interested in. For instance, if I search for relevant key words such as “supplier diversity,” “minority business,” or “diversity recruiting,” I find people and start following and interacting with them. Eventually, these are people who’ll inquire about my services.
Another valuable site that entrepreneurs can benefit from is called TweetBeep.com. It allows you to get e-mail alerts whenever someone twitters about you or your company. You can also specify other key words that may be of interest to you.
10 Twitter Tips to Help Grow Your Business
1. Don’t start automating your tweets. This will only make you look impersonal and faceless. People are following you on Twitter because they want to follow YOU, not some automated script. Avoid services like TwitterFeed.com that will automatically post your blog feeds. Do this yourself manually because not every blog post needs to be tweeted. Keep your tweets meaningful.
2. Be conversational. Don’t just use Twitter to post a bunch of links. Talk in first person, and be you. After all, that’s why people are following you in the first place.
3. Don’t just follow anybody. Twitter is not about random interactions. You want to interact with people and brands that are relevant to you.
4. Ask questions. If you have a question pertaining to your industry, why not post it on Twitter? Many times, the people following you will have the answer and will reply very promptly.
5. Retweet other people’s tweets. If it’s newsworthy and it’s relevant to your followers, retweet it. Not only will you get credit for sharing a resourceful tweet, but you’ll also gain more followers.
6. Reply when people talk to you. Whether it’s a public message or a direct message, always reply when someone communicates with you or mentions you. Remember that the more dialogue you engage in, the more followers you get.
7. Don’t be a salesman. Your followers on Twitter don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches. Be indirect. Just say resourceful things and eventually people will inquire about your products and services.
8. Use TweetLater.com—a tool that allows you to schedule your tweets for future dates.
9. Try Tweetie, an application for the iPhone that allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Not only can you send tweets and retweets, but you can also follow and unfollow people right from your cell phone.
10. Check out TweetDeck.com, an application for the iPhone, the BlackBerry, and other cell phones – that also allows you to manage your Twitter account.
Dante Lee is a respected motivational speaker and diversity consultant. Lee is also the co-founder of Lee Moss Media. He is the author of Black Business Secrets.
Visit: www.dantelee.com. Hear his recent interview on the
Diverse Business show.