In the past few years, twitter has really taken the social media world by storm. For a time, it was the fasting-growing website in the history of the internet, and it now stands proudly among the top ten most visited sites on the web.
However, as such a new tool, the rules of the game are still being developed. Take advantage of these tips to make yourself useful to your customer, and use twitter to jumpstart your social media campaign.

1. Take It Slow

Twitter is a powerful new tool, and provides amazing marketing opportunities. But don’t just jump down people’s throats all at once. You have to make friends first. If you move too quickly, they will un-follow you, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to happen.

Make friends with people, and engage them on a meaningful level, before you start trying to sell them things.

2. Build your Base

First and foremost, Twitter is a numbers game. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing War and Peace, one tweet at a time, if you don’t have any followers. Which begs the question – how do you get more followers. Building a substantial base of followers is primarily a matter of following other people, and interacting with the community.

To find other people to follow, just search for your interests with a hashtag (#) in front. Once you’re searching in your industry, find people who have a lot of followers within the industry. These are the thought leaders, the people whose tweets are most influential. Make sure that you’re following, and engaging with them.

Which leads into the second point. Engage with and interact with people as much as possible. Respond to people’s tweets, and re-post the good ones. People like it when you re-post their tweets, and they will respond in kind by following you and reposting your tweets.

3. Respect the signal/noise ratio

I understand that twitter is a social and personal tool in additional to being a business tool. Thus it’s inevitable that you’re going to have some tweets about what you’re cooking for dinner or the film that you just saw. In fact, Twitter’s creators reportedly envisioned it as a sequence of updates about users’ personal lives.

However, you should ascertain that a certain percentage of your tweets are actually providing value to your readers, and not just telling them about your life. The ratio of valuable tweets to total tweets is called the signal/noise ratio.

The ideal ratio varies from person to person, but if you find that you’re making your followers look at pictures of your dog every single day, you might want to scale back your noise a little bit.

4. Write Regularly

Nobody likes a lurker, and nowhere is this more true than on twitter. You don’t run the same risks of being thought weird as you do when standing against the wall at a party, but you do run the risks of being forgotten.

Ideally, you should post a couple of times per day. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, because twitter posts do not need to be very detailed. An interesting thought, a useful link, (nearly) anything goes.

If you do not tweet frequently enough, you will have almost no impact. You will just be sound in your listeners’ streams.

5. Use Common Etiquette

Although twitter is a brave new world is terms of social relationships, it does not mean that you can forgo common etiquette. If you are addressed directly, you should reply. If someone reposts your tweet, you should thank them or return the favor in kind. And lastly, do not talk about yourself too much. Link back to your own sites only occasionally.

It may sound quaint, but people will appreciate your etiquette in an age of spam, and you’ll see yourself more like, and more followed.