“Can Twitter actually help my business or is it a complete waste of my valuable time?” This may be a question that has been on your mind for some time now.

I know I used to ask the same question a few months back.

When people I respect started singing the praises of Twitter, I decided to give it a go. At first I just didn’t get it. However, after a short while I was shocked at the level of access to high profile individuals I was able to achieve.

This post reveals how bestselling authors and business professionals use Twitter to grow their businesses and reveals ideas you can employ to achieve Twitter success.

First, What is Twitter Again? 

“Twitter is instant messaging made available to the public,” stated talk show host and author Hugh Hewitt.

I think that’s a fair starting point. I’ve heard others call Twitter a micro-blogging platform.

Each day about 5 to 10 thousand new people join Twitter. Current estimates of total users top out around 5 million. That’s a lot of opportunity.

Twitter allows you to post updates (called Tweets) as often as you want (and limited to 140 characters). When you follow other people on Twitter, you see their tweets. When they follow you, they see your tweets.

It’s a constant stream of communication. The good news is you can turn it on or off as often as you like. Twitter also keeps a public record of all updates, which can be mined with Twitter Search.

Why High-Profile People Use Twitter

Twitter is not just a fad. When very high profile folks begin evangelizing Twitter, it’s worth closer examination. They use it to get insight when they ask questions and they also use it to get traffic and spread their thoughts to new places. It is used to connect on a more personal level with employees and customers and to help build a brand.

Twitter Search is an amazing way for high profile people to see what people are saying about their products or services. As they respond to questions about their product or service, this creates awareness for others that follow them. This becomes a form of promotion for them. Be sure to check out this Business Week article that surveyed some CEOs and how they’re using Twitter to help their businesses.

The Twitter Plan

Following the right people on Twitter is key. Whenever you have a spare minute between projects, log into Twitter and watch what people are talking about. Whenever you tweet, make sure that you present useful information and resources to your followers.

Twitter is a tool you can use to connect with peers in your industry and niche. This gets you connected to the people they are connected to. Interact with people you respect. Conversations on Twitter could definitely lead to personal conversations.

To stay top of mind with your followers, offer interesting links, respond to tweets, and post your thoughts for conversation at least a few times a day.

A Few Tools to Help Your Twitter Experience

Twitter has available support applications you can employ to gain the most of the service for your business. Here are a few of my favorites:

TwitterFox: This Firefox web browser plugin allows you to view Tweets within your web browser (in a popup menu). This is very handy and eliminates the need to constantly go to Twitter.com.

TweetLater: This powerful service allows you to schedule tweets (much like you would schedule emails). Another very powerful feature is the ability to receive email digests of keyword activity in the Tweetosphere. This allows you to join a conversation or track topics and trends.

Ping.fm: If you have accounts with many services, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, this amazing site allows you to post updates across ALL of your social media sites in one single step.

Twitter for Facebook: If you are on Facebook, this application forwards your Twitter updates directly to Facebook as status updates.

Etieno Etuk

Skype: donnylem

Email: donnylem@gmail.com

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