Thursday, May 17, 2012

Five ways to make twitter work for you

I'll admit it. I've kinda gotten into this twitter thing. I'm no Rainn Wilson, but I have over 400 followers. I follow a few hundred interesting people. I also participate in a couple of tweet chats a week on branding and innovation.

It's been about a year and here's what I've learned works when it comes to building a community and even attracting business on Twitter.

1. Give
This is open source communication. You only get something of value from Twitter when you give something of value first. Give your knowledge away. Give your opinions. Give your experience. Give your advice. At 140 characters, it's not too big a burden to give what you can.

2. Accept
Take what others are willing to give. Read the articles they share. View their videos. Listen to their advice. There's a lot to learn from these short bursts of communications if you're willing to listen.

3. Ask
Have a question on a project? Need to find an expert on thermodynamics? Want a recommendation for a great restaurant in Kuala Lumpur? No matter what you need to know, there's probably someone in your network who either has the answer or is connected to someone who does.

4. Share
Share articles. Retweet interesting tweets. Post the occasional photo. Don't be afraid to share some things that aren't strictly business. Your followers want to know the person behind the avatar.

5. Thank
Take a moment to thank those who retweet your content, those who answer your questions, those who follow you and those who you follow. Do it publicly so everyone knows who's adding value to the community.

Twitter isn't a silver bullet to help you build your business, but it's a great place to learn, connect and share ideas with people who you may never otherwise interact with. It makes the world smaller and more efficient. And sometimes, as is the case with @Rainnwilson's tweets, it's good for a laugh.

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