Twitter is a social site used today by tens of thousands of businesses for micro-blogging. It is the preferred place on the web where big enterprise organizations as well as smaller brands post short updates, to be precise, an update less than 140 character long. For many businesses, Twitter is a hybrid from the cross of an instant messaging service and a chat room. It is in principle an open forum but as a Twitter user, you can restrict the people with whom you connect. For any business, Twitter is an incredible marketing and PR tool.

With that said, if you’ve decided to finally join the Twitter bandwagon to increase the reach and impact of your business, you are going to need some guidance. Out there, on a social site like Twitter with a current estimate of over 500 million registered users, it is easy for businesses to get lost never to be found by potential customers. So what should you do? What should your Twitter marketing strategy look like?

To help you get started with marketing on Twitter, below is an 8-step approach to successful micro-blogging.

So here we go! Buckle up and let’s get started!

1.      Choose carefully who to follow on Twitter

On Twitter, what you will come across in terms of updates and knowledge is going to directly depend on the people you follow. Your learning curve will therefore depend on those initial choices you’ll make picking out the Twitter accounts worth following. In the beginning, the temptation to follow just about anyone is going to be strong and you will have to resist it.  Always remember that your incoming stream should stay relevant.

2.      Organize the Twitter accounts you follow

So you are on Twitter and you’ve managed to find some influential Twitter accounts worth following. It might be a good idea to actually organize your incoming stream into lists using Twitter tools including Tweetdeck and Hootsuite . This helps you keep tract of those topics that you particularly care about.

3.      Don’t think twice about blocking irrelevant accounts

Like on the social media giant Facebook, Twitter offers its registered users the possibility to block other Twitter accounts. One of the mistakes that many businesses make is that they opt for ignoring the spammy accounts that follow them but on Twitter, you are judged based on your followers. So if you have spammy accounts following you, don’t think twice. Block them.

4.      Don’t make retweeting people a point of pride

On Twitter, businesses often make it a point not to retweet other people’s updates. This is not the right approach. As a matter of fact, you should be retweeting people you wish to build a rapport with.  If you come across something useful or interesting, share the good stuff. What’s the harm in that?

5.      Always find new people to follow

Setting up a Twitter account and following a few people in the first couple of weeks followed by the occasional update and retweet is not the right approach to micro-blogging. Always make it a point to find new and relevant Twitter accounts to follow. One of the best ways to do this is to find the time and research the Twitter streams of the people you follow. The site’s Advanced Search function might also be helpful.

6.      Streamline the things you share on Twitter

To most businesses, social media marketing is a joke but it’s not. You see, having a Facebook account with hundreds of fans or a Twitter account with hundreds of followers is not really the goal you want to set for your marketing strategy. What you should be doing is engaging your audience and finding the triggers that will convert potential customers into buyers. So don’t share just about anything you find on the web because you can’t be bothered to come up with good stuff. Invest in the content you share. Sure sometimes you can curate content from the web if you are blank on what to share with your followers but stay relevant.

7.      Use the weapons in your arsenal, for example ‘Favorite’

Did you know that each time you favorite someone’s content or Twitter update they get notified about it? Use this to your advantage. That right there is an incredible tool you have to dangle your name in front of people you respect and wish to connect with.

8.      Learn the semantics of the micro-blogging site

If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter for long enough, you would know that people on a social site tend to speak a language characteristic to that particular social network. Learn the secret language of Twitter. Of course you can refer to the Twitter Glossary but more importantly you want to pay attention to how other people are using the social site.Source: Social Media Today