6 Twitter tips for entrepreneurs: tweet your way to more customers and better business.

Author:Brown, Carolyn M.

JUST ABOUT EVERY ENTREPRENEUR HAS A TWITTER ACCOUNT THESE days, but tweeting effectively is what counts. Tweeting can increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty, and attract new business. But you have to be approachable, engaging, and genuine with your followers. This means your tweets need to be of interest and consistent, says Adria Richards, a business technology consultant and blogger (http://butyoureagirl.com).

"Obviously you want to be tweeting and promoting your own content, but that should be a small piece of the pie," says Richards. "Twitter is also really good for listening, collecting intelligence, and finding out what customers and others in your industry are tweeting."

Six Tips to Better Business Tweeting

  1. ENGAGE YOUR FOLLOWERS AND INFLUENCERS. Tweeting is about building relationships. So, take time to retweet or reply to the posts of your followers--and the people you follow. Look for opportunities where you can offer help or advice. "Just because people are following you doesn't mean they are engaging with you. Tweet resources that customers would find valuable," suggests Richards. Also, "create Twitter lists for your customers. Be a curator of information." Don't overlook the back end of Twitter, adds Richards, so e-mail influential Twitter users to introduce your business or to keep them abreast of what's going on to strength en relationships and help generate business leads.

  2. MIX IT UP. Your tweets should consist of links, status updates, breaking news, industry tidbits (especially about high-tech items, for example, the smartphones, monitors, of point-of-sale system you use), replies, and announcements about new products, services, or events, says Richards. Also, use Twitter to offer special discounts or...

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