As you may already know, Twitter is a free social marketing service that enables users to send and read messages known as “tweets,” or short messages delivered to followers. Tweets can be sent and received via the Twitter website, on your cell phone, or through a 3rd party tool.

Note: A version of this article was written for the Nashville Automotive Report and is being re-published here.

Are You Ready To Start Tweeting? Here’s What You Need To Know:

  • It takes time. Success on Twitter is a process – there are no shortcuts, so don’t rush it. It may take a few months before you can track any results back to your activities on Twitter.
  • It’s called social marketing for a reason. Being social isn’t about constant self-promotion, automated Tweeting systems, or following everyone you can. Think of Twitter as a dinner party: Listen, engage people one at a time, and be interesting…don’t just tweet about your business.
  • Community works. Twitter’s popularity stems from the feeling of community we get when we participate. Just like your company may sponsor little league teams with no expectation of reward, your Twitter account should focus on helping others. Selfless participation is the quickest path to success.
  • Empower an individual to Tweet on your company’s behalf. Good Twitter accounts are usually owned and operated by a single person, not a nameless, faceless corporate entity that works by committee. If you want multiple employees to Tweet, let them each have their own account and profile or indicate who is tweeting in your bio.
  • Be transparent and up-front. Don’t try and hide your business or your goals. If you want to use Twitter to sell auto parts or to promote your new professional service, that’s okay. As long as you don’t come across as a self-promoting salesperson, people will respect your purpose.
  • Focus on re-tweets. The quickest way to build a following on Twitter is to re-tweet messages you like. When someone you’re following tweets something interesting, asks for help, or makes you laugh, re-tweet their message.
  • The 20-19 rule. The most successful Tweeters follow a “20-19 rule:” They tweet no more than 20 times per day, and 19 of those tweets are about other people.

If you like these tips, please follow Spork Marketing on Twitter.