Twitter is fast becoming the latest "thing" in internet marketing but is it right for your business? Millions of people around the world are doing it along with other forms of social media so you likely recognise the importance of trying to find a way to utilise Twitter. However, exactly how would you incorporate it and in what capacity? How can you measure the investment and potential returns? In order to see the value of Twitter, it is important to understand what kind of impact it is having now as well as some of the "unspoken" rules regarding its use.

Twitter Tenets for your Business to Live By

The bottom line is understanding that the feeling of community is at the root of Twitter. People who use this social media tool do not want to be sold goods or services so don't bother to try as this is a major turn-off. Instead, use Twitter to post good news about your company or your market niche overall. Ask for insights from your followers. These people could turn into the ultimate supporters for your products and services.

Provide value to the tweets you post. Include insightful information about your industry or business and keep abreast of current trends others are talking about. People tend to follow those who tweet about topics they are interested in and they will likely share that information with others, effectively broadening your reach. It is important also to respond to those who have taken the time to follow your tweets and comment, even if you do not exactly agree with them.

Be prepared to handle the backlash if you tweet something that is not exactly favourable or positive. While posting your viewpoint is important, it is equally important not to alienate your Twitter followers. In addition, it does take time to build up a following so have patience with this new venue of internet marketing. Place your Twitter address on letterhead, product packaging and website. Become a follower of other tweeters so they will see your presence. Get involved in your community and tweet about local community events. Curiosity in who you are will often prompt others to start following you.

Other Relevant Items to Consider

Unlike print, radio or television ads, Twitter does provide some measurability in terms of its effectiveness. You can monitor how many followers you have as well as set up alerts that will tell you when your company name and its products and services are mentioned. Keep in mind that there may be some negative viewpoints and it is important to remember not to respond negatively as Twitter provides an open forum and you cannot please everyone.

Twitter can be a fun, inexpensive internet marketing tool because not only can you tweet simple comments and viewpoints, you can also add newsworthy items and blog postings which can be traced back to your company website. Can you imagine the people you can reach when some of your followers re-tweet your information to their own list? Being a Twitter community member can ultimately boost business but you need to remember that open communication, trust and community commitment is the key.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Jenkinson is a UK based marketing consultant providing an outsourced marketing service to business owners and company directors.