This post is part of our Twitter for Business: Fundamentals Series

So, you’ve gotten a Twitter account. And you’re asking yourself, ‘now what?’

Don’t panic… Think about how your posts (or ‘tweets’, as they’re referred to on Twitter) might add value to your followers and you can’t go wrong!

In fact, most successful posts on Twitter come in a few basic flavors, such as;

Links to Articles or Resources on the Web

If you find a great article on the web, copy and paste the link and tweet it out to your followers. An added bonus of posting links is that your influence on Twitter actually increases as more and more people click the links that you post!

What you’re doing, working on, or thinking about

So, although you technically can tell your followers what you had for breakfast, don’t! They’d probably be more interested in a recommendation of the diner where you’re eating. Use your common sense and only post things that you think will be of interest your followers.

ReTweets of Useful Messages

Twitter thrives when good content is shared. In the Twitterverse, this is known as a ReTweet. If you read a tweet that you think might interest your followers, don’t keep it to yourself – ReTweet it!

Conversation

This is one of the most powerful (though often underutilized) features of Twitter. People want to engage with people, not with brands or advertisements. Use Twitter as a way to converse and genuinely interact with people and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this much sooner!

Ask Questions

Ask questions on TwitterWant to know if someone can recommend a good movie? Or maybe you want to know Plank’s constant…Post questions to your Twitter followers and it’s likely you’ll not only get the answer (The Departed and 6.626068 × 10-34 m2 kg /s, respectively) but you’ll start a new conversation in the process!

Of course, this is not a definitive list, but the most interesting and valuable tweets will tend to fall into one of those categories. There’s no right or wrong combination, but here’s a few additional things to consider;

DOs

• Send links to great content and useful articles that pertain to your followers interests. Posting useful content is the best way to grow and maintain your audience on Twitter.

• ReTweet messages that you find interesting or useful, attributing the original author.

• Be Human. Messages that look like they were written by a marketer don’t go very far on Twitter.

• Have Fun. Twitter is a humorous place, just be sure to use the same tact and manners you would in a normal setting.

• Thank people who re-post your messages

• Reply promptly to your @ replies and Direct Messages

• Find ways to help others. If someone has a question on a subject that you’re knowledgeable about, help them out. Twitter is a very generous place. Without that generosity it wouldn’t have grown to what it is today.

DON’Ts

• Don’t post other people’s content as your own – EVER.

• Don’t argue! Twitter is a very public place and it has an infinite memory. It’s not the place to solve disputes. If you have a stronger point to make – take it offline and in private.

•  Don’t talk about religion or politics, unless it’s relevant to your business. Opinions are great, but they should be opined from your personal account, if at all.

• Don’t try to sell. Your timeline should include much more conversation than promotional material. The value of social networks to businesses is new opportunities to engage with your audience, not market to them.

And finally, when it comes to posting or tweeting, have a little patience. Even the most interesting and influential people on Twitter took some time to build their followers. But if you use the principles above as your guide, you’ll be tweeting like @aplusk in no time!

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