I admit it. I'm a Twitter gal and I absolutely love what Twitter can do for small business owners. It produces massive visibility, it's a top-notch lead generation tool and a powerful networking platform. Unfortunately, Twitter continues to mystify many small business owners who aren't quite sure what all the fuss is about. The good news is that Twitter doesn't have many rules. It's by in large all about using common sense, being polite and exercising good judgment. But, that being said, here are five ways to ensure that your Twitter experience is a tragic disaster: 1. Toot your own horn too much. Obviously, you are passionate about your small business and want to let the world know about its strengths and virtues. However, Twitter is not an advertising platform. It's a social community. When you constantly shout sales pitch to your followers, they're going to instantly unfollow you. Instead, try to immerse yourself in the Twitter community and join the conversation. 2. Use the default Twitter profile. If you're using Twitter as a marketing tool for your small business, then you need to avoid the default Twitter profile. That cute, little default cloud background is certainly not doing your small business any favors. Take a few minutes and put together a customized Twitter profile and brand your small business by utilizing all of that valuable advertising space. (No excuses, you can even do this for free at mytweetspace.com) 3. Tweet once a week. Your followers have hundreds, if not thousands of Tweets flowing through their Twitter stream on a daily basis. If you think that your weekly Tweet is going to get noticed, you need to reset your thinking. Twitter works best when your followers see your Tweets flow through their stream again and again. Repeated exposure is the only way to get noticed on Twitter. 4. Don't interact with your followers. There are all sorts of nifty Twitter automation tools that can help manage your time on Twitter. And I'm a big believer in sending out a few automated Tweets. But, if you want Twitter to work, you actually need to personally log into your account and send out Tweets. Answer questions, retweet your followers, make conversation. Your followers want to see a real person in front of your small business. They're not looking for a bunch of automated, impersonal Tweets. 5. Give up too soon. This is one of the most common problems of Twitter. In fact, Twitter has one of the highest "drop-out" rates of any social networking platform. And, it's a shame. Small business owners everywhere, start on Twitter only to drop out a week later. Twitter isn't an instant fix for your business. It's a relationship tool and relationships take time to develop. So, give Twitter the time that it deserves and it will reward you. Whether you're a Twitter newbie or a seasoned Twitter professional put these five tips into play and make your Twitter experience one that truly benefits and grows your small business.
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