The logic of connecting more closely with your target audience has attracted many businesses to Twitter, but once they're there they can be unsure of best practices or what to do next. Here are some tips to help expand your reach in the Twitterverse.
1. Follow more of your followers. I would think at least 40% of your followers are in areas where it makes sense for you to get their updates. Look carefully through your followers and make your selections. If you're worried that your treatstream will get clogged up with stuff you don't care about, make lists by category so you can easily access your favorite tweets.
2. Print out a list of all your clients and prospects, and then use the Find People tab to see if they're on Twitter. It is a good idea to follow all your clients so that you can keep tabs on what's going on with them. Reading their tweets will keep you in the loop and might give you the heads up on new opportunities. If you don't want competitors to access your client lists, set them to Private and no one but you will be able to see them.
3. List yourself on Twitter directories so that people who don't yet know you but are interested in the topics you cover can find you. You can sign up at twellow.com, twibs.com, wefollow.com, whoshouldfollow.com, twubble.com twitterlinkup.com and tweetertags.com.
4. Always be thinking of bringing your website content to your Twitter feed. Many more people will see it on Twitter than just on your website. When you update your blog or website make sure to tweet about it. Sites like twitterfeed.com can automate this process.
5. Post periodic visuals using twitpic.com, to give your visually-minded followers the chance to engage with you in a new way.
6. Get in the habit of regularly following people as you go through your work week - if you read a great book, see if the author is on Twitter and follow him/her. When you get a new client, add them to your lists. Create a system internally so that everyone in the company can do this on a regular basis.
With these tips you should be able to more than double the number of quality followers you have in a short time, which will widen your sphere of influence. If you want to track your progress, I like twittercounter.com. It can show you exactly how you're growing.
© 2011 Barbara Wayman, APR, BlueTree Media, all rights reserved
Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at http://www.bluetreemedia.com
This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.