Twitter is the fastest growing social networking site on the Internet, and is a very popular subject within Internet marketing circles. Some people are still not convinced of its value as a genuine marketing tool, but serious marketers have not only realized that, but are already using it to drive traffic to their web properties and, ultimately, to make money.
When you're just getting started on Twitter, things can seem hectic or confusing. To get yourself hooked up with some followers who have similar interests as you, think of a popular online community that you frequent and start following people you know there. If you are active in this online community, then people will start to notice you and follow you as well.
Once you have a decent number of followers, it's time to start tweeting. When you tweet, it shouldn't be about yourself, but about others. There have been many spoofs of Twitter in the form of comics and videos which comment on how some people like to tweet about their everyday lives. If you want to brand yourself as someone knowledgeable and whom it would be desirable to follow, then you'll need to be able to provide value to your followers as well as potential followers.
There are also a plethora of tools on the Internet that integrate with Twitter to provide greater functionality and options. These tools can be used to automate tasks which you may find are taking up too much of your time. Be wary of automating too much though as the whole point of Twitter is that it is a 'social' site, and the parts of it you automate the less interaction you have with other Twitter users. Still, there are some great tools out there, the best of which you can find by simply searching for 'twitter tools' on a search engine.
As well as simply sending information out to your followers, Twitter is great for building new contacts by getting involved in conversations and answering others questions. If someone makes an interesting tweet, then tweet back that you found their tweet helpful and maybe add something to what they originally tweeted. Or, if someone tweets about something that you don't know about that, then tweet back to ask them for more details on it.
If you tweet and interact with certain individuals long enough, they'll start trusting and respecting you. Then, once others see that you are an active and valuable Twitter user, they will start interacting with you too, and a viral networking effect results. The consequence being that once you have built a small network on Twitter, and are an active user, your follower base will start to grow significantly without any specific additional efforts by you.
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