As an entrepreneur or small business owner, Twitter is a great place to be... if you're using it properly. If you're not, you may be guilty of social sabotage. For example:

 

It is possible to be too private.

Why would you want to protect your tweets? If you aren't revealing top secrets that only your closest friends should see, and you're not in any witness protection plan, let others follow with you! What is the harm? You can always unfollow or even block someone if you don't like how they act. As long as you don't announce where you are, what you purchased recently, or other personal information commonly used to recover passwords or track you, you don't have much to worry about. If you exclude people, you are missing out on the social part of media. You might as well sign up for a digital newspaper and kiss those potential resources, investors, and partners goodbye.

 

Others can't direct message you if you don't follow back.

Have you ever tried to send someone a message, and then realized you couldn't because the person wasn't following you? Not following back is like blocking someone's telephone number before they ever call. Lists are a way to keep track of the people who are most important to you, so the old argument that following fewer people makes a person more social is horse pucky. This week, I worked on building the EOK's Twitter membership list. As I added people, I followed them in hopes that each would follow back as a way for me to communicate with them as needed. This kind of communication is so helpful and efficient. I plan to follow every member on my personal account too, so I can interact as myself and see what each has to offer on Twitter. Once a month, I use Tweepi to mark really valuable follows as "safe" and then I unfollow all the other non-followers to avoid reaching my follow ratio limits. 

 

TrueTwit validation is wonderful... in theory only.

There is nothing more friendly and inviting than a DM asking you to prove you're real by taking time out of your day to enter a code on a website. (not!) TrueTwit claims to verify people from robots, but that isn't entirely accurate. Those of us who have used and dumped TrueTwit know that TrueTwit doesn't stop someone from following you if they don't verify, and many people who are real don't bother to verify because it is a pain. I am one of them. You are, however, helping TrueTwit build their own member list by encouraging others to join so they don't keep getting bothered.

 

Give people a way to know more about you.

Sometimes, I see a really cool tweet and I want to know more about the person who tweeted. The profile page is a good place to get a small summary about a person, but I usually end up clicking on the link in their profile. The people who don't provide a link really miss out. They miss out on telling me what they do, introducing me to a cause, getting me interested in their blog, linking with me on Facebook, or experiencing whatever other opportunity may have resulted from sharing a link. They become an unknown and one-dimensional person at that point. If you don't have a blog or company website, consider sharing your Facebook page, pipl profile, or some other url where you are mentioned. Anything is better than nothing. Make sure you have a Twitter profile picture, too. I remember people by the picture they use, on Twitter, on EOKhq, and just about everywhere.

 

 

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