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Really? You still aren’t convinced that Twitter is an incredible tool for business growth?

As of today, Twitter sends me 31% of my traffic. 31%. That’s darn near one third.

Yesterday, it was 28%…it’s a growing trend. And it’s in direct correlation to how I use it.

1. The writing. When I tell people about Twitter, I always bring up the movie A River Runs Through It. Do you remember how the narrator, Norman McLean, would bring his father a page of writing, only to have his dad send him back to make it shorter, to do it again? Eventually, he’d whittle that full page down to a scant paragraph: succinct, pure, direct, on message.

This is the opportunity that Twitter affords us. Take it. Have fun with it, use it to become a better writer.

And, proofread. Yes, you’ll be somewhat creative in your spellings and abbreviations – but make those purposeful and clean up any accidentals. Read your tweets out loud – make sure they make sense!

2. Connect, connect, connect. I DM (send a private Direct Message) every single person* that follows me. Yes, this is time consuming – but the purpose of Twitter is to connect. How can I not do that if I don’t look at this new person, find something about them that I can relate to (picture, bio, site, blog, recent tweet content). This first contact, for me, is where the relationship starts…and aren’t first impressions everything?

3. Listen. Stop in and just listen to what people are tweeting. What can you add? How can you help? What can you learn about the world in this moment?

4. Give. Be generous. What do you have to offer to your community? Retweet good tweets. Celebrate your followers’ accomplishments. There IS enough for us all.

5. Be Authenic. Who are you? Show people what makes you, you. And remember: you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people, all of the time. So get over it and be you – attract those that will appreciate you (and even some that won’t!). But don’t change yourself for anyone…that will only bite you on the tush later (because it’s lying and that’s what lies do.)

6. Seize every opportunity. Seriously, grab it by the horns. There are opportunities popping up all over Twitter every second. What do you do with them? I explore them. I smell them. I squeeze them. And I pick them when they’re ripe.

*If the person that follows me is clearly a spammer (posting only links to themselves or promising money or sex), I block them which lets Twitter know that they are bad news!

Now, go! Tweet, connect and prosper!

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Jan Simpson says:

    Very nice post! And what a way to back up what you write – without having to write – you must be great/tough dad. LOL


  • ggw_bach says:

    for someone starting from scratch today, twitter would be the best way to grow your brand, establish an internet profile. It has zero entrance costs, the rewards for work are immediately evident, and it’s fun and addictive! twitter is the ultimate connectivity tool. best thing since youtube imho.

  • Paul says:

    cool words and so so true … twitter is a truly amazing tool as u say, and evolving as we speak at staggering numbers .. Twitter Groups such as , yes I am from Oz, are being formed at an extraordinary pace. I think this site launched on 24th Nov and 1700+ groups had been formed up until the last few days … I formed 5 today for my own business to encourage Australians to embrace this media urgently or fear being left behind. But if it is just for personal use that is just as fine if not more so … here is a real example … I shortly will head off off to bed … my partner is in Chicago right now as I write … she is waking up ….I search Chicago in twtr, and tweets tell me heavy snow is making it a nightmare on the roads … that was 30 secs ago … she wakes up and chats to me on Skype and I tell her something that is happening outside her window, from the other side of the world .. before ANY news report could even reach the masses …scary !!! Have fed u , nice blog. Paul

  • Julianne says:

    What a fabulous post on Twitter and Tweeting!! I like the idea about DM’ing. I’ll do that more. :-)

  • Dan Power says:

    Great post, really good points.

    I’ve been trying to do most of those things for the past few weeks and the traffic on my blog has just exploded.

    I write about a technical topic (Master Data Management) and started a Twitter Group on that ( which is growing slowly but surely.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  • I agree with Julianne, I got so caught up with twitter (newly found twitterholic) that it didn’t occur to me to be as gracious with the people who have chosen to follow my twitterings as I would be if someone greeted me in the street.

    You’ve won me over. Tonight I DM the all!

  • I love Twitter. It’s such a great example of social media as a connection and communication tool. What better way to connect to your community instantly?

    It’s easy to find those who are interested in sharing what’s going on in their work (rather than what’s going on with their cat. And there’s nothing wrong with cats. Really) and it’s been fantastic to get heads up on related blog posts and web sites.

    It’s interesting to see companies try to use twitter as another ‘sell to’ marketing arm, and it doesn’t work. Twitter needs you to be human and honest, not ‘hey come see our show!!!’

  • Debra Snider says:

    You are such a terrific person, Julie! These truths are or should be self-evident, but sadly they aren’t and your post does a great job of making them plain. I can verify that you live what you write, too. You’re a great Twitter friend. Thank you!

  • Your analogy of writing concisely and creatively for Twitter to the movie A River Runs Through It, reminds me of the years that the Zen Master painters train in order to come to the simplicity of a few brush strokes to express the complete essence of the subject .. Be it a mountain or the smallest leaf.

    As a visual artist, I see twittering as an ART form, to which you have given some GREAT guidelines Julie. I’ll pass your recommendations on to all the people I’ve personally invited to Twitter. Thank you.

  • Julie- this is yet another outstanding post and right on the money. Twitter is the fastest way to connect and it is also business friendly which many other applications are not.

    I agree with you that you should be personally thanking by name each person who follows you through a DM. And don’t use the auto generator for the follow thanks.

    As a coach and passionate writer I have discovered people I would never have met through my real estate business networks. Twitter is stimulating.

  • Julie: I am a relative Twitter newby, but thanks to people like you, I am learning its value in promoting my home staging company. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

  • This article was “twittterfied” Very well written short and to the point. A must “retweet”

  • Rob Gokee says:

    Great list of Twitter commandments. I particularly like that you DM all new followers, something I may adopt. I make a concerted effort to read someone’s backlog of tweets and find something to comment on, to let them know that I’m interested in them as a person as well as a business contact.

    Twitter alone accounted for a 120% boost in my blog readership, and it enabled me to find other blogs, like yours, that are enjoyable and informative;)

  • I am constantly reading new ideas for twitter uses, but am still a little confused on the etiquette, it there is one. I try to keep in mind that I need to be as polite here as I would be in person, but I don’t know what to say to most of the tweets I read, so I stay very quiet. I like to “tweet” but have not found my voice I guess. Trying hard to stay in touch, learn as much as I can, find ways to make money and not alienate anyone.
    I like your blogs, your direct approach and your ideas. I will likely be back!

  • Julie Roads says:

    Oh, Duchess! My best advice is to follow those instincts and do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
    As for making money – if you are yourself and a good doobie, the right people will find you and engage. The ‘etiquette’ is really not to sell via Twitter, just to be you and connect with others, the business comes later…Thanks for stopping by!

  • Thanks Julie for this post. I sometimes have trouble dm people to thank them for following. I don’t understand since they are following me and I’m following them, but I can’t dm them… I am going to start today though going through my drop down bar in direct messages and sending out personalized messages…

    Thanks for your insight!


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