It’s no secret that I love and use Twitter everyday. It is also no secret that when I first heard of it, I thought it was the stupidest idea I had ever heard. That’s why I have no problem understanding why people don’t get Twitter. To be honest, I don’t know many people personally who actively use Twitter. I do, however, have many friends and family ask me dozens of questions about Twitter. Therefore, I thought it would be helpful to explain how I use Twitter. My hope is that anyone can adapt and use Twitter for a more enjoyable and successful experience.

Beware, my Twitter strategy is a little peculiar.

Ditch Business: I started on Twitter simply to learn about it before trying to use it for any business motives. I have been on Twitter actively for a year, and have yet to “do business” using it. That is not to say that I haven’t had great business opportunities and leads find me. I have! BUT-I have not focused on using Twitter for a business purpose and this strategy has served me well. I have healthy Twitter habits now based on “relationships”, not “selling”. I believe this is the correct way to use Twitter anyway.

How has it served me well not to focus on ANY “business goal” using Twitter?

Learn for a Year: I have used the time to learn about Twitter, build relationships, strengthen processes, read, write, and learn some more. The result is that I have a fantastic grasp of how to properly use Twitter, I’m familiar with Twitter applications, I have met some key people, and according to some corporate PR reps, I’m “a well-established and active online participant”. When I made a comment recently about being “Minnesota Nice” and “a good listener”, another mom blogger pointed out to a dozen other moms to “watch out for her; she’s the most deadly.” This was the best compliment I received in a long while; the absolute power I have in being a good listener.

Become a Trusted Resource: Being a trusted resource for people is very important. After all, the point of social networking is to grow my relationships with people I may want to do business with in the future, ask for advice, and trust with my reputation. I’ve volunteered my time helping people, published guest articles for people, drove targeted traffic on behalf of others, wrote subject matter expert articles for other people who asked me, coached moms bloggers through technical questions and more.

The Result?

Target Market Followers:I have thousands of Twitter followers in my niche target market; tech savvy mothers who embrace small business, love social marketing, and are committed to finding joy in what they do. Of course, this has come at a small price. I don’t allow myself to follow many people outside of my target market. It would be fun to read tweets from the stars or get caught up in political tweets, but I remain focused on building the relationships that count. Not having anything to “sell” has really helped me quickly establish followers and grow relationships that may have been thwarted by a profile with a hint of ulterior motive.

No Missed Opportunities: I can focus my time on getting the right followers and providing humorous, creative, and helpful tweets to those who follow me. I can also focus my time on answering EVERY @reply tweet I get. I sort carefully through my direct messages for any that are personal. I recently was extended an opportunity via DM to interview a Hollywood movie director, and later an actor. I followed up on a DM to see what it was about, and it has resulted in a fun, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Life experiences make us better at what we do, and I view Twitter as a gateway to great life experiences.

I am not shy to admit that I use and love Twitter. I try to be patient with those who don’t get it yet. I view every hesitant question about Twitter as an opportunity to educate people and help them understand the possibilities coming our way; one tweet at a time!

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