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First post in the series: Is Twitter Right For Me?

Following others and being followed

When you follow somebody on Twitter, their tweets appear on your Twitter timeline much like you can see your friends’ status updates on your Facebook ticker. The big difference between Twitter and Facebook is that you don’t need other people’s approval before you can follow them on Twitter.

Every time you post a tweet, it appears on the Twitter timeline of all the people who are following you. If you’re posting on Twitter as a business, you need followers on Twitter so that you can get your message out about your company, products, and services. Twitter also gives you the ability to have conversations with current and potential clients using the promotional tweets system.

So, you just need to follow as many people as possible and start tweeting about your products like there is no tomorrow, right? Not so fast. You need to have a plan, a strategy to make the most of Twitter, before you start following a bunch of people.

Sharing with your followers and retweeting

When you start following others on Twitter, you need to share useful information with them so that they want to follow you, too. The information that your followers are interested in may vary depending on their focus and interests. But they’re probably not dying to read a ton of tweets in a row in which you praise your products and services. If you take that approach, prepare to be unfollowed massively on Twitter.

You need to strike a balance between your marketing message, useful information about your industry, and some personal elements to give people a feel for the human side of your company. Along with all these elements, you also need to share useful tweets that others post on Twitter. Sending your followers a tweet that you’ve received is called retweeting, and it’s considered part of the social currency on Twitter.

Retweeting goes well beyond giving credit to whoever shared something, it indicates that you respect or like this person’s opinion, thoughts, or whatever he or she tweets about. Also, when others retweet something you’ve posted, you can start to get your message out in the Twitter world — but you have to start by retweeting messages posted by other people before you can ask them to retweet your messages.