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Op-Ed: The entrepreneur on Twitter — 13 points for growth and relevance

By Michael Krebs     May 1, 2013 in Internet
The founder of Twitter recently headlined a summit in Japan to offer advice to the country's entrepreneurs - but what should an entrepreneur do to gain Twitter followers and to move forward with 140-character nuggets?
At a recent entrepreneur conference in Japan, Jack Dorsey, founder of the popular micro-blogging service, Twitter, joined a number of social media executives in offering advice to Japanese small business leaders, according to a PC World report.
“We were extremely surprised by how quickly Japan took to Twitter, and I think a lot of it was due to the developers who were building their own interfaces on top of something that we had built, and made it more culturally relevant,” Dorsey said.
But how is an entrepreneur operating anywhere in the world expected to begin with Twitter? The following thirteen approaches offer some pointers on how to grow a relevant and influential network across the twittersphere:
1. Follow people who show a pattern of following back. You want to look for a fairly equal ratio of connections in the "following" and "followers" columns. Some Twitter users do not have a tendency to follow back, or they may follow back for a period of time before unfollowing. These behaviors will be reflected in the follower/following equation.
2. Follow people who tweet often. This increases the probability of retweets and also ensures that you are following active participants and thought leaders in the sectors and arenas of interest to you and of your customers and prospects.
3. Try to keep your follower pool relevant to the objectives of your business. There are a lot of eclectic people on Twitter with disparate interests and perspectives.
4. Follow people with large pools of followers where possible. This will increase your potential for meaningful amplification.
5. Follow the people that your followers follow, and follow the people that follow your followers. This approach ensure optimal relevance within the circles you most want to influence and to whom you most want to listen.
6. Tweet often - at least three times daily. This practice will help you develop your voice and will help develop positive behaviors. You want to be visible on Twitter and making noise affords optimal visibility.
7. Thank those who retweet your tweets. This is a common courtesy widely demonstrated on the service. It also ensures that you are listening to others, some of whom may become your customers.
8. Create lists and categorize followers into those lists. For example, you might want to create a C-Suite list and put all of your c-level followers in there. This is a good organizational practice, and it also allows you to further filter the informative tweets of different populations of interest to you.
9. Retweet relevant tweets from your followers. The act of retweeting displays deference to other thought leaders and often attracts the attention of those being retweeted.
10. Create a daily and automate it to tweet daily either in the middle of the day or anytime after 6pm. This offers another voice for your business, bringing together content in an innovative format and pushing it out to your followers in an automated fashion.
11. Tweet at different times of the day and note when you are receiving the most favorites and retweets. This variation will yield optimal learnings on when your follower base is interacting with your messaging.
12. Become an authority but not a blowhard. Share humor and knowledge.
13. Follow your competition and note how they are using Twitter and how they may or may not be attracting followers.
While many small business owners are gravitating to LinkedIn, Twitter is a unique sharing environment and one where the entrepreneur can find success.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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