It might feel like everyone is telling you your company should be on Twitter, but before you say yes to a Twitter marketing campaign, make sure you understand what you’re signing up for. Take some time to understand the beauty and the potential difficulty of the platform.

First, a confession: I only started tweeting in January. In fact, the only reason I started tweeting was because I attended a webinar that was being live tweeted. The moderator for the event insisted that everyone have a Twitter handle in place before the webinar started. That made sense; after  all, it was a social media boot camp. I set up my account the day before the big event. The tweets accompanying the webinar added a level of engagement and depth to the presentation that was unexpected. It was nothing less than wonderful.

I tried it, and while I liked it, Twitter love didn’t happen until some months later.  Between like and love, I picked up three useful tips on how to make the experience more meaningful:

  • Follow interesting people. I was lucky. The boot camp was a great place to find interesting people to follow. It was a mixture of journalists and social media folk. If you can, use a webinar or other Twitter list as a way to find like-minded Twitter users. Failing that, try to find leaders in your industry to follow. Your Twitter stream will be the more interesting for it. Twitter chats are also a great way to find people to follow. You want your Twitter feed to be meaningful to you, so follow your interests.
  • Be a person. Fill out your Twitter profile with a picture and write a little bio about yourself. Include at least one thing you like to tweet about in the bio. This will let people know the kinds of tweets to expect from you, generally. You don’t have to stick exclusively to your topic, but it helps your potential followers to understand you better.
  • Tweet. It was a little daunting to tweet at first. Actually, sometimes it still is. The power tweeters here at Roundpeg suggested that I should be myself, engage with other people and relax. Ideally, you should share something interesting, entertaining, useful or educational. I’m sure there is a “what I had for breakfast” crowd on Twitter, but try to go beyond that.

Once you have an idea of how you fit into the world of Twitter as an individual, you’ll get a better idea of what all the fuss is about for your company. See you on Twitter: @imperialtina