Just about everyone with a social marketing strategy addresses the use of Twitter for their business.  Some do it wisely.  Some don't.  Here are 5 tips for using Twitter effectively to promote and strengthen your business:

  1. Use Twitter for real business news
    Don't think of Twitter as just another gimmick that your customers are in to.  This is a serious application with considerable following.  If you're going to tweet about business updates, make sure your Twitter strategy is on par with your other PR.
  2. Tweet about more than business
    No one wants to follow an account that is all business all the time.  Make sure you liven the conversation with information your customers will be interested in.  Share that funny story from your employee talent show; people will be more likely to read about that than "we're releasing a low-priority maintenance software release."
  3. Re-tweet
    If you see something going on in the industry, take the time to follow up and share it with others.  You might be the closest point of contact some customers have to the cutting edge.  If you're breaking news, even for a small group of people, they'll be more loyal in the end.
  4. Monitor your followers
    Everyone loves to have 5,000 or more followers on Twitter.  It makes you feel important, and a high number is always great for morale in investor meetings.  But if 4,900 of those followers are spam or porn sites, it will only hurt your reputation.  Take the time to review your followers to make sure people aren't just trying to spam your account for trackbacks.
  5. Follow others in the industry
    Partners, competitors, industry moguls.  It doesn't really make a difference.  Just as you might be closer to information than your followers, other Twitter-folk might be closer to information than you.  Follow the same people on Twitter that you'd network with in real life and you'll be ahead of the curve.