Twitter for Business Step-By-Step Guide – Finding and Managing People


Twitter can be a fantastic tool for your business, but it all boils down to how well (and how often) you use it.

It’s like moving into a new neighborhood.  If you peep out the window with a pair of binoculars and watch everyone, you may know what is going on with your neighbors in microscopic detail, but you’re a ghost.  You’re invisible.  No one knows you exist.

If you get out there, however, and comment on your next door neighbor’s roses, say hello to those you pass when out for your daily jog, you’ll soon meet jogging partners and be swapping plant cuttings.  Next thing, you’re being invited to barbecues, your kids are playing with the kids across the road – and you’re fully involved in the community.

That’s what you need to do on Twitter too.  Find out when all the other neighbors are outside. Be out there.  Get involved.  And do so, on a regular, daily basis.

In the meantime, to make sure you are well-introduced, let’s look at eleven methods for finding valuable “neighbors…

1.    Check for Twitter Alerts 

Twitter itself will tell you if you’ve missed an avenue for connection.  Next time you log in, you’ll see “suggestions” just under your header.


(Example:  You’re likely to see this particular message if you skipped searching through your email contacts.  If you click “Search contacts”, it will ask you to sign into your Gmail account.)

2.    Check for New “Followers” Daily

Every time you log into Twitter, get into the habit of glancing at your Followers tab.  If the total has grown, click on it straight away to see who your new followers are.

2-check followers

If they look like people you would want to be neighbors with (i.e. their interests seem to be aligned to yours), go ahead and follow them back.


The importance of checking each new follower out:

Just click on a new follower’s profile photo and viewing his or her “full profile”:  It will quickly become apparent that some new followers have no interest in you or your niche but are after quick numbers.

Never follow blindly back.  Followers like the one blurred out above can look harmless but will only detract from the quality of your list – and the SEO/authority value of your tweets. No matter how pleasant or innocuous their initial tweet, check:  You may discover they use headers or backgrounds (or post photos and include links) that are in complete opposition to your values or interests.

Even if the background is seemingly innocent, do your due diligence in checking out potential followers. And in spite of the harmless “tweet” that appeared in our sample Twitter Timeline, there were no actual tweets at all in this new follower’s feed.

In fact, the prominent, clickable link on “her” header led straight to an explicit porn site.

4-blockingYou can report or block spammers like this.  Most of the time a follower turns out to be spammy, simply blocking them will suffice.  (If you “report” too many people, insider rumor seems to suggest that Twitter may hold it against you.)  But do report anyone who violates Twitter’s own definitions or who seems to really cross the line.

To report: Click on the little person-arrow icon beside their “Follow” button and check “Report” from the drop-down menu.  (It will automatically block the offender too.)

Ignoring new followers means that spammy or offensive contacts may remain on your Followers list – and your Twitter power will suffer accordingly.

Always check them out!

3.    Use your @Connect Button.

But what do you do when your new “Followers” numbers grow too large, and you simply can’t tell if you’ve gained new followers or not?

Click on your @Connect button to instantly see who has:

  • Interacted with you (that includes new follows)\
  • Mentioned you


4.    Reply and Acknowledge All Mentions 

If someone has mentioned you (e.g. “#BarnOwlPottery, that was a great tip about keeping clay damp”), here’s your perfect chance to acknowledge and reply – which is possibly your most important Twitter-growing strategy.

People appreciate personal notice – particularly if they’ve responded to a tweet of yours in the first place.

And, face it, Twitter is littered with people who don’t bother to acknowledge those who retweet and respond.  Your interactive habits will certainly stand out!  Plus people who check out your profile when you’ve just “followed” them will see that you are a friendly person who engages… and they will be more likely to follow you back.  (In other words, they won’t be wasting their time on you.)

Besides, it’s more fun when you chat to everyone at the barbecue.  You don’t want to make anyone feel he or she is sitting, ignored, in a corner (particularly when they brought the Smores).

5.    Check In with Those You Are Following

And speaking of responding, do remember to check out the “Following” button as well, every time you log on.


See what those you follow are up to – and respond to their tweets, if any resonate with you.


Never, ever respond just for the sake of being noticed.  If there’s a link, check it out and – if you feel strongly enough about what you’ve just read, heard or seen – reference a specific detail from the link destination (i.e. article or video).

It’s all about bringing value to the conversation.

6.    Retweet

Again, never retweet just for the sake of retweeting.  All that will do is quickly train your followers to ignore your retweets!

If you find something highly useful or interesting to your fellow niche members, however – especially if it’s something to which comments would feel superfluous – go ahead and retweet.


7.    Use Your #Discover Button

Another tab to check daily:  Your #Discover button.

Click on it, and other avenues for new contacts will open up.  For example, here we have clicked the Activity tab in the left-hand menu, and can instantly see that one business we are following in turn recently followed two new Twitter accounts…


If these new contacts look interesting, we can then check out their profiles by clicking on the profile photos and following them too.  (This where making sure during set up that we only followed people relevant to our niche and interests really pays off.)

(And it’s always nice to see that others followed you too!)


 8.    Create and Use Twitter Lists

Did you know you can create and use lists on Twitter?  In fact, you can make up to 1,000 lists; each containing as many as 5,000 accounts.

It’s easy to create a Twitter list.  Here’s how…

  • Go to your profile, and click on the “Lists” tab in your profile left-hand menu


  • Click on the “Create list” button


  • Name your list (25 characters or less) and provide a description.  Use your keywords.   Set whether or not your list will be public or private (for your eyes only) by clicking the radio button of your choice.


  • Save your list.

To add people to your list:

Twitter is all ready and waiting to help you with this task.  Simply enter into the textarea search box:

  • The Twitter handle of someone you already know
  • Your keywords; or a niche keyword


Select people or businesses from the results, and click the people-arrow icon to access its drop-down menu.

Then select: “Add or remove from lists”.


Select the radio button beside the list you want to add your contact into.


There’s no need to click “Create a list” unless you want to create a new one.  Simply checking the radio button will add your contact to that list.

You can also find and join already-established lists.

9.    Organizing Your Twitter Lists

If you think of Twitter lists as content curation, you’ll grasp their purpose quickly.  Each list is a straightforward collection of tweets from member, meant to be read only.  All list members will see every tweet to that list (providing they are subscribed to it).

One of the most basic parts of organizing your Twitter lists: Making them easy to find.

The easiest way to access a favorite list is to bookmark via your browser toolbar.  To do this:

  • Open your list so you are on its feed page with all its posts
  • Click on your browser’s “Bookmark” icon
  • Select either the browser Bookmarks bar or another bookmark folder to keep your list bookmark in.  (Tip:  Create a “Twitter Lists” bookmark folder if you want to bookmark more than a couple of Twitter Lists.)


10. Finding Good Lists to Join

Finding a list to subscribe to couldn’t be easier, but it can be a painstaking process, if you don’t know the list name.  (Again, this is where having a highly relevant, focused stable of people you follow can help you save time.  Lists these contacts belong to are far more likely to align with your interests.)

  • Search for your favorite people (ones you are currently following) and click on a profile photo
  • Slide your eyes to the bottom left corner of the profile summary and click “Go to full profile”


  • From within their full profile, click on the Lists tab.  On the right-hand side, where tweets are normally displayed, you’ll find all lists they subscribe to.


  • Click on the name of any list you want to join.


  • When their profile opens, select “Subscribe”.


Lists are great vehicles for quickly keeping up with the latest niche or industry news.

Note that:

  • You are following the list – not individual users
  • If a user you’ve blocked is on that list, you will still see their posts
  • You can reply to any post on a list
  • You can retweet any post on a list
  • Private lists (lists checked as “private” by the owner) will not be available to you
  • You may not see every tweet on the list, unless you follow every person and no one has blocked you

11. Other Ways to Follow (and Find) Followers

You can visit individual websites and blogs to connect through Twitter badges and icons displayed there.  You can also find likely followers (and people you’d like to follow) by using hashtags.

A hashtag is a marked keyword – the marker being the “#” symbol.

Example: #firstdayofschool

In fact, there are many more ways to find followers and people to follow on Twitter. But your most important method of growing and managing followers?  Tweet regularly and daily.

Find out when your best audience likes to tweet.  Post, and hang out long enough for anyone to respond.  (Don’t just post-and-run!)


Be real.

After all, you’re part of the neighborhood.

Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Twitter Following



Having a strong Twitter presence is essential for your online business strategy. It allows you to quickly respond to real time events, make announcements that people pay attention to, distribute content, build trust and put out fires. Also, the larger your Twitter following, the better your chances are of creating content that can “go viral.”

Growing a Twitter following from scratch can be intimidating. How do you go from zero followers to hundreds to thousands to tens and hundreds of thousands? These are ten of the top ways to grow your Twitter following. Use these to kickstart your Twitter account or help it reach the next level.


1-Gmail-ContactsPeople often underestimate the amount of contacts they already have. Searching your databases and adding followers is a fantastic way to get new followers.

Start with your shopping cart buyer list. Since you’ll always have their first name, last name and email address, you’ll often be able to find people’s Twitter usernames. Also, check out their website and look for a Twitter contact if they provided a website during their checkout process.

Follow anyone who has already bought from you. Since they already know and trust you, there’s a very good chance they’ll follow you back.

Next, go to your autoresponder contacts. Again, search by names and emails.

Finally, search through your existing email contacts. Import your Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and other contact databases and look for people who know you. Follow them. Most likely, they’ll follow you.



Look for people who’re already talking about you. Since they’re discussing you, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in following you.

Search for your brand name, your product name and any other relevant keywords using Twitter’s search function. Then follow them. You can also @reply them to increase the chances that they’ll follow you.




Use tools like, and to find influential people in your industry. Follow these people and look for interesting conversations.

When people talk about something interesting, join in the conversation. Post insightful @replies and comment on popular relevant hashtags.

This allows you to leverage other people’s brands and other people’s influence to help you build your follower base.




Find high quality blogs in your industry. Leave high quality comments that offer value to other readers. Provide tips in your comments that other people would appreciate.

At the bottom of your post, sign off with your Twitter handle. People who appreciated your post will come and find you. Some blogs even have a plugin that allows you to include your Twitter name or you may be able to log into Twitter to post.

Note: Don’t spam. Provide real value and only mention your Twitter name.




If you have a strong web presence, use it to promote your Twitter following. Add social media buttons at the bottom of each post and in the sidebar of your website.

Make it easy for people to retweet your content. You should have not only a “Follow” button on your site, but an easy button people can click to instantly retweet posts they liked.




Contests have a tendency to go viral, especially if retweeting is a part of that contest.

Create a prize that people would want to fight for. Then create a contest that revolves around people retweeting your contest. You can also add other elements to the contest, like video submissions or getting their friends to vote.

Announce your contest on Twitter, on Facebook, to your email list and to your blog or website.




Retweet other people’s content as often as possible. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re only retweeting high quality, relevant information. If you see a piece of content on the web that you think your user base would like, retweet it. Don’t be stingy with retweets.

Whenever you retweet someone else’s message, you generate goodwill. If you do it regularly, people will take notice. You can then start to build a relationship with them.

Then, if you post something that you think would benefit their audience, you’ll have enough clout to ask them for a retweet. More often than not, they’ll say yes.




Add your Twitter name to all your promotional materials. Put it on your business cards, your posters, your letterheads, your pens, your website and anywhere else.




Sponsored Tweets ( is a tweet marketplace where you can buy tweets from people who have major followings. Prices for putting out a tweet can cost anywhere between a few dollars to several thousand dollars.

Sponsored Tweets lets you sort feeds by price, by follower numbers and by category. If you only want to target authors for example, you can filter your list so that you only see authors who want to get paid to put out a tweet.

Paying for a sponsored tweet on other feeds in your industry is a fantastic way to gain more exposure. Make sure you check out their user base and level of engagement before paying for a tweet.




Promoted tweets are paid tweets that show up prominently on people’s Twitter feeds. At the time of this writing, Twitter doesn’t have a self-serve advertising platform. Instead, you fill out a form to get in contact with Twitter’s internal advertising team.

If you have a significant marketing budget, this is a fantastic way to skyrocket your influence. You’ll get your message in front of people who may not have otherwise heard about your brand.


These are ten powerful ways you can build your Twitter influence and gain more followers. If you have money to spend, you can use paid tactics like sponsored tweets or promoted tweets to boost your influence rapidly. Otherwise, you can use organic tactics to steadily yet quickly grow and expand your follower base.


Twitter for Businesses: DOs and DON’Ts

Social_mediaTwitter allows business owners to interact with customers in a very unique, spontaneous and quick way. With Twitter, you can market to other business owners as often as you’d like. If you “spammed” Facebook status updates or email messages, you’d get penalized. On Twitter however, you could make a new post every hour and be commended for it.

Using Twitter for business? Here are a few tips for building your readership and improving the relationship with customers.

DOs: Add a catchy bio and not just a list of keywords. Remember to include the website URL and your location.

DOs: Use outside tools. Twitter’s default interface is great for the casual user, but is missing many features for business users. For example, you can’t schedule a tweet to be sent later. Use outside applications that add functionality to Twitter.

DOs: Pay attention to your avatar & background. Having an avatar and background that resonates with your brand can work wonders. The moment someone lands on your site, they should immediately “feel” like they’re interacting with your brand.

DOs: Make it easy to follow you. Place a Twitter button on your main website, on your posts, on your pages and generally anywhere that people can find you.

DOs: Search for related keywords and answer questions. For example, if you run a travel website, search for tweets like “going to Hawaii” or “flying to New York” and send people tips about the places they’re going.

DOs: Use RT @name to retweet. The new retweet format won’t get you noticed, because it lacks the @tweet inclusion. If you’re retweeting something, make sure to use the “RT @name” format so you show up on their @ Connect tab.

DOs: Tweet regularly. Get people in the habit of seeing your content. The more often you tweet, the more your content will be exposed to people. On Twitter, it’s very hard to tweet too often.

DON’Ts: It is difficult to read tweets that include more than 2 hashtags. Don’t add a hashtag just for the sake of including one.

DON’Ts: Avoid sending only tweets with a link. Twitter is not a bookmarking site, but a great tool to start a conversation.

If you are new to social media and need guidance to create a Twitter account, here’s how to do it:


Step 1: Create a New Account


To create a new account, go to Fill out the new account form.


Step 2: Startup Wizard


Go through the startup wizard if it’s your first time using Twitter. You’ll be invited to add people based on categories.


You’ll also be invited to search for and add contacts based on your email.


Use the categories feature and the search contacts feature to populate your initial follow list.

Step 3: Posting New Tweets


To post a Tweet to anyone who’s following you, type your message into the box on the left. Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters. This will be sent out to all your followers.


Step 4: See Who’s Talking to You


When someone wants to talk to you on Twitter, what they do is use a mention. They do this by putting the @ symbol in front of your name. For example, if your username was Jacob123, they would tweet something and put @Jacob123 in the beginning.

To see who’s been talking about you with this feature, just go to @ Connect along the top.


Note: If you and another tweeter are mutually following one another, you can communicate with direct messages. Otherwise, you have to use @ connects.

Step 5: Discover More People to Follow


To discover more people to follow, just click “Discover” along the top navigation bar. You can browse by category, by stories, by level of activity, by recommendations and by finding friends.


Step 6: Using the Feed


Once you’ve followed a handful of people, you’ll be able to see their tweets in your feed. To reply to a tweet, retweet a tweet or favorite a tweet, just hover your mouse over the tweet and click the corresponding button.