I received a great tip from Mack Collier from The Viral Garden blog about using Twitter for business yesterday. I asked a question on LinkedIn about Twitter and if people found it valuable or a waste of time. (LinkedIn is another powerful networking tool, but I digress...)
Here is what Mack wrote which really helped me understand the value of Twitter:
"IMO, Twitter is the best online networking tool. It does have a ton of downtime issues, but I can't see it being replaced by anything else. It's extremely easy to use, and has the first-mover advantage. And most competitors seem to be helping, by trying to more or less clone Twitter (except for Plurk).
As for business, I've received business and speaking engagements from contacts made on Twitter. Really, it's value is greatly dependent upon who you follow."
So Mack pointed me in this direction to find people to follow in the categories I'm most interested in. http://twitterpacks.pbwiki.com/
(I chose New Media, Real Estate, Speakers, Social Media, Technology and Marketing/PR. On the personal side, I chose Knitting and Crochet...)
Right there is the key to finding influential followers on Twitter! Use the link to find groups such as "Small Business, New Media, Lawyers, etc." in areas you're in or groups you're trying to market to and then follow them. You can auto add the lists to your Twitter account. I added about 300 to my list yesterday.
The amazing thing is quite a few of them were kind enough to reciprocate and follow me. I had 68 followers before I added those 300 people, now I'm up to over 150. Now I have an stronger network to ask questions of if I'm stumped about something, get opinions from and generally learn more about.
Next week I'll talk about How to Make Twitter Work for You Part 2--Benefits of Adding your Company to the TwitterPacks Wiki
Thanks Matt! I'm high on Twitter again! (or should we say addicted?) Now, excuse me, I have 145 friends waiting for this blog post on Twitter....