So, you are now on Twitter and you are welcoming your first followers. You must be thrilled with all the self promoting DM’s (Direct Messages) you receive every day. Sure, there are a lot of gold diggers on Twitter.

What you are after is building a qualitative network of followers. People that actually value what you have to contribute to the online conversation, and vice versa.

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Currently more than 300.000 people a day, register an account on Twitter. Registering an account is easy. Basically Twitter only needs your full name, user name, and email address.

So before you know it “John Doe (john_doe_67) is now following your tweets on Twitter” rolls into people’s mailbox. I often get these kind of followers. Sigh.

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Last Monday I was writing about ‘Twitter eyeballs on valuable content’. The essence of the story was that if your content is valuable and if you make sure the right people can find it, you have a much better chance of converting them into readers, followers or buyers.

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My own little bi-monthly experiment…

Last year July my business partner Steve published a document on Scribd called “Business leaders and social media: a 4 step strategy framework”. It’s a useful little document for business leaders who need to direct their teams in setting social media strategy.

As a matter of habit and experiment, I retweet a link to the document to my Twitter followers every other month or so. Five minutes later I can see that the number of reads on the document has jumped up. Over the course of 15 minutes the documents gets an additional 40 reads. Now bad considering I only have about 800 followers.

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Last night my business partner Steve Seager and I finally cleared some time to study the analytics on our blogs. We usually do this every day, but the last few weeks have simply been mad busy. When we took a closer look at Steve’s stats for December we saw a huge spike in traffic on December 7. A bit like a whale in a fish pond.

Where in the name of Zeus did those people come from? Did we post a great presentation? Send out a press release? Publish a ground breaking blog post? Got a mention in the New York Times? After some research we found the answer.

A Retweet.

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Getting the basics right…

I see many businesses getting their feet wet with social media. I guess it is natural for businesses to discover new channels.

As my business partner Steve Seager points out in his blog post “Social Media is a lot like Aikido. Advertising is a lot like Karate”, social media channels are very different to radio, TV & print.

Many businesses I see on Twitter, embrace it as a broadcast channel. Wrong. People don’t care what you’re doing, what your products do or whether or not you have made it to the newspapers.

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Twitter 101 Guide offers insightful case studies

Twitter is one of today’s most successful social media channels. Having said that, many marketers and companies are skeptical of Twitter. They find it hard to understand how people use Twitter, how active people are and why people use it.

Some useful data on Twitter usage and stats can be found in this report [PDF] from Hubspot.

Still, however skeptical you might be, it is a fact that some companies have successfully used Twitter for their business. Recently the micro blogging platform itself launched Twitter 101, which is a special guide created to explain how companies can use Twitter for their business.

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New service offers hourly Twitter alerts…

Twitter. Some love it, some hate it. Some say it’s a great platform to share your interests, reach new customers, promote your blog or voice your opinion. Others don’t see the value of telling the world what they’re up to in 140 characters.

But whether you are participating or not, it’s a pretty good bet that valuable conversations are happening on Twitter: conversations about your product, your brand or your competitors.

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Social media and direct revenue…

Hmmm. Still talking about Dell. And this time it sounds like a Harry Potter title. The only difference is that this actually happened!

The company that initially got engaged in social media to repair the Dell Hell reputation damage, has now produced $1 million in revenue directly through Twitter! Dell’s Twitter followers receive messages when discounted products become available in the company’s Home Outlet Store.

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