This weekend’s blog post is on the merits of Twitter since I have a friend who is an aspiring children’s author and blogger who thinks twitter is not for them really and can do without it.  While a lot of my clients have their own businesses or interests and also need a bit of persuading!  
Not a hugely relevant except children’s author?
As a maker of wedding stationery and invitations it’s let me develop contacts with people all over the country and is opening up opportunities that I’d of otherwise never of got.  Oh, wow I persuaded them with the 1st draft.  You can follow the lovely Cherry to see her adventures in twitter here.
I used to think it was pointless and just for the narcissistic or celebrity stalker but was forced on and now see it as an indispensable business tool.  Though I do acknowledge other people are far better at promoting their business on twitter than myself.  Jonathon Fletcher of Living the Cream @LivnTheCream is particularly good at promoting his ice cream business on twitter.  He does have a product to sell over a geographically limited area but most well established blogs like Love My Dresshave good strategies for engaging the public and businesses.
But here are some reasons to use Twitter as a business:
1.      Boosts the website linked from your twitter profiles ranking in Google
2.      It’s free with a potentially massive audience
3.      Supports your brand
4.      Get information and offers out to the public quickly
5.      Find other businesses you never knew existed, even locally
6.      Business networking in an exceedingly convenient manner via computer or smart time when it suits you
7.      Global reach, you’ll probably find that the whole of the English speaking world on twitter is there to be communicated with.  Especially important for blogs which really should consider a global audience.  At the start of 2012 the UK had 52.7 million internet users while the US had 245.2*
8.      Very good format for receiving information
9.      Many twitter only promotions from other businesses
Things to remember
1.      Twitter is a social network, the more effort you put in the more you get out
2.      If chatting on twitter remember it’s effectively a conversation in the pub that the whole world can get a transcript of (so don’t say anything libellous)
3.      Tweet things that will engage the people that follow you.
4.      Most businesses want followers and the main reason for following you is for you to follow them back.
5.      Keep it positive.
6.      Don’t do politics or religion – however right you feel this can you lose you business if your customers have a different view point.  This is business so don’t cost yourself income.
7.      People will unfollow you, don’t be sad.  It either means a) your boring to them b) you’re not relevant to them c) they only followed you so you would follow them and now you do they want to make their follower to following ratio better d) they may have refollowed you, twitter only automatically remembers the usernames of the last 500 people you follow.
8.      Don’t spam, people hate people who all of a sudden fill their timeline with a million tweets.
9.      Your only allowed to follow 2000 people unless you have close to 2000 followers so use tools to unfollow people who aren’t help you
10.  Use lists to get information from the people you like most when you find your twitter stream too full
11.  Retweet things from other people you think are good and you know they’d like to reach your followers.  This helps your credibility with google and many people will remember that when they see your own tweets.
12.  Being a social network, don’t just promote your business and website, I think three or four self-promotional tweets a day is a good level but twitter likes each tweet to be unique.
Tweeting for non-business
1.      Good way of getting information from your interests, be it museums, sport, culture, politics or more it’s pretty much all on twitter now
2.      Receive exclusive promotions from the above.
3.      Find people with similar niche interests from around the globe
4.      Don’t argue on twitter, few people look clever after a slanging match and it may hurt your career
5.      Follow events as they happen using #