1. Make a profile. Fill it out completely, providing a good description of your business, and a link to your company Web site. You may want to set up two or more Twitter accounts – perhaps one as a customer-service channel, and another as the main company page.
2. Listen & learn. At first, don’t post much… just search for Twitter users in your sector who have a lot of followers and watch what they’re saying. Follow them – some will follow you back and you’ll start to build an audience. Locate influential Twitter users such as Rob Rammny (@robrammuny) or Lisa Irby (@2createawebsite) and read their Twitter tips.
3. Care & share. Start retweeting interesting posts from others. Participate in discussions. Search on your company name and find customers with problems – then solve them. Share news about your company too, but keep it to about one-quarter of your total posts.
4. Attract attention. Hold a contest, take a poll, make a Twitter-only free offer, ask a question, or start a hashtagged discussion thread (a key word that begins with the # sign). Start a blog on your company Web site and post links to your posts on Twitter to draw visitors over to your URL.
5. Promote it. Feature your Twitter handle prominently on your own site and in all your marketing materials to help customers and prospects connect with you on Twitter and build your following.