In my post titled “Stop Pushing Your Twitter Marketing Messages at Me” I argued that you should not be on Twitter if you are not going to invest the time energy and resources to do it right. I also promised to provide some simple tips to start using Twitter effectively for marketing your business. Here are Twitter Marketing Tips for Businesses: 1. People are NOT on Twitter to be marketed to. Stop Marketing and Stop selling. Work to connect and engage with people. Establish yourself as a leader in your industry. You will gain credibility and customers will find you. 2. Connect with other people. Check out the category Social Media Relations for ideas about how to connect. Social media marketing is about building relationships. In order to get people to care about you and what you are saying you need to connect and care about them. 3. Make lists for your followers. Create categories that make sense for your business goals. Use the lists instead of your main Twitter stream for monitoring conversation. 4. Become a thought leader. Establish yourself as a go-to person for information about your business area. Share articles that are useful, retweet other thought leaders and answer questions that relate to your field. 5. Use an RSS feed (I like Google Reader) to manage the blogs you want to read. Everyday check the feed for new posts and share the information that is valuable with your followers. Watch this great video titled “RSS in Plain English” to learn about how RSS works. 6. Talk. This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you. Listening is great, but without engagement and discussion how will anyone know you are there? Speak up and engage. 7. Learn the tool. Do not let anyone manage your Twitter account before you have a solid understanding of how Twitter works. 8. Set up a few searches for keywords that relate to your business. Monitor those keyword screens and speak up when you think your business can offer services to help. 9. Establish a real community on Twitter before you start marketing to them. The best marketing does not feel like marketing. This takes time and strategy to develop and implement. 10. Consider hiring a social media consultant to help you create a comprehensive strategic social media plan and help implement the plan. It will be worth the money, as a good consultant can help you quickly and effectively learn the tools to make this an easy and fun marketing tool. Do not listen to anyone who tells you that Twitter marketing is some kind of magic bullet. There is a lot of hype out there about how social media marketing is something that requires little investment and promising big returns. There is no such thing as a free lunch and that includes using social media for marketing.