Twitter can be a very helpful tool for promoting your business. A couple areas where it can be especially helpful is communicating with customers and promoting your website, blog posts etc… I do a lot of tweets for my blog articles such as “I wrote an article on finding other Twitter users to help you promote your business”. If someone is following me on Twitter then they may see my tweet. By searching for terms included in my tweet then someone may find it. Another great promotional tool is getting your tweet retweeted by other users. This is basically when someone else thinks that you have a great tweet and posts it on their Twitter page so that all of their users can view it too. This has the added benefit of increasing the chances of your tweet being viewed on searches as having retweets increases the search ranking of your tweet and also adds each of these retweets to the search result. So even someone sees your tweet on someone else’s page it is still linking to the originally article that you tweeted.
For this reason it is very helpful to network on Twitter with other users that are interested in the same topic as you. Ideally you can get them to retweet your tweets and you can reach a much larger audience. However it can be hard to really pinpoint other Twitter users who are interested in your topic. If you have a business Twitter account then it should be easy to determine your subjects. They are things related to your business or the field that your business is in. For example if you are an accountant then you would use your Twitter account to post links to articles about accountant related topics. You are probably trying to get people who need an account to consider you and aren’t trying to reach other accountants. Therefore you would post articles that would interest people looking for an accountant (such as “What to look for in an accountant”) as opposed to articles about accounting for other accountants. If you have your own articles on your website or blog then posting about them on Twitter would be very helpful. But even if they are links to other people’s websites, people interested in accounts will still consider your Twitter account a good resource since you tweet links to good information on the topic.
As a business you should have a relatively narrow focus on your Twitter account. But most Twitter accounts are personal accounts with people that tweet about a huge variety of things that interest them. You may find a Twitter user that posts a few tweets about accountants since they just had their taxes done. You may think that is a good candidate to network with. You follow them, retweet their great tweets about finding an accountant and maybe direct a tweet at them with a link to your great accounting resource. Maybe they even follow you and post your tweet on their page and all of their followers see it. But they may mostly Tweet about cartoons. Maybe they are a teenager who tweeted about accountants because they just had their taxes done for the first time. They may never tweet about it again. Most of their followers may be kids who are interested in cartoons and follow them because this is their main topic. They don’t normally tweet about things relevant to accounting and therefore no one follows them because they are looking for accounting resources.
It’s important that the person running the other Twitter account is interested in your tweets. Otherwise they probably won’t follow you back or retweet you. It’s also important that their followers are interested in your topic. If they aren’t then having this person retweet your tweets to them won’t do a lot of good.
You may have found someone tweeting about your topic and followed them thinking that if you network with them then you could take steps to promote yourself through their followers. But then they just weren’t a good resource for you. That’s why it’s important to find Twitter users that have followers that are likely to be interested in your tweets.
A competitor would likely be interested in the same topics as you and would have followers that are also interested in those topics. However they may be unwilling to retweet you since you are a competitor.
A good example may be someone who tweets financial advice. Your tweets about accounting may interest them and they may retweet them to their followers. Their followers are interested in financial issues and may check out your Twitter account and the links in the tweets that were retweeted. This person isn’t a direct competitor since they aren’t a rival accounting firm. But they do have an audience that is interested in topics related to accounting and therefore might be interested in your services.
As I’ve mentioned it can be hard to find good Twitter accounts to network with. You need someone who has followers interested in your tweets and is likely to retweet you. If this person is a direct competitor then they may not retweet you. If they aren’t in a similar field as you then neither they nor their audience is likely to be interested in your topics. Therefore you must look for people that have a similar target audience as you but not be a direct competitor.