Twitter For Business: 50 Ideas From Chris Brogan

I just recently came upon a business consulting blog by Chris Brogan. Chris is a speaker and a marketer who has a very impressive bio

I came across his post on using Twitter for Business and I found it very helpful. I think you might enjoy it too! Turns out he gives permission to reblog, as long as you link back to the original post. I’ve included all the links because I really appreciate Chris’s generous sharing of his Twitter advice. Take it away Chris!

We really can’t deny the fact that businesses are testing out Twitter as part of their steps into the social media landscape. You can say it’s a stupid application, that no business gets done there, but there are too many of us (including me) that can disagree and point out business value. I’m not going to address the naysayers much with this. Instead, I’m going to offer 50 thoughts for people looking to use Twitter for business. And by “business,” I mean anything from a solo act to a huge enterprise customer.

Your mileage may vary, and that’s okay. Further, you might have some really great ideas to add. That’s why we have lively conversations here at [] in the comments section. Jump right in!

Oh, and please feel free to reblog this wherever. Just be kind and link back to the original article.

First Steps

  1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)
  2. Add a picture. ( Shel reminds us of this.) We want to see you.
  3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.
  4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.
  5. Share links to neat things in your community. ( @wholefoods does this well).
  6. Don’t get stuck in the apology loop. Be helpful instead. ( @jetblue gives travel tips.)
  7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.
  8. Promote your employees’ outside-of-work stories. ( @TheHomeDepot does it well.)
  9. Throw in a few humans, like RichardAtDELL, LionelAtDELL, etc.
  10. Talk about non-business, too, like @aaronstrout and @jimstorer.

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet

  1. Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”
  2. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. It’s nice to have a variety.
  3. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
  4. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
  5. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.
  6. Tweet about other people’s stuff. Again, doesn’t directly impact your business, but makes us feel like you’re not “that guy.”
  7. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
  8. Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.
  9. Don’t toot your own horn too much. (Man, I can’t believe I’m saying this. I do it all the time. – Side note: I’ve gotta stop tooting my own horn).
  10. Or, if you do, try to balance it out by promoting the heck out of others, too.

Some Sanity For You

  1. You don’t have to read every tweet.
  2. You don’t have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty).
  3. Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation ( got this from @pistachio).
  4. Use services like Twitter Search to make sure you see if someone’s talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.
  5. 3rd party clients like Tweetdeck and Twhirl make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.
  6. If you tweet all day while your coworkers are busy, you’re going to hear about it.
  7. If you’re representing clients and billing hours, and tweeting all the time, you might hear about it.
  8. Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.
  9. If someone says you’re using twitter wrong, forget it. It’s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don’t like how you use it.
  10. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

Get more blog traffic by writing guest posts

The Negatives People Will Throw At You

  1. Twitter takes up time.
  2. Twitter takes you away from other productive work.
  3. Without a strategy, it’s just typing.
  4. There are other ways to do this.
  5. As Frank hears often, Twitter doesn’t replace customer service (Frank is @comcastcares and is a superhero for what he’s started.)
  6. Twitter is buggy and not enterprise-ready.
  7. Twitter is just for technonerds.
  8. Twitter’s only a few million people. (only)
  9. Twitter doesn’t replace direct email marketing.
  10. Twitter opens the company up to more criticism and griping.

A great blog theme helps bring business home

Some Positives to Throw Back

  1. Twitter helps one organize great, instant meetups (tweetups).
  2. Twitter works swell as an opinion poll.
  3. Twitter can help direct people’s attention to good things.
  4. Twitter at events helps people build an instant “backchannel.”
  5. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, often (especially if the news impacts online denizens).
  6. Twitter gives businesses a glimpse at what status messaging can do for an organization. Remember presence in the 1990s?
  7. Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right folks).
  8. Twitter gives your critics a forum, but that means you can study them.
  9. Twitter helps with business development, if your prospects are online (mine are).
  10. Twitter can augment customer service. (but see above)

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Maybe You Shouldn’t Start a Business

I think that everyone, at one time or another think about leaving their day job and starting their own business.  Many of them never take that first step.  Others jump right in without asking themselves if they are really suited to being a business owner.

Is owning a business the right path for you?  How can you know before you take that first big step?  Luckily the Small Business Administration has a list of 20 questions you should ask yourself before starting a small business.

Question number one should be considered by anyone thinking about starting a business.

Am I prepared to spend the time, money and resources needed to get my business started?

Think about that question for awhile and let me know your answer!  Then hop over to the SBA site to find 19 more questions you should ask yourself before starting a business.

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The First Step For Starting A Business

Congratulations on making the decision to start a business!  Do you have any questions?  If you are like most of the new business owners I have worked with, you probably have thousands!  And there will be more as you learn more.  It can all be very overwhelming.   I have found that the trick for most new business owners is “just in time learning.”  That is where you learn just what you need to know , when you need to know it.

So, what is the first thing you need to learn about when starting a new business?  I hate to say it.  It can be a very boring subject.  It is not as exciting as SEO, or Angel Funding.  I find that most new business owner’s avoid the topic as much as possible.  It is also an area of business that a simple mistake because you “just didn’t know” can cost you a lot of money.  The subject is taxes. It is a subject you must pay attention to.

Now most experts will recommend that you go out and hire a CPA and have them teach you what you need to know about small business taxes. However, CPA’s can be expensive, and you might not even know exactly which questions to ask them.

Fortunately, if you live and work in the US, there is a  resource that makes learning what you need to know about taxes fairly painless.  And surprise! It comes from the Internal Revenue Service. (IRS) And best of all, it is free!

The IRS has created a series of videos that cover the basics of reporting and paying taxes for new businesses. These videos cover topics like how to pay quarterly estimated taxes.  How to set up a legitimate, deductible home office. (Which is  a great tax deduction!)  How to set up a retirement plan for yourself, and for your employees.  Each topic gets it’s own video, so you don’t need to sit through topics that are not relevent to you.

So the very first thing you should do when starting a new business is go to the IRS site and watch the first three videos.  Do this the moment you decide you want to start a business. Watch these videos before you decide if you want to be a Sole Proprieter an LLC, or a Corporation.  Even before you choose you business name is not too soon to watch!   Don’t lose your new business because of what you “didn’t know” about paying taxes.

Go to the IRS Virtual Workshop, watch the videos, and them come back and let us know what you learned!


Peace, Love and Happiness!


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What Are Your Business Questions?

Hey! Thanks for stopping by. As you can see I am just getting started here.  But now that you are here anyway, why don’t you stop for just a minute. I’ve got a question for you.

For over 20 years I ran a very successful tax and accounting business.  I helped hundreds of businesses, not just with accounting and taxes, but also with negotiating all the government rules and regulations. I helped them with their sales and marketing, and I helped them grow their business.  While I was coaching these businesses, both large and small, I saw with real dollars and cents, what worked for them, and what did not.

With this blog I hope to help many more businesses avoid costly beginner mistakes and get on the fast track to growing a successful, fulfilling and profitable business.  Would you like to help me out?

What  are you biggest business questions? What would you like to see me blog about? Use the comment section below to let me know.  If I use your question or suggestion  I will mention you in the blog post and link back to your blog!

Peace, Love, and Happiness!



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