These days, social media is everywhere.  It allows us to leverage technology to communicate in an interactive manner.  Whether it is via the internet, cell phones or tablets, you can keep up with what your friends or colleagues are doing and have real-time interaction with them via comments, “likes”, or retweets, to name a few.

As one of the leading tools used for social interaction, Twitter allows users to share updates within the constraint of 140 characters.  In that sense, Twitter can be viewed as a microblogging application where users share a limited amount of content at a time unlike a traditional blog.

Whether you’re just joining the Twitterverse or you’re an existing citizen, here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you tweet:

Know why you’re using Twitter.  Are you on twitter because you hear everyone is using it?  Is your handle for personal reasons or for business?  Who are you looking to interact with?  Before you set up your account, you should know what your objectives are and what you plan to accomplish so that your use is strategic.

Develop a brand and keep it consistent.  Be true to who you are and show your personality.  However, if you intend to keep your handle professional, do keep in mind that not everything will be appropriate to tweet.  As you develop your brand, your followers will have a certain expectation which comes with the territory so hold up your end of the bargain.

Keep your content concise.  Force yourself to express your ideas, thoughts and information within the 140 characters.  Yes, you can use multiple tweets but with such a high volume of tweets flowing through everyone’s timeline, there is no guarantee that your takeaway in tweet 3 of 4 will be seen.  So use each tweet as it is your one and only opportunity to get your message across.

Be mindful of your followers.  One sure way for others to unfollow you is due to excessive tweets that are not of interest to them.  Make sure that your content is adding value, there is a reasonable amount of time between your tweets and you’re not being offensive.

Understand your followers.  When you understand your followers and why they chose to follow you, you’ll be more of an asset to them.  If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask!  Find out what information they would like to see you share.  In some cases, followers may even reach out to you with specific questions which will also give you more insight.

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