get your tweet onSo you have a Facebook business page, a LinkedIn profile, a blog, and maybe even a professional photo taken for your custom twitter background.

However, something about that crazy bird and all those 140 character yappin' peeps freaks you out.  You want to be part of the conversation yet you aren't certain how to start or what to say!

To this point you have made the choice to sit on the sidelines. Though when you lay your head down on the pillow at night you can hear the little bird saying “come on, tweet with me, you can do it!”

You know some of your buddies, colleagues, neighbors and even clients are tweeting.  The ones that have taken the time to integrate it into their business are seeing results. Some of them think it's a waste of time as they never got past the tools and to the conversation and connecting with real people. You're not sure what to think so you keep putting it off even though you feel like you're missing out.

What is holding you back? Are you seriously afraid of that crazy blue bird? I have a secret for you. He's not even real!

He'll be your best friend if you figure out how to tweet with a focus on goals and objectives.  I can tell you our business would not be where it is without that cute little Twitter bird. My Pam Marketing Nut blog that launched less than a year ago just made it to #54 on Technorati's Top 100 Small Business blogs.  Guess how I kicked off the blog and built community and readership!? Yup, you got it, Twitter and help from my lil' blue feathered friend!!

What do you have to lose? I vote you go for it.  Check out these 15 Tips to Get Your Tweet On this week! Come on, you can do it!


21 Tips to Get Your Tweet On This Week!

1. Don't be afraid. There is no twitter king going to fly down and paste you with blue tar and feathers if you mess up. Although there are some norms and etiquette to follow, it doesn't matter if you mess up. What's the worst that will happen? You lose a few followers? Who cares!? There are millions where those came from.

2. You haven't missed the tweet bus! It's not too late to be part of the conversation. Heck, it's not even too late to be part of the development of the ecosystem, rules of engagement for your specific niche.

3. Don't worry about the difference between a Twit & Tweet. The lingo will come. The tools will come. You don't have to learn it all over night. No doubt even after 30 days you will be able to help someone who jumps on the tweet bus after you!

4. Don't hide that you're a newbie! Don't be afraid to ask for help.  We've all been there. If you have a question, ask it. The only dumb question is the one that you don't ask.

5. Do it your way based on your business, not your neighbor who failed. Listen and learn from others but filter the input and knowledge you receive. Take the time to do it right and learn for yourself, your business and your niche.

6. Art before science in social media. Relationships & people before tools. Don't waste anymore time learning the tools. Setup that Twitter account and get to talking.  Social relationships are the turbo zoom power of online marketing.  Focus on connecting with real people in an authentic way and the tools will come easier. Focus on how you can leverage the tools to meet objectives and build relationships, not just learn the tools for sake of learning the tools. Always ask yourself “how can I better use this tool to meet objective A, B or C”.

7.  Stay focused on the opportunity not the work! It may seem overwhelming when you first start.  However, remember the opportunities to connect with people you would never be able to so easily connect with without social media. We have partners and clients from across the globe, all thanks to social media and our blue feathered friend.  You can and will do the same!

8. Build your plan as you learn the ecosystem. An integrated plan focused on goals and objectives for your business is key to success. You are not going to build your integrated social media marketing and business plan in a weekend. Plus, I wouldn't recommend you even attempt such without an understanding of the ecosystem. Develop your plan as you begin to engage and join the communities. Hire help if you need it.

9. Random acts of social media will eat your last dollar of positive ROI in a tweet moment if you're not careful. Although you need to not wait to engage, you also shouldn't go too long without a plan. Set clear goals and objectives. Integrate social media into the DNA of your business over time. Social media is not a bandaid for a broken business. The quicker you realize that the better off you will be.

10. Start with listening. Social media is a great medium to learn about the social and business ecosystems that surround your business. Start with listening and learning. Follow your partners, clients, friends, favorite thought leaders and even competitors. Learn from others but don't forget #5 above. Many people are not engaging in social media in a way that is bringing a positive return. Just because Harry, Jane and Sally are doing something doesn't mean you should. Listen and learn but then bring it back home to tweet home base and leverage the data as you build your own custom plan.

11. Don't have content? No worried, be a curater. If you lack writing skills, don't really know what to write about yet, no worries. Start by listening and scouting out the best content you can that you think will provide value to your audience. Then engage with the thought leaders and writers providing the content. Share it with your followers (even if you start with only 10 of them.)  Your audience will see value in you sharing interesting information even if didn't come from you.

12. Speak the language. I am not referring to twits, tweets and retweets. Speak in the tone your audience is speaking. Use the words they use so you can best connect with them.  I did this when I first left corporate a year and a half ago.  I had spent 15 years in Fortune 100 companies and startups. When I first jumped on Twitter and this new social ecosystem I was talking in my old business speak.  As I listened and learned and wrote blog content I quickly realized that what people wanted was my real, opinionated self. Just because you speak a certain way on a printed piece of collateral or press release doesn't mean that's how your audience is speaking on Twitter and Facebook.

13. Be nice but don't kiss butt. There is nothing worse than a tweet butt kisser.

14. Be careful with the influence numbers. Don't get too hung up on the Klout and other influence scores. Yes, I believe influence is important. Of course, I want to have the largest audience possible listening intently to my every word. However, I don't want influence numbers alone over real conversation and social relationships that are going to help grow my business!  I saw a blog post the other day where the writer was literally thanking people one by one for retweets and watching his tweet reach score rise. His twitter stream had pages of generic thank you's. He was monitoring how many people followed him back. To each their own. However, my recommendation to him was to focus on content and value to your audience at every turn. I will never trade an online behavior that doesn't make sense to raise a score. Keep focused on your objectives and goals!

15. Don't send automated direct messages to sell yourself. My direct message box is filled with spam so bad I can barely get to any real messages. If you ever send me a DM best thing to do is to tweet me and let me know it's there. Otherwise I'll never see it thanks to the spammers. My advice is simple. Don't be one of them!

16. Be real. There is only one you so be it, simple.

17. Engage. The social currency of online marketing is action. Inspire your audience to action. However, do it in a way that connects you with your audience. Sitting there on the sideline has only one guarantee and that is a negative ROI. If you haven't picked up Brian Solis's book, Engage, I highly recommend you do!

18. Give with no expectation to receive. Focus on providing value at all times. How can you help someone improve their business or simply make them smile.  Give and share your best content. Don't be afraid to share your best stuff. Guaranteed many of your competitors are already doing such!

19. Define your audience. As you start to get use to the art of social media and the engagement work on better defining and prioritizing your audience. WHO do you want to engage with and why? How will engaging with a specific audience help you meet your business goals and objectives? How can it bring pleasure to you personally? Know who you want to talk to, why and what about!

20.  Find other newbies and “twit” with them. No better way to learn than with some twits you can connect with. Heck, even if you are speaking your own language to start at least you'll have somebody to do it with! We host a Tweet Chat every Tuesday night at 9 pm et called #GetRealChat.  We welcome and love newbies. Our topics are focused on leverage the power of authentic social relationships in both business and life. We throw out the black curtain and ask and answer the hard questions. We'd love to have you! Check out this video for a quick tutorial on how to join if you are new to Tweetchats.

21. Have fun! Don't over analyze everything. Social media is about people. Even if you fall on your face the first 4 weeks on Twitter, unless you are a complete bully or jerk you are almost guaranteed to meet a few friends along the way. My guess is you'll have enough that at least one of them will care enough to wipe the dirt off your knees and give you a hand to get back on your tweet feet again!


Your Turn

What are your thoughts? Is it time you got your tweet on? Are you still afraid? If you already got yours on, how can you help those who don't? What advice can you offer them? What were the things you worried about and how did you overcome them when you first started? We were all there at some point.

See this post syndicated on Guy Kawasaki's Alltop Holy Kaw! blog