2573812829_ed7c4b6302_oThere are an endless amount of articles about why you should tweet, and about Twitter’s value to a small business. Instead, this article is about how to tweet and what you might accomplish if you were to invest five minutes per day.

Here is my Twitter methodology:

First, get a tool.

The basic Twitter interface is not as user-friendly as it could be, and there are many applications that have been developed to help sort through the Twitter clutter that will entirely change your usage of Twitter. I use Tweet Deck since it also has an iPhone app

Second: find your Tweeps.

When initially setting up your Twitter account, you will most likely begin by adding friends and current contacts to your account. To be more successful using Twitter as a resource for professional support and connections, find a few key professionals in your field who are influential and offer great links. You will probably be surprised to find certain people very active on Twitter .

Third: sort and go.

Tweet Deck (and many of the other applications) allows you to search for a certain topics (indicated by a #, as in #topic), create separate columns for them then receive any related tweet in the Twitterverse. Many of these applications offer versions for your iPhone so that you can keep up with the latest tweets while waiting in line in the grocery store.

Fourth: read, watch and start slowly

Don’t make a bad first impression by unintentionally committing a faux-pas. Spend some time finding out how people develop a typical messages and then use the same methods. You can create some fast friends by finding great tweets and re-tweeting (RT) them.

Fifth: keep the conversation going and add value

Be someone who offers great Tweets that others might want to RT. Everyone appreciates having their messages re-tweeted, but if you are not adding any value to the conversation you are not giving anyone a reason to follow you. Keep in mind that you only have 140 characters so this should be a quick, interesting or entertaining bite of information.

Last: post your tweets

Make sure everyone knows that you are now active on Twitter. Be sure to post your Twitter feed on your blog or elsewhere (you can link Twitter to Facebook, LinkedIn and most other social networking sites).

If you’re looking for a few additional tips on what not to do once you’ve found your way to Twitter, Guy Kawasaki has a great article about Twitter Cluelessness which includes such gems as ” Don’t constantly tweet mundane updates and babble”. Although this sounds obvious, we have all been witness to friends who post uninspiring status updates too frequently, so this point clearly needs to be explained to some.

Don’t forget to follow me (@karinconroy)! Also, here are a few great Tweeps to follow that you may already be familiar with:

@lawyerist
@LexMonitor
@LegalMarketing
@SmallFirm

And finally, if you are still looking for more go to this article of another 145 lawyers to Follow on Twitter.

(photo 7son75)