Twitter is often considered a social networking tool, which it is – but it can also be used to market your business. Here are some tips on how to use this medium as a marketing tool (or “twool” as some say!).

First of all, Twitter is free. This is a nice aspect for any marketing tool! So it’s worth it to tap into this marketing source.

What Do You Tweet?

When you use Twitter as a marketing tool, you can deliver all kinds of pertinent information that can promote your business. For example:

* Links – You can use Twitter to let your clients know of a website or link that is pertinent to your business. If you are doing affiliate marketing, you can tweet sites of your affiliates.

* Fill a need – Twitter users have been known to tweet about their need for a blogger, ghostwriter, and so forth, and someone has answered their tweet and offered their services.

* Find some work – If you are tweeting and reading tweets, you may find yourself “drumming up” business – people will hear about your business and may want to hire you.

* News and events – You can connect your blog feed or website to Twitter, and you can post information about an event you’re hosting or know about. If it’s time-sensitive, Twitter can be invaluable. For example, you can inform your followers of streaming videos, radio shows, and online events. This can be applied to “real life” events, too – if there is a seminar or keynote speaker that relates to your business, you can tweet the time and place to your followers.

* Sales – If you do retail, you can tweet information about good deals and sales. This could be great if you are into couponing, too. And of course, you can use Twitter to promote sales in your own business and company. Significant, time-sensitive sales can attract a lot of customers and potential customers.

* Breaking news – If your business is related to news (say you have a blog on current events) you can keep your followers up-to-date on the latest happenings.

* Share insights – You might have an insight about your business and market that you want to share with other Twitter users. This can be a business tip if you help others build their businesses, or it might be an opinion or insightful thought if that is the slant of your business.

What Not to Do

If you want to use Twitter as a marketing tool, beware of tweeting “spam.” This is just a time waster and will turn potential customers away. Spam is basically useless information or unimportant “stuff.” Spam can also be advertisements for dubious products and services.

Remember it’s a conversation – don’t think of Twitter as a one-way street. You want to be a good listener, too, and hear your customers.