SOURCE: JumpStart

JumpStart

June 22, 2009 12:00 ET

Entrepreneurs, Get Atwitter About Twitter: Three Steps to Social Media Success

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - June 22, 2009) - A smart entrepreneur knows to stay connected. Twitter, a micro-blogging tool, enables you to immerse yourself in your industry, develop your company's brand, and relate to your customers. With 14 million people on Twitter (and more joining daily), if you're an entrepreneur and not participating, the only question is: why not?

"Entrepreneurs are finding real value in Twitter as a business tool," said Tiffan Clark, Marketing Vice President of JumpStart Inc., the venture development organization behind IdeaCrossing (https://www.ideacrossing.org), a free online resource that connects Entrepreneurs with Investors and Business Mentors. "This free service is proving to be a key component in the online marketing strategies of leading companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s."

Here's IdeaCrossing's Entrepreneur Twitter 101:

1. Develop your brand.

Know that Twitter is a network of people, so avoid being too rigid or self-promotional. Show personality: upload a photograph of yourself; personalize your username. Twitter provides the opportunity to humanize your company and open yourself to your customers' needs and ideas.

2. Find and Follow.

Let Twitter do the initial work. Use the "Find people" feature to search your email contacts and follow anyone already tweeting. Next, use keywords to search for industry leaders and active users. Remember: you're looking for quality, not quantity.

3. Listen before Tweeting.

What are peers/prospects/experts sharing? Retweet their posts if they're valuable to your network. Comment to add to the dialogue. Create new thought-provoking ideas -- promote new blog posts, announce events, share venture launches. Post links to websites or articles you enjoy.

Important: Keep a steady pace, but don't really tell people "what you are doing." Few are interested in your lunch (unless you're a top chef). The most successful Twitterers share useful and relevant information.

Good luck and happy Tweeting. For more information on how to use social media, visit the JumpStart Inc. blog.

About IdeaCrossing

IdeaCrossing (www.ideacrossing.org) is a free Internet resource available to all individuals and organizations with an interest in supporting and promoting entrepreneurial activity. IdeaCrossing helps entrepreneurs find the assistance and investment capital they need to launch promising new business ventures. Additionally, IdeaCrossing serves the Angel and Venture Capital communities by identifying and screening new investment opportunities. Simply stated, IdeaCrossing is about creating the connections that build businesses.