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Twitter is one of the most misunderstood social media platforms. On the one hand, you can’t really call it social networking. It’s got some social networking qualities, to be sure, but it’s more like blogging in a real sense. That’s why it has been a category all to itself – and the many Twitter clones on the market – called microblogging.

Twitter is a great place to start, and join, conversations. But too many marketers are flocking to Twitter to “build a list”. However, many of those lists are unqualified lists of followers that have no interest in the person they are following. On Twitter, reciprocal following has little value.

The value in Twitter comes from the marketer’s ability to attract people who are interested – truly interested – in them as a personality. You could call it “personality marketing”. Some people call it “conversational marketing”.

To be most effective on Twitter, don’t focus on gathering a quantity of followers. Rather, focus on spreading useful niche information and draw people interested in that information to you. That’s how you win followers who will buy from you.

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