I've been using Twitter fairly extensively for a couple of years now. And one of the first things I came to learn is that simply sending out tweets with my content was not really the best way to use Twitter. Like other social media channels, it's, well, social, which means Twitter should be used to engage people. In practice, this means that your tweet stream should be a balance on conversation and content.
Typically, I see Twitter users go wrong in the content direction. Tweet after tweet with links to their blogs or to articles. Or worse, yet, an entire tweet stream of re-tweets. If you're going to do a one-way blast, at least blast out some original content once in a while, or content you found on your own. Nothing but re-tweets is just lazy.
But earlier today I was looking at an account (they'd followed me and I was about to follow them back) when I noticed that every single tweet - and I eventually looked back at more than two week's worth - was conversation with other Twitter users. This account was not an individual person, but rather was for a social media agency, so I would have expected at least some content related to their industry and their work. In fact, that had been my hope, as I'm always on the lookout for new sources of learning. Nada. All chatting.
Now that's totally fine for individual people. But if you're a business, it seems like using Twitter as a hyped-up IM tool is a wasted opportunity. Yes be real. Yes, be relational, absolutely. But if you're not telling people why you're in business and how they can benefit by working with you, you're ultimately wasting your time and resources.
Obviously the ideal is to balance the two. Share your content. Share articles and blog posts relevant to your industry. AND engage in conversations, be a resource, and deepen relationships with current and potential partners and clients. It is possible to do both. In fact, it's necessary to do so to maximize all that Twitter can do for you.