The last year has been a Twitter renaissance for hundreds of professionals around the world. With the recent article in Entertainment Weekly telling us the Truth About Twitter, it is becoming obvious that thousands of business professionals will be adopting Twitter as a business tool in 2009.

The following are a list of lessons I have learned in my Tweet time.

1. Search: Simply put is your friend-use it till it breaks! You can search the keyword terms that are important to your business. You can also RSS that search, it will update real time.

Check back to Twitter often and connect with the Twitter folk who mention your keywords. Chances are that will lead to serendipitous business opportunities.

2. Say hello and Re-tweet often: Saying hello to past business partners, friends and targeting companies you would like connect with will serve you well. One way to break the ice is to re-tweet posts of people you are looking to connect with deeper.

Also, dont be shy! Saying hello to business folks who can strategically help your business is the only way Twitter will work for you. The nerdy kid at the dance wont get shot down unless he asks.

Who knows, maybe the girl in pigtails will say yes!

3. Comment: Comment on valuable Twitter posts. If a link is shared in that past, be sure to click on the link and comment with a link back to your blog and Twitter profile. Commenting shows interest and interest is currency in Twitter.

4. Dont ever close a door: Unless the follower is SPAM, dont close the door on followers who at first blush do not look like they can help your cause. Thank them for the follow and share a pertinent link to them via a direct tweet. You never know when serendipitous business opportunities will find you.

5. Use Hashtags: #Hashtags are a great way for your twitter account to be found for the keywords and terms important to your business. For example, if your business is hamburgers, then it makes sense to use the following hashtags: #hamburgers or #cheeseburgers & #condiments

6. Share: Your company should have a corporate account to share tidbits of knowledge daily. At least ten twitter posts per day using keywords from a yet to be established keyword list. 60 percent should be of the thought leadership variety, while 40 percent of the posts should talk about the Twitter profiles life. The corporate account should be purely talking about company happenings and posting links for link juice. while responding to mentions. Always post an opinion on industry specific news.

7. Use a Template: Create a template thank you note for every new follower. This template will link to the companys website and be accompanied by a thank you with a clear call to action.

Twitter is a marketing tool that if used correctly can put your brand in front of the right eye balls, it just takes work and a strategy. These best practices help you use Twitter the correctly out of the gate.

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