Who really wants to write 140 characters in short little quips and only read other peoples status updates?  The answer: 200 million people and counting. 

Twitter is the micro blogging giant not only used for personal use, but many businesses find creative ways to get more visitors through this powerful social network. 

Here are 5 ways you can use this free service to see a boost in your companys exposure.


1. Talk about up-coming events and updates.  Most people are probably following you because they want to be kept in-the-know.  They want to make sure that as soon as something new comes out or some great post has been written they know about it right away.  And if you are a business it gives you a great opportunity to let all of those followers know about that big sale coming up without costing you a penny.


2. Interact with your followers.  The more you interact with your followers and answer their questions the more likely they will be to keep following you and come back to your website.  Some of the most loyal fans will be following you on Twitter so its a good idea to let them know you are listening.  Or stir it up by asking for peoples opinions on your Twitter page.  Make it somewhat controversial without offending people and see how many retweets you get.


3. Tie in your Twitter account with your blog. As soon as you write a new post on your blog, post it to your Twitter followers.  You'll get a nice surge of traffic after every post is made, especially if you are building up some followers.  If this is the only thing you do with Twitter it will be worth your time.


4. Run a contest.  Want to get more followers?  There is no better way to get legitimate followers than to run a contest.  I say legitimate, because there are plenty of ways to get fake followers if you want to pad the stats, but what good does that do you, except for bragging rights?

You want real people following you who can help make your business and website money.  Run a contest where someone has to follow you to enter and maybe retweet a certain message about the contest to get another entry.  It may be a pain to set up, but there are many software applications for helping run these contests to make it a little easier.  The boost of followers you can get from a contest is tremendous, but you have to make sure you are giving away an awesome prize.


5. Follow some of the big twitter users in your niche and promote their content.  It may sound crazy to promote your competitor, but what you are doing is building a relationship.  Find those people who have 5,000, 10,000 or even 100,000 followers and see what makes people want to follow them so much.  Promote their website with your Twitter account and then try to contact them and ask if they would do the same for you.  There is nothing like using someone elses leverage to launch your business forward.  You can simple ask for them to send out one tweet for you, and you can get a lot of extra traffic and business from one message if it is done right from the right account.

What do you do to stay active on Twitter?