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Today’s post comes from guest contributor Linky van der Merwe, founder of Virtual Project Consulting and social media strategist. Linky is based in South Africa.

Is Twitter part of your social marketing strategy? Here are 10 reasons why your business needs a Twitter presence: 1. Build authentic relationships 2. Generate traffic to your website 3. Bring qualified leads 4. The chance for others to spread your ideas 5. The ability to share your expertise 6. Build your brand 7. Give you insight into the "buzz" surrounding your company 8. Put you in front of high profile individuals 9. Bring you into the 21st century [Editor's note: about time !] 10. It is FREE

Once you have created your keyword rich profile, with a nice headshot photo, it is good practice to customise your Twitter background. This can be done with free background services like: www.MyTweetSpace.com , www.TwitrBackgrounds.com, www.FreeTwitterDesigner.com or www.TweetStyle.com. For a paid background service, go to www.TwitArt.com.

It is always good to follow a balanced promotion approach, meaning on Twitter, you may share links to your blog/website, to your articles, e-books, your newsletter, online ezine, video. Tell your followers about upcoming webinars or live events. Find out what your followers want and interact with them, by asking questions, answer questions, provide value and retweet tweets that your followers will enjoy.

Create an action plan and by spending about 15 minutes a day, you can generate loads of traffic, leads and sales from Twitter and build your brand online.

Twitter tactics are part of the Social Media Strategy Linky recommends. You can download the template from Virtual Project Consulting.

---- Warm thanks to Linky for sharing her thoughts and insight with us. Linky is @virtualpm on Twitter and I'm @merrybubbles... Who are you ?

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