Inspired by a post by Chris Brogan, which I actually picked up on via Google+, who looked at a few corporate twitter accounts and basically ripped the hell out of them for doing it so badly (building a brand on twitter), it occurred to me that as a company / small business / sole-trader tweeting from a 'business' account, things can soon go horribly wrong. Especially when the technology is 'new' to you.
If it's all about getting the mix right, then you're not alone as Chris illustrates.
Have you / are you suffering from any of the following misconceptions / fears or forebodings when using Twitter?
If you tweet pure links to various pages / products on your website, that's good isn't it because you're pointing your followers to particular instances of your companies brilliance. If they're not interested, surely they won't bother clicking?
if you're too chatty, then you might come across as someone unreliable to do business with.
if you reply to everyone, then you're either desperate for friends or you have too much time on your hands - e.g lack of business gives another reason not to use you from a follower / prospective customers point of view.
Profanity, sexist/racist/religious/political humour or general opinion tweets should be avoided because you'll offend a follower / potential customer.
You have to be careful who you follow, lest you follow a competitor and your followers buy from them instead.
You have to constantly monitor for your name being mentioned, so you can see when someone's moaning about you or your product. Not that you can do anything about it of course.
If your avatar is a product, then you have to constantly change your avatar because otherwise followers will associate you with just one product.
Nobody's interested in where you went for a meal or what you watched on telly last night and as you're always working, nothing exciting worth tweeting ever happens to you.
After all the work and hours you put into your twitter account - carefully considered avatar, custom background, building a following, you'll never get any business from it anyway so why bother customising?
All followers must be customers. If not then why did they follow you in the first place?
Albeit irrational, which of the above are you most afraid of?
It's normal to experience a little trepidation when embarking on a new 'project', and nobody (not even Chris Brogan et al) expects you to get it right straightaway. Somethings like Twitter take a little while to get into the groove with.
Frequency, style and content will all come with time. I've written several 'guides to using twitter' myself, but there's plenty of information and guidance (like Chris's post). Go find!
I've built up some fantastic contacts and although we've never met, some good friends as well. As for customers, well one day that may come to. The fact that you give your potential customers a preferred way (for them) to engage you / your brand is surely what it's all about?