What’s in a tweet? For most people, it’s a post and a prayer.

For me, it’s value, information others can use, followers, reputation, image, retweets, customers, referrals, sales and money. Is that enough?

Twitter has the power to generate awareness, create value attraction, keep you or your brand at top-of-mind status and build relationships. Is that enough to get you to participate?

I want to share some advice about Twitter: I am NOT passing myself off as an “expert,” and there is nothing to buy, and no free webinar to attend. These are just my observations and successes based on the past four years of my participation.

Here are my stats as of this writing:

• My Twitter handle is @gitomer.

• Followers – 60,580.

• Following – 17,109.

• Tweets – 3,127.

• Average tweets per day – 4.

• New followers per day – 30-50.

Here are 3.5 things I recommend you do in order to really benefit from Twitter:

1. Have an objective and a strategy. Twitter is intended for you to inform with value, influence, brand and (on occasion) to converse or respond, not chit-chat. The value of your tweets will determine who stays with you and retweets you. I often use the direct message feature to respond, rather than an open tweet that’s meaningless to everyone else.

2. Create a list of value-based tweets and subjects you intend to tweet about. Be prepared at least a week in advance. Keep a Twitter file that documents ideas and possible tweets. I tweet quotations from my books and thoughts that come to me during the day (or night). You can also retweet others if you believe it helps your followers.

TIP: Leave at least 10 characters open, so that others can easily retweet you.

TIP: If others retweet you or favor you, you can follow them as a courtesy.

3. Approach followers of strategic value. You have an email list. Invite each person to follow you PERSONALLY. In an email, tell each person about your Twitter participation, list a few of your tweets, and ask them to follow you by clicking a link and the follow button. If you have 1,000 people on your list, and 250 follow you, it’s a great start. Continue to send your tweets out weekly to the rest of the list, and re-ask them to follow you.

3.5. Be consistent. Tweet every day, at least once a day.

Don’t DM (direct message) me saying “Thanks for the follow.” It’s an annoying waste of my time and yours. Instead, how about sending me the same kind of message I sent you – ONE OF VALUE. A message to make me think, make me smile or make me money.

Your Twitter outreach is not going anywhere if:

• You talk with other people in superficial chatter more than 10 percent of your tweets.

• You retweet others more than 50 percent of the time.

• You’re only trying to get people to “go here” to “read this” and “see my blog post” or “watch this video.”

• Your tweet-to-follower ratio is out of proportion. You should have a MAXIMUM of one tweet for every 10 followers. 100 tweets = 1,000 followers. The lower the ratio, the better.

MAJOR CLUE: Being retweeted is the key. My goal is 100 retweets a day

MAJOR OPPORTUNITY: Photo and video is becoming commonplace. Do not abuse it. I am amazed at how few sales professionals and sales leaders are not taking advantage of Twitter. It’s a resource, it’s a broadcast medium, it’s a vital recognition tool, it’s a reputation builder, and it’s free.