Most people reading this have never tweeted. (You included?) On the off chance that you have tweeted, my guess is that you have fewer than 5,000 Twitter followers – maybe fewer than 500.

Whatever your situation, there’s no denying that Twitter is a major force in business social media. The next few paragraphs will challenge your thinking in regard to participation, specifically why you need to begin to take advantage of Twitter today.

This is not simply a lesson. It’s also a perspective and a business building challenge. Or to put it into your language: more sales NOW!

I began tweeting several years ago, but I didn’t really understand the impact it could make or the opportunity it presented. I just took quotations from my books and began to post them.

What happened was very surprising to me. Not only did I gain more followers, but people also began to retweet my tweets to their followers. Cool.

That put my message in front of the followers of my followers. For free. Many of their followers then became my followers. For free. Is that cool or what?

That was 50,000 followers ago. I now have a much more sophisticated strategy to distribute my message, to add to my followers, and to gain new customers. For free.

Here are my Twitter actions and the thoughts behind them:

• I tweet several times a day. I’m consistent. Never miss.

• I include links to my videos or promotions on fewer than 30 percent of my tweets.

• I tweet my own thoughts 95 percent of the time. The other tweets are profound quotations of others, or people I believe are worth following.

• I only tweet what I believe my followers will benefit from.

Here are several examples of my tweets:

• Fear of being wrong is more powerful than risk of being right. Leaders emerge as they become fearless. #gitomer #fear #power

• Social media is everywhere, you may not like it, but you can’t ignore it. #gitomer

• In a nuts and bolts world, there are far too many nuts, and an extreme shortage of bolts. #gitomer #greatquote

• Are you a thinker beyond your business? If not you’ll wallow in mediocrity. #gitomer #think

Two hours ago, I tweeted: “It’s no sin not to tweet or use Twitter, it’s just a tremendous lost opportunity to sell and become known. #gitomer #twitter #opportunity.”

So far this tweet has been retweeted 15 times, and seven people favored it. It has already reached more than 20,000 followers of other people. With my name on it. For free.

Two days ago, this tweet: “The key to selling is to ask for the sale in a sincere, friendly manner. Don’t push or use high pressure. #sales #gitomer.” This had 24 retweets and 13 “favorites” within 24 hours (on a SUNDAY). This tweet reached another 20,000 people. With my name on it. For free!

Three days ago, this tweet: “If you lose, ask yourself this all powerful question. Did I do my BEST? If you didn’t, you’ll blame the world for your own lack of effort.” This got 56 retweets and 24 favorites, on a holiday.

DESIRED OUTCOME: My Twitter goals are to be retweeted 100 times a day, be favored 50 times a day, and pick up 250 new followers a week. I usually tweet three or four times a day.

CAUTION: I have been tweeting for four years. In that time, I have learned what to do and what not to do. I am far from an expert, but I have more followers than most people who claim they are.

The advice I’m offering is based on my own experience and my own strategy. The best advice that I can give you is to create your own strategy focused around what you believe will help your customers the most. Then follow that strategy consistently. Daily.