Twitter is emerging as one of the most powerful of the many social networking services being used by today’s business professionals. If you are not using Twitter to expand and evolve your business, then it is time to focus some energy on growing your network. Here are some common ways to both follow others and gain followers yourself.

First off, set up a Twitter account and start following professional colleagues you already know. You likely are corresponding to lots of people who could be potential customers for your business. Twitter offers “find friends import feature” that can help. Expand your Twitter connections by finding people with similar professional interests; follow them and you might also gain some followers yourself.

An excellent way to gain followers is to add your Twitter profile to any professional forums you participate in as well as to any guest blogging or other writing you complete. By adding Twitter to your profile, you allow folks who are interested in your company and ideas to connect with you directly, thereby greatly expanding your sphere of influence.

Other common approaches to growing your Twitter network are to use some of the available specialty apps to search for and connect with other Twitter users in your particular city or zip code. This is useful if you are trying to reach potential customers in a geographical location.

As with any entree into social networking, it is important to track and measure how your approach is working. You want an increase in engagement, but use free tools such as Sumall to connect your Twitter usage with other tools such as Google analytics to get an idea of the connections between Twitter usage, web site visits, and, of course, sales. Twitter cannot solve all business problems, but connecting with your customers is essential for growth and Twitter offers the savvy business owner a world of opportunities.