First, let me tell you one reason why this list is a little different. The people I have included on this list are not, for the most part, the big names on Twitter or the internet. Instead, most of these are people who are actively involved in running a business, and who are using Twitter as part of their business strategy. These are the type of people that you don’t just want to follow, but you will want to engage with. And chances are that they will gladly join you in conversation.
You probably already know what big names to follow. Here is my list of my favorite business people who are active on Twitter and engaged in the conversation.
@DesireeScales – Desiree owns bellawebdesign.com, based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a leader in web sites that are designed to be both visually appealing and also search engine friendly. Desiree is also very accessible. She treats Twitter like a conversation and a place to meet new friends. She also blogs at bellawebdesignblog.com and does a weekly podcast where she interviews other interesting business people, many of whom she meets via Twitter.
@PmOhara, @SBBuzz – Pamela Ohara is the President of BatchBlue Software, the makers of BatchBook, the CRM that knows the business of social. BatchBook is a really neat CRM solution, and it goes to figure, since its creators are also really neat people. Not only does Pamela tweet for her business, she encourages everyone at BatchBlue to do the same. Plus, they all contribute to the company blog, which is a very cool thing. Pamela is also the moderator of a phenomenal Twitter chat called #sbbuzz. This chat, which takes place every Tuesday night from 8pm – 10pm Eastern, if full of interesting business people talking all things business. Pamela dons the @SBBuzz username to moderate this chat, and her even hand and great questions make it a gold standard for Twitter chats.
@TimBerry – Tim is the founder of Palo Alto Software. These days, he spends much of his time blogging and on Twitter. He is full of very useful information, especially about funding and business planning. He is involved with funding as an angel investor and as a judge in several funding contests. And he knows his way around business plans. Palo Alto is the company behind Bplans.com. The great thing about Tim is that he is willing to share his knowledge with his Twitter network. This is someone to follow and learn from. I have great respect for Tim.
@MattHarrell – Matt is the co-founder of a really great collaboration tool for groups called Member Hub. He is also a super nice guy that is passionate about his work and his life. He is yet another business person keeping it real on Twitter, and using the tool to grow his business. Like BatchBlue, Member Hub employees are encouraged to use Twitter to help grow the business.
@NRohrbach – Neal Rohrbach is the co-founder (with me) of Idea Anglers. He has a passion to help out small businesses and goes the extra mile to lend a helping hand. Neal is the kind of small business owner that you want to have in your corner. On Twitter, he shares the ups and downs of his design work and paints a picture of life as a budding entrepreneur.
@SmallBizTrends – Anita Campbell is the lady behind Small Biz Trends, a great resource web site for small businesses. On Twitter, Anita is always there to lend a helping hand and to promote all things small business.
@Andertoons – Mark Anderson is the genius behind Andertoons (you can see examples of his cartoons by scrolling down the right hand sidebar and looking for the daily cartoon). Mark is a work at home dad who has made a very nice business out of drawing cartoons. On Twitter, he is just as likely to talk about his latest Lego purchase (another reason I love him) as he is about his cartoons. He is a good reminder that when you follow your passion, you can have lots of fun!
@SmartDraw – SmartDraw is a software that helps you visualize all kinds of things for your business. On Twitter, they share very useful information, including links to their blog, which is a great model to emulate for any business blog. It is always full of very useful information, and at the same time, it is always talking about their product and what it can accomplish for you.
@Intuit – Intuit is the company that makes great products like Quickbooks. You’d think they would be a stodgy business, but in fact, their not. They are doing great things for small businesses, including special deals and contests. On Twitter, they engage in the small business conversation, and ReTweet great links with the best of them. Follow Intuit on Twitter and you will think you are following a smart start up. Way to keep it fresh!
Is this list complete? Not hardly. There are many great small business people out there on Twitter. Some of whom I am getting to know now, and some who I look forward to meeting in the near future. Twitter is a wonderful networking tool. If you are not using it to build relationships, you need to start. If you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend you join other small business owners on the weekly #SBBuzz Twitter chat. Directions on how to join are here.
And of course, you can follow me on Twitter @BradfordShimp.