We think Twitter is a great way to keep your customers informed with helpful information they’d love to know about: your new merchandise, special sales, helpful hints, etc. We also think that it’s a great way to reply to tweets about your business (make sure to start off such tweets with an “at sign” as in @smallbusiness. That way, the only people who will see such a narrowly-tailored tweet will be the person asking the question and others who follow both you and the questioner).

However, each business user of Twitter has to learn how much, or how little, their customers want to hear from them. Tweet too little and the customer will forget you’re there, too much and they will use the Twitter mute button feature added in May, 2014. Tweet WAY too much and you’ll be un-followed or even blocked.

Don’t tweet too little

It may be okay for you to use Twitter personally as a listener only, but to get the most out of Twitter for your business, you must treat it like a conversational tool. This is extremely hard to do if you’re running a small business and have 100 other things to do right now, but it’s important for your Twitter presence. We know, as we have the same challenge managing @SmallBusiness. Rest assured: customers who follow you on Twitter do want to hear from you.

Don’t tweet too much

What is too much? That’s a very tricky question as fans of a topic know no bounds of what they’d like to hear from you if you tweet about their passion. However, don’t get carried away with tweets that are puffery, hype or a constant stream of re-tweets and photos of every customer that walks through the door. You should not think of tweets as being advertisements that work better if you run it over-and-over. Ask a few trusted customers to advise you on the quantity and velocity of tweets appropriate for your business.

Tweet JUST right

The Goldilocks Zone of tweets is between that point where your customers find them helpful, valuable, insightful, or fun and the point at which they find them repetitive, self-serving hype and predictable. Stay between those two points, and you’ll tweet happily ever after.