Stephen Davies (aka PRBLOGGER) recently set up his own PR company and actively uses Twitter to interact and influence with the great and good in his sector, and beyond.

I asked him a few questions about his Twitter habits…

How has Twitter helped raise your profile?

It’s certainly introduced me to lots of new people that’s for sure. Not to sound big-headed but I already had a certain profile in my niche area of work because of my blog, prblogger.com. However, Twitter’s allowed me to meet people that either don’t write a blog of their own or have never commented on mine.

Truth be told, I have a kind of a love/hate relationship with Twitter. As a blogger who enjoys communicating with people all around the world through blogs I find the immediacy of Twitter keeps the conversation on a national (or perhaps European) level.   

How many followers do you have? Any observations on follower trends?

I have 876 followers so it’s not a huge amount compared to some people.

Regarding observations, no particular trends of my own but I have noticed a couple of Twitter users cheating the system. Basically they start following around 2,000 people which results in half of them following – meaning their ‘Following to Follower ratio’ is 2,000:1,000. But then what they do is delete about 1,700 people they were following so it looks like they’re popular.

It’s very sad and I almost feel sorry for them in a way. I was potentially going to collaborate with someone until I saw them do this. Not now though. Right there this person showed me their character.

What have you found to be the most effective ways of using Twitter?

To me Twitter’s great for asking for other people’s advice, opinions and suggestions. I’m working on my own a lot lately so if I have a question or I want someone else’s opinion on something I’ll throw it out on Twitter. Chances are I’ll get some great feedback. And obviously I try to do the same for others too.

I Direct Message (DM) people quite often too. Nothing sinister but it makes it more personal.

What do you typically choose to tweet about?

Anything and everything really. I have no set agenda. I often post links to stuff that I find on the web and which I think my followers (generally PR/marketing/social media people) will find useful.

Twitter’s also great for venting your frustrations out on a bad product or service.  If you’re sitting at your desk having a terrible time with a customer services representative it’s a given that you’re going to tell it to the world in 140 characters or less.

Which Twitter tools have you adopted? Any particular favourites?

I use Twitterfox for Firefox and Twitter’s standard web version. I’ve downloaded TweetDeck because I like the idea of grouping and keeping up to date on particular tweeters. However it’s not quite there yet so I’m waiting for a release update. 

Have you won any work (or had any leads) that can be directly attributed to Twitter?

To me Twitter’s like blogging in that respect. Things usually happen indirectly because of it. But, yes, I have won work and am currently discussing potential collaborations on the back of Twitter.

To be quite honest, my target audience isn’t really on Twitter so I try not to treat it that way. If I get work from the back of it then great, but I wouldn’t base my new biz strategy on it.

How many new followers did you attract after publishing your ‘journalists and PRs using Twitter’ lists?

In four working days since publishing the lists I received 101 new followers. Which, again, by A-lister standards isn’t anything major. However, the quality of followers is top class and I’ve made some new contacts in the process.

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Chris Lake is editor in chief at E-consultancy and can be found Twittering here.