Today’s guest post is by Dana Nelson. Dana Owns @Danmnelson where she helps connect people to build community.

1. Monitor

Monitor your name,  brand, company, competitors and industry. Watch for your favorite trade topics. Follow interesting people and thought leaders within your company and industry.

Watch for topics about which you are passionate, such as your favorite charities,  hobbies, sports teams, actors or role models.

2. Listen

Listen to people, whether it is your 80 year old neighbor or Cisco’s CTO.  That tweet came from a PERSON. Would you ignore your neighbor if she were there in person?  Would you disregard the advice of @Padmasree  if she were sitting across your desk?
Over time, when you listen to people, you get to know and help them, and they you. THIS builds trust and relationship.

3. Engage

Talk to them – That tweet came from a real person.
Don’t be afraid to tweet people. As a newbie, I tweeted @zappos . He tweeted back! I about fell on the floor!   Research showed that he not only answers his tweets, but ALL Zappoes employees must answer the phones and take customer service calls. (He gets it!)
Comment on a picture, disagree politely, ask a question, but ENGAGE PEOPLE!

@sradick said,  “I can teach you how to tweet. I can’t teach you basic communication skills.” Twitter is no different than any other conversation.  Keep that in mind as you interact.

4. Support

Share your knowledge. Many people say they can’t blog, because they don’t have much to say. These people talk for hours IF asked about the right topic. Most people are passionate about, skilled or expert in something and could advise on that topic if asked. This is Twitter.  Share your expertise in a tweet.
Reach out.  These are REAL people. Emotionally support those in your Twitter circle, as you would  co-workers sitting next to you.  Show you care.

5. Prospect

Get a job. Tweet to show prospective employers who you are.  Show your subject matter expertise.  Show your caring  compassion, and your teamwork.   Show your passion and engagement.  (Employers will look anyway, so make it good!)
Find employees with Twitter. See how often and on what topics prospects are tweeting, check their twitpics and with whom they tweet regularly.  A tweeting brand advocate can be a valuable asset. (Once hired, they will hopefully become your brand advocate.) HELP someone else. If you know someone is looking for a job, RT it! If you know someone seeking a new employee RT it! Both sides will be grateful.

Build the community! Is there a local event that supports one of your causes or involves the whole community?  Tweet about it!  Is a charity new to twitter? #FF them.  People will be grateful.  If you do these things,  prospects will find YOU!  By supporting and engaging the people in your Twitterville community, you will have plenty of business and personal “prospects.”