Twitter is the microblogging online social networking site that has taken the world by storm.  The brainchild of a day long brainstorming session, Twitter was based on the idea of an SMS service used to communicate with small groups. Today, with over five hundred million registered users, Twitter has been dubbed, ‘the SMS of the internet.’ The Twitter users are able to share and read text based messages and links, of up to 140 characters per message, otherwise known as a tweet. Originally used by businesses for employees to keep tabs on each other and what was happening in the business, it is now the platform to share everything and anything, with the most followers being awarded to the rich and famous of today’s world. However, if one knows who to follow, Twitter can be rather useful in providing advice for you and your business.

Useful and interesting Twitter accounts are usually judged by three qualities, the first of which being the content quality of the account. Is it useful; is it current, does it make you think? The contribution frequency of the account plays a big role as well. The more frequent the tweets, the more relevant and beneficial to the business network the account is. And finally, in the social networking world, conversation is leadership. The more the account engages with its followers, the more value it has. On that note, here is a list of some of the most interesting business advice accounts on Twitter (in no particular order).

Anita Campbell – @smallbiztrends – Anita is the CEO of small business trends, an online content business community which reaches over six million entrepreneurs and small business owners annually. Her tweets are always clear, concise, and contain links to useful and insightful articles interviews, and discussions.

Entrepreneur Magazine – @entmagazine – Entrepreneur magazine is an award winning magazine for the business community.  They provide advice, cover creative content in their columns and tell the stories of small business owners. Their Twitter account provides an inside look and is easily the best way to stay updated with your business peers.

Guy Kawasaki – @guykawasaki – Guy is one of the columnists at Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as the managing director of Garage Technology Ventures. His business relevant tweets are peppered with interesting comics and facts about the work place, just to add a little bit of humour to the everyday office life.

Alexandra Levit – @alevit – Alexandra is a Wall Street Journal columnist as well as a bestselling author. Her tweets contain useful articles and meaningful advice, and her objective is to help people find meaningful jobs and succeed once they get there.

Wall street journal small business – WSJSmallBiz – This Twitter account is directed at small businesses, and provides direct access to their small business articles, which are excellent on providing ‘how to’ articles and have proved incredibly useful to small business owners.

Twitter is an excellent tool to keep up with all of the ‘pointless babble,’ (as it was once called in an online tweet survey) of society, but if you spend the time to carefully navigate through all the social accounts and choose carefully who you follow, it will soon be become an invaluable tool for current, interesting and free business advice.

Michaela Findeis is working for the leading online marketing consultants in Cape Town, Karma Digital Media