I am not a twitter expert, but I have been using it for about a year. As it stands at this moment, I have 659 followers, and about half have decided to follow me in the past month. I am still learning about the tools available, largely because I haven’t been real serious about it until recently. Twitter has a lot of benefits, but you don’t really see them until you have had several hundred followers.
A colleague of mine told me a story of how she found someone to fill a need through twitter. She was setting up a business exp for women and needed someone to fill a need at the expo. She tweeted the need, and she receive a message from someone in another state (she lived in Texas). They agreed to come to the expo for a business opportunity! She just casually mentioned the need, and she received the response.
There are several resources available to twitter users, and one of the first that a new user should start with is twellow.com. Twellow has many different resources, but the biggest one is a searchable directory of twitter users. You register twitter account with twellow and you will be indexed in the directory. Then, you can find people to follow using their directory, and others can find you. They have a feature called twellowhood which helps you find people by geographic region using a map. If you sign up, you should register with twellow to help kick-start your experience at twitter.
Another resource to use is Mashable. Mashable is a well known blog which provides social media resources. They have a whole section of their site dedicated to twitter, a guidebook if you will. A post you might want to check out is their apps post. It gives a run-down of the different apps-web, desktop and iphone apps-which can help you manage your twitter more efficiently.
So, go ahead, dive in to twitter! It is a lot of fun, and it can help you communicate and network with more people than you can ever imagine.
By the way, I am @tejones at twitter.