America’s “Golden Girl”, today 90 years young, joined the Twitterverse this week under the handle @BettyMWhite.  Betty White is using her new social media personality to crack jokes, flirt with Ryan Seacrest, and of course—promote her latest project.

Like many small business owners, White is a late adopter of this technology. While she wasn’t the first to arrive on the site, White’s timing and usage are on-point, according to Jason Hennessey, CEO of Everspark Interactive.

“Personally, I think it’s a very smart move,” he said. “She’s doing some new projects and has a new T.V. show out. This will help promote the show she is working on.”

For small business owners anxious about dipping their toes into an unknown world of Internet marketing, Hennessey said it’s now or never. Keeping up with emerging technology is part of the job, and is essential to running a thriving business and brand.

“It’s the way of marketing nowadays, and is the quickest way to reach your market,” he said. “Most people set it up and then never use it again. It’s important to set and track goals to see how your campaign is working.”

Here’s how your business can make like the former Golden Girl and use Twitter to self-promote:

No. 1: Follow people. Hennessey said the first thing to do is seek out those who are influential in your small business’s’ space, and follow them. Hopefully they will return the favor, and your list of followers will grow.

No. 2: Engage in conversation. Using search.twitter.com, you can find keywords associated with your business and the industry you are in.

“Start to look at all of the different trends happening in your space,” Hennessey said.  “Have an active presence in the conversation, more people will start to follow you.”

Also pick up on things that are trending and use the hashtag symbols to highlight key words in your Tweets, he said.

No. 3: Use Google alerts. Hennessey said set up Google alerts for terms that are associated with your business.  When you see news happening in your industry or the small business world, you can get talking about it instantly.

“You can actively create trends,” he said. “You can be the first one to start a trend by Tweeting about it.”

No. 4: Draw attention to your Website. Twitter limits its users to 140 characters, so it’s a great way to get your followers to go back to your site where you can offer them more, Hennessey said.

“Give a bit of insight or a story, just like [news organizations] do,” he said. “Then use a URL shortener to embed your Website in the Tweet.”

No. 5: Use others’ success to promote. When writing about a certain person or topic, use their Twitter handle in your own Tweets, Hennessey said.

“Put that @ symbol to the people who are popular in your space, so they will be seeing it as well,” he said.

Follow Kate Rogers on Twitter at @KateRogersNews