What is Twitter?
Twitter is a free website for social networking and micro blogging that can be updated instantly, almost like text messaging online. Twitter users range from the typical person to business owners and professionals and even celebrities. I’m sure you have heard about the faceoff a few weeks ago between Ashton Kutcher and CNN. Although, I am in the internet business, never before have I adopted a social networking tool as I have twitter. Why? Maybe because within moments of launching my twitter account it drove traffic to my website and generated a few leads. That’s when a light bulb went off and I saw the potential that twitter offers to businesses, with just a little investment of your time.
I am going to explain the basics of getting started with twitter in this article followed by two other articles in the coming weeks that will show you how you can use twitter for your business.
Creating a Twitter.com Account.
Customizing your Twitter account.
§ Tell them who you are and what you do – Add a Bio – Twitter allows you to add a bio to your profile utilizing 160 characters or less. Adding a bio to your twitter account is imperative, because it is the first thing people will review to see if you are a good person to follow i.e whether you can provide them with useful information. When creating your bio ensure that you include a keyword that is related to your business, because users will search to find others to follow based upon keywords. In short, let people know who you are, what you do and how you can help them. If you have a tagline for your company, that’s a great place to start. It’s best to create several bios and then refine it until you find the best one with 160 characters.
§ Put a face to your company, make it human – Add a Picture – There’s a reason why so many CEO’s are becoming the face of their brand, it builds credibility, and it puts a real person behind the message. Twitter usually comes with a default photo, I strongly advise you to add a photo that looks good that’s not too revealing – to you profile.
§ Brand your company – Add a Custom Designed Background – Although I haven’t gotten around to doing this as yet, I have all intentions to. It certainly comes across more professional and it’s a great way to provide additional information about your company, since your bio is limited to only 160 characters, I have seen many that I like here’s are a couple examples http://twitter.com/powerwithin1 ; http://twitter.com/SouthwestAir . Southwest airlines does a great job of providing a lot of information via their background. If you would like to have a professional background done, Captivate can help you for a nominal fee, feel free to contact us.
In order for you to use twitter effectively, it’s important for you to understand the following terminologies. Please see below,
Tweet: A “tweet” is a single message or post to Twitter. Each tweet can be no more than 140 characters.
Tweeting: “Tweeting” is what you’re doing while you’re engaged in the use of Twitter. Reading others’ tweets, sending out tweets, etc. If you’re doing those things, you’re tweeting!
Follow/follower: On many social media and networking sites, you “friend” someone to connect with them. On Twitter, you “follow” someone. Those who follow you are your “followers.”
RT: RT is short for “re-tweet.” This is a way of sharing someone else’s tweet with your own followers. For instance if Megan Morris (@MegMorris) tweeted about a new restaurant opening in Nashville, I should share that information with my own followers and it might look like this: “RT @MegMorris: Local Taco just opened near the office. Anyone want to go with me to try it out?” A re-tweet is simply giving credit to the original tweet when you want to share the information you learned from it.
DM: DM is short for “direct message.” If you want to send a message to one of your followers without every single one of your followers seeing it, you simply send them a direct message. A DM also can only be 140 characters. If one of your followers says “DM me with your phone number,” you certainly don’t want everyone on Twitter to end up with your phone number. Direct message is the way to go for personal messages like that.
@ reply: An “at reply” is simply replying to a specific follower instead of creating a brand new tweet. Example: “@megmorris I’ll go with you!”
Twibe: There are many services online that allow you to categorize yourself on Twitter. You can log into these sites and sign up to be part of specific categories such as Nashville, Photography, Pets. The people who have also plugged themselves into these categories are called a “twibe.” These twibes can then share and receive information specific to those categories.
Tweeps: Your “tweeps” are the people on Twitter that you are connected to.
Twitter apps: Of course, you can go to twitter.com on the web and tweet all day long. But there are “Twitter apps” out there that you can use on your computer or cell phone that allow you to tweet from anywhere. Desktop and phone clients such as Tweetie, Nambu, TwitterFon and many more are popular options for using Twitter without having to have a web browser open.
Hashtag: A “hashtag” is a keyword or tag that ties tweets together from many users. For instance: Just this week, a popular hastag for music lovers has been #bonnaroo. Anyone tweeting about the annual music festival simply needs to add “#bonnaroo” to the end of a tweet. That then allows your tweet to be found by anyone who searches for information on the festival. Hashtags are very popular during conferences and seminars.