Twitter: How To Use
I n my opinion, Twitter is by far one of the greatest social networking tools ever. While dutiful and trusty Facebook has it’s benefits, learning the basics of Twitter will take you far in connecting online and building your business. The best advice I can give you is to open an account, start following some people or corporate brands you admire (you would be surprised how many you will find!), and spend a bit of time listening and observing how users communicate with each other. It is not complicated but there is a bit of a learning curve. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
The Basics Of Twitter:
How to Tweet:
Twitter allows for 140 characters and so forces you to be brief. This is actually a creative gift because it puts your copyrighting skills to the test. Some shortening tips: You = U; shout out (always good to give shout outs!) = S/O; numbers are perfectly acceptable in numerical form, without = w/out; and the list goes on. As I said above, listen for a few days on Twitter first so that when you are ready to jump in and start tweeting, you will be familiar with the normal abbreviations and community interactions.
The (miracle of the) Re-Tweet:
While some users are obsessed with their number of followers, a better measure of success is the level of re-tweets your account enjoys. If someone takes the time to re-tweet your post, it is a vote for your thoughts, comments and value to that user’s community. Every time I consider a re-tweet I ask myself if it will add value to my own Twitter community. Want more re-tweets? Start to re-tweet other users tweets – way more than you share your own thoughts. They will notice and if your own tweets have value, you should start to see some engagement (and some new followers!).
The Modified Tweet:
Every so often, the tweet you are attempting to spread will be too long. (it is always a good idea to keep your own tweets under 120 characters, making it easier for one click re-tweeting by others..) and you will have to find a way to shorten it to under 140. If you are making any changes to the tweet other than what I mentioned above (You = U, without = w/out), it is best to change the RT (automatically inserted by Twitter) to MT. MT = modified tweet and the community will know you made a few changes to make it work. This is perfectly acceptable but to avoid trouble, don’t change the intended message of the tweet. And if you do, just apologize. Mistakes happen.
OK, that is about it for the rock bottom basics. In the next few days I will cover more advanced strategies including links, handles, and hash tags.
Want to see it all in action?
Follow me: http://twitter.com/nancimurdock