Twitter - The Essentials

03/27/2010 13:44

Getting started quickly with Twitter -Basic guide to getting started quickly with Twitter.

I've been testing and using Twitter in several ways (personal & business wise) on different accounts to test its impact, effects, results and so on.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that allows you to "tweet" quick and frequent 140-character messages. The basic question is: "What are you doing?". There are other micro-blogging systems (same category as Twitter), two of them are Pownce and Jaiku. You can send your tweets through the webpage, IM and SMS. Twitter has an open platform, which makes it possible to build third party applications.

Why use Twitter?

There are many 2-way reasons why you should use Twitter, examples are:

*Real-time updates on anybody/topic (you follow).

*Ask/Exchange information.

*Helps with buzzing.

*Announcements.

*(Personal) branding.

How to setup quickly Twitter?

Twitter is a free service, go to the Twitter site and sign up for a free account.

Go to settings and update your Account, important fields to fill in are Name, More info URL and One Line Bio.

Make sure that the One Line Bio contains keywords that reflect who you are and your purpose with the Twitter account. This is important because you can distinguish yourself from others, plus your biography creates expectations towards your followers. You have to make sure there is no gap between expectation and reality. (if you are a company and you have a simple "update" Twitter account, and you're only chatting around, you are not doing what you say). Followers might not stick around.

Furthermore there's the Notices tab which let's you set up on what you want to be notified. At the Design tab you can personalise colors and the background image.

What can you basically do with tweets?

Retweet: if someone tweets a text which you want to to have read by your network, you can retweet the message:

Syntax: Retweet @username: their message Everybody in your network will see this message. Their message can be modified of course.

Reply: if someone tweets a text and you want to reply to that person, do it as follow (you can reply to someone without the syntax below, but then it remains vague to whom you are replying):

Syntax: @username message Everybody in your network will see this message. (depends on your Notices-settings)

Direct Message: if you want to send someone a personal message that nobody else can read, you need to use a Direct Message:

Syntax: D username message.

To address a message -publicly- to someone, use @username, others in your network will know that it is addressed to someone specifically.

How to start build up your Twitter network?

In the Twitter interface you can search for people based on keywords. Follow people whom you want to follow in regard with your goal/purpose. The people you follow will receive an email notification, they can visit your page and can choose to follow you. This is the easiest way to build a community. Also for this reason it's important to have a clear and appealing biography.

Give it time to grow, you won't be having hundreds of followers in just a couple of days or weeks. When you tweet, there's the chance you'll be retweeted by someone in your network, their network will see your @username and have the possibility to follow you.

What are Handy and cool Twitter tools/applications?

The tools below are a small selection, but there are many others!

Tweetdeck / Thwirl : are two Twitter desktop applications I've used. Both run on Adobe AIR. My preference goes at Tweetdeck, because it has multiple columns that creates a better overview. Tweets, Replies and Direct Messages are shown seperately in three columns, whereas in Thwirl you will find them at the bottom in the same column. Other features like TwitScoop make Tweetdeck my preference. Besides those two clients, there are many others, examples are Snitter, Spaz, Twinja and Tweetr. A cool feature of Tweetr is the possibility to upload files. After uploading a shortURL will be send to your friends.

Tweeple : Manages your Twitter followers and those who you follow. : Measures your relative power of your Twitter account.

Twitter Grader

TwitPic / SnapTweet: Photo sharing services for Twitter. Tweet your photos to others.

Adjix / TinyURL / budURL: URL Shortening services, because Twitter has just 140 characters space, it's wise to use shortening URL services, it shortens your URL in a redirect-short-URL which can be copy-pasted in your Tweet. Some of these services also track clicks from your URL's.

RSS2Twitter / Twitterfeed: Tweets your RSS automatically on Twitter.

Twittervision: See in real-time where tweets come from (geo).

Twitscoop: See what's hot right now on Twitter. What do people talk about.

Twitter wisdoms

- Do what you say you are

- You are whom you follow

Follow me: @glcuccureddu

For further exploration and in-depth analysis of Twitter, contact me through LinkedIn.

Gianluigi Cuccureddu * Web Marketing Strategist *
Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/in/gianluigicuccureddu

 

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