If you have not heard of Twitter yet, you’re probably been living underground (literally) for the past year or so. These days everyone is twittering, well, almost everyone. Are you ready to see what the buzz is all about but don’t know where to start? Then read on.
Twitter is a mini-blog, where in 140 characters or less you get to answer the question “what are you doing” and share your story with a community of over 9 million people. It’s a social platform at it’s best (or worst, depending on you view).
Once you sign up you can either follow or be followed by another Twitter user. This creates your community. But to make your Twitter experience easier and more enjoyable, you need to familiarize yourself with some of the etiquette and acronyms that’s Twitter specific.
Twitter users not only share their thoughts and opinions but also links to either their websites or other sites that might be interesting to them or their followers. Since 140 characters might not be enough for some links, Twitter utilizes link shrinking (tinyurl.com is the most widely used).
You can reuse a twit as long as you give the original tweeter credit for it. Just put “RT @name” in front of their tweet and post it yourself. Retweets are completely acceptable and appreciated.
If you want to send a private massage to someone you can use direct massaging (DM) function. However, you can only send DMs to those who follow you.
@ Sign Use
To create a reply or to give someone props on Twitter, simply place an @ sign in front of their Twitter name. If it is a reply, the @ sign must be the first character of the tweet. To see replies to your own tweets, click on @Replies from your profile page.
Looking for Twitter friends or celebrities? Use Search.twitter.com which is also good look searches on specific topic you might be interested in.
# Sign Use
If you want added visibility and people finding you more easily, add # to your tweets. This works well for popular topics. For example if you use #Google, anyone searching for “Google” will see your post
TwitPic is a great tool for sharing your photos with your Twitter community. They will let you upload your pics and share it directly with Twitter (using your Twitter account so no additional setup is required).
With desktop clients such as TweetDeck you can receive tweets in a much more manageable fashion, especially if you follow a lot of people, respond often, and use direct messages a lot.
I hope you will join me on Twitter. It’s a great way to meet people and who know, may be the best thing that ever happened to your business as well (more on that later).